Ruskin Ruin

poem by: Rachel Cartwright
Written on Apr 17, 2012

One afternoon, clouds piled up
People were going about their own ways
Nobody even had any idea
Of what was about to take place

But later that eve, I went outside
In awe of a strange sound
I went running out on my front porch 
Watching the dark clouds surround

Whispers of wind, warning of trouble
The sound had yet begun
For now the wind was screaming and roaring
As if it was telling me to run 

But my eyes drifted to the southwest
Curiosity took it's toll
I just had to see what was wrong
And what made the wind act as a troll

But then suddenly my eyes were captured 
By the strangest sight
Green and black clouds in the horizon
Clouds darker than night

Full of ominous clouds rotating 
Swiftly up and down and around
As if they were racing in circles
And lowering to the ground

The neighbors were all gazing too
At the tremendous sight of horror
Everyone were on their front porches
All curious to see more

It began to pour down blinding rain
Then large hail began to fall
But soon after that it was now snowing
I was completely in awe

Suddenly a strange stillness took over the air
So silent there wasn't a breeze
The wind, the rain, the hail, the snow
Everything just ceased

As the sun peaked through the clouds
Shining peacefully through 
You could hear the sound of the birds tweeting
They thought it was over too

But all of a sudden the noise came back
But this time it was so much louder
The sun was no longer in the sky
And the wind took back it's power

The deafening thunder was roaring with anger
The clouds were racing from north
The blinding lightning filled the sky
As the trees swayed back and forth

As I looked back at the horizon
I couldn't believe my eyes
It was a huge tornado on the ground
Coming my way in surprise

Then suddenly I wasn't able to run or move
I couldn't even walk
All I could do is gaze at the sight
Cause my body was in complete shock

The wind roared like a hungry lion 
As dust and debris stabbed the air 
All leaving nice houses in shatters
And people in tremendous despair

I could feel the ground shaking
Debris was flying everywhere 
Enormous clashes of glass shattering
And bombs exploding here and there

Closer and closer, the terror sounded
The twister was almost here
I never thought this would happen
It was as if it was a nightmare

I could almost taste the danger
I could hear death shouting goodbye over and over
But all of a sudden I got a hold of myself
And ran back in to take cover

But as quick as a fly
The monster was here with danger
While thinking that my life was gone
The twister went around my house with anger

Instead of mine, it was my neighbors
The house the twister had taken
Now all that was left was a few little boards
And nobody to be awaken

But fainter and fainter the sound got
As the twister shrewdly left
Softer and softer booms in the distance
Til there was no sound to be theft

Ruskin Heights High school
Was a school that was close to here
But after the twister had passed over it
The letters R U I N were all that was there

Now all that was left was ruins 
So many people in despair
If only they knew what was going to come
On that one afternoon in 1957

That day that nobody had any idea
That day of great regret
That day with so many lost memories
That day we'll never forget

That day of a disaster
When many lost their homes 
Twas the day of a great storm 
The tornado of Ruskin's Ruin

The Ruskin Heights Tornado,
May 20 1957
Based on a true story...



Add Comment

Bel Baca commented:
I liked it. Nice imagery. Reminded me of when I lived in Florida and we hunkered down when the hurricanes came around.
Ezra Uzair commented:
Rebel Riggs commented:
Well done you...This is very moving and grips me with every verse.
Emilee Rodriguez commented:
greg woods commented:
Very captivating, and gets the heart pumping, can feel the terror.
Angel S commented:
Such words really give the readers such an insight to where it is as if we, the readers, are /there/ with you in your memories. Very well done!
ann parks commented:
very atmospheric for an english person who will never see this.........well done Ann
Aiysha Homer commented:
I love how you have captured every moment of your story and made it into an amzing poem. well done!
Milton Robertson commented:
Terrifying, Very well told, can almost see it. Very Good...
Elizabeth J White commented:
I like how this poem came together so powerful great !
J J commented:
Wow! I have entered the eye-of-a-storm and rode upon a tornado (a couple times now). I could 'feel' the first-hand view in this. Bravo!
Robert Folland commented:
Very nicely written :)
Elizabeth J White commented:
Melissa Marker commented:
This was sad but I liked it I like that you took a true story also and brought it to light again but in a poem
john steele commented:
this was a very wonderful peace indeed it sad to hear all them bad memories indeed I loved you write you do it so wonderful everytime I can wait to read another one of your writes
Edward shields commented:
Great poem.
Louise Wyatt commented:
Wow. The imagery is amazing. Thoroughly enjoyed your take on a true story... Keep writing!
Maria Williams commented:
Kept me on the edge of my seat. That was great
Jazz Force commented on Nov 28, 2017 at 3:48pm
Blinding rain? Watch those cliches! try juxtaposition of disparate images ala surrealism. May not be your thing, but will help with imagination. Readers want to hear what's never been heard. Your voice expressions are infinite..
Frank byrne/Hornby.. commented on Dec 07, 2017 at 12:44pm
I felt the anxiety all the way through the poem...brilliant!............the pathetic comment immediately above mine is not from a true poet......just ignore it....


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