Rain’s twofold curse: not enough,
too much. Still, I take comfort
even among the thorns.
There is much to like here.
Its moonlight flowers.
Paddles fried with minced garlic.
Wren’s jubilant shriek.
The fruit’s red nectar.
After a long day I saw it rise
and walk two steps to the west,
uphill, our burdens shared
yet apart. I woke to distant
screech owls purring their desires
on separate slopes. Late spring,
storms on the way, a warning.
I close my eyes and the creek rises.
This was one of my first posts, from just over a year ago. Thought I’d give it another whirl – it originally appeared in 1986, in SPSM&H, a publication devoted to sonnets. It’s interesting to look my writing from this period. Some pieces seem to have been written by a stranger, long ago and far, far away. This one somehow seems closer.
I built a frame of apricot
wood. This was for you. The clouds float
through it even as I sleep. You wrote
once of wild herbs gathered and brought
to a lovely girl, an offering not
of passion but of some remote
desire to hear a word from the throat
of the Lord Within Clouds. I thought
of this as I chiseled the wood.
Last night it rained. I listened to
it from my bed by the open
window, hoping that the clouds would
not leave. This morning two birds flew
by. It is raining again.
This is my first attempt at a haibun. Please forgive my transgressions.
I dream of poetry in all its forms, rising and flowing and subsiding without end, much like ice shrugging within itself. Last winter a hard freeze split a valve on the downstream side of the cistern. Had it cracked even a few inches up-line there would have been no need to replace the valve.
captive rain recalls
its journey towards the ground
the garden returns
The well terminates at 280 feet. The water is hard, but cool, and tastes of dark limestone and ancient rains.
Even the gnarled live oaks have dropped their leaves. Grass crunches underfoot and smells like dead insects and dried herbs. Mosquitoes have vanished. Only the prickly pears thrive. Their flowers are bright yellow and bloom a few days each year.
sauteed with garlic
nopalitos on my plate
their thorns, forgiven
I wipe sweat from my forehead with the back of the glove, and wonder how many ounces of fluid have passed through my body this year, how the rain navigates from clouds through layers of soil and stone, only to return, how a cold beer might feel sliding down my throat.
stoking the fire
winter rain whispers to me
I initially posted this in January of 2014, but since so few saw it back then, thought it deserved another airing. The poem first appeared many years ago as a poetry postcard offered by the literary journal Amelia. I admit to being wrong about the shape of raindrops. But hey, they start out spherical…