Storywrangler by Tricia Knoll


Scientists have invented an instrument to peer deeply into billions of Twitter posts – … The tool – called the Storywrangler – gathers phrases across 150 different languages, analyzing the rise and fall of ideas and stories, each day, among people around the world. The Storywrangler quantifies collective attention. – Science Daily, July 16, 2021

This July morning of rain, not gentle showers, downpour
for three hours. I’m parked in a sunroom under skylight
watching run-off, listening to water drum on glass.
Fill the empty water bowl for the dog.
I must say thank you, thank you, we need this.

Germany is flooding. You’ve evacuated your cabin
in the Ponderosa pines of Sisters, Oregon. The wildfire
encroaches. Findings suggest the black spots on dragonfly wings
are evolving, shrinking as the climate gets warmer in the north.
They need less heat. No one knows if mates will care.

I quarrel with my own stories, loopy in deluge. I Attend.
Rain in waves melts over glass
to distort the gangliness of my bitternut hickory tree,
a nut only wildlife can love.

I feel like I slide on that glass.
I cannot step into this too-much rain.
The dogs say Enough.
We knew drought so well I must whisper thank you.

You tweet about fire threat three thousand miles
west. Birds disappear. Snakes are on the move.
An area the size of Rhode Island burned.
You breathe smoke.

Rain is my analytic. Yours is fire.
The phrase the wrangler captures
is climate change.


Tricia Knoll is a Vermont poet whose work appears widely in journals, anthologies and five collections. How I Learned To Be White received the 2018 Human Relations Indie Book Award for Motivational Poetry. A chapbook Checkered Mates came out from Kelsay Books in 2021. In February 2022 The Poetry Box will release Knoll’s third place manuscript in the publishers’ annual chapbook competition. Let’s Hear It for the Horses. In winter 2023 Future Cycle Press will release One Bent Twig — poems that express love for the stories of trees. Knoll is a contributing editor to Verse Virtual. Website:

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