Sunday Things: Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Philippines

A survivor cooks dinner in front of his damaged home in the village of Marabut, Samar Island, on Friday, November 15, 2013. Photography by David Guttenfelder

Hail and Fire
By Annette Marie Hyder

“This is the worst,” Cardenas said, taking a break from fixing a piece of damaged furniture. “We’re both victims and rescuers.” *

A hard rain pelted this island
and left a hard rain of bodies
littered on the ground
like a residue of frost
or even more — like hail.
Those bodies fell
like hail
in that they hurt and destroyed things in their path —
hearts like hopeful green shoots of grass
were pummeled and bruised as the hail came down
and families shattered like car windshields,
where the hail struck,
cracking from the center of loss
and  spider-webbing outwards.

Destruction was sown like dragon’s teeth
with sorrow cropping up like a million opportunistic
branches of creeping devastation cane.
And it seems like the only thing of good use against this
is fire. Fires crackle, as fires do, by shacks
as well as in the oil drums of many hearts
with the power to cleanse and clear the way
for — truly — I know not what.

I only know that there is much to do and grieving too
is part of the task at hand
as the wind sends smoke signals to those who are left behind
telling them to depart — whispering of
a mass exodus and many mass graves
and hail and fire and the way
that a path opens up for the feet of the weary
to follow each one their way —
a bitter hard path if they depart
and a hard bitter path if they stay.

How to help

Want to know how you can help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda? Here is a link to an ABC News article with tips on best practices when sending relief: The best ways to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan

*From “Typhoon Haiyan: More cadaver bags sent to Philippines as toll climbs to 3,633 dead”
By Jethro Mullen