December 24, 2012

Sitting here, beneath this aging oak,
– they told me as a child not to do that –
I look out at the rain.
My improvised shelter is no great shakes;
giant drops drum at my scalp
and run, chillingly down my back.
One, two, three, four.
I can’t tell where I’m wet
and which parts are just cold;
all I know is
my rain-coat wasn’t made for this.
Raining so heavy,
all around me looks a strange shade of grey;
the water beats the ground,
splashes growing larger as the level rises.
One, two.
Getting closer.
People lucky enough to be in cars
race past, forging through the floods,
great sheets of water cascading around them,
sending ripples –
no, waves, towards the curb and me.
Thunder deafening now, right above me,
flash and bang hand-in-hand,
nothing to count,
heart of the storm,
nature’s rage all around me.
Twice I think it’s about to subside;
twice its fury redoubles,
as though it’s telling me personally,
it will calm down when it’s good and ready.
It. He. Whatever your take,
there’s real power in the skies,
crashes and flares
shaking the earth,
shaking souls,
striking fear.
My tree sways, groans, lists, screams;
my stomach lurches beneath it
– they told me as a child not to do that.



Slow Rain

June 5, 2012

A slow rain fell
and washed the tears away
and washed the blood away,
red to pink to nothing at all,
and tried to wash the pain away
but forty days and forty nights
couldn’t make her feel okay.

Inspired by My Word Wizard.

Storm (A Gogyohka)

May 23, 2011

The rain fell
coming home
black clouds drifted

the storm rages.

xii. After the Fire

March 20, 2011

The rain came.
It calmed the flames
and washed away the ashes
that remained.
It softened the contours
of the ruins left behind.

The rain brings with it
A kind of quiet
The rumble of thunder
where hours before
the rumble of fire
had roared;
the patter of raindrops
where hours before
the crackle of flames
had scored the scene.

The rain
is a blanket
that falls on the ground
and covers the land
and masks the contours.
In the rain
every jagged edge is blunted,
every corner dulled.
In the rain
everything is softened,
swept away.

The rain washes
down walls;
the black of
charred wood and brick
running to the ground
forming burnt puddles
that soak into the street,
eventually fading away.

The rain washes
down walls
and washes
down faces
of those that look on.
Their tears are carried
to the ground,
forming wretched puddles
that disappear,
by the downpour.

The rain
carries the ashes away,
it hushes the roar
of the fire’s rage,
it blunts the edges
torn by violent flames
and washes the
tears of the watchers

The rain stopped.
In the midst of the streams
that rippled
and shimmered
the ruins stood damp
and were you to look
you would never guess
that just hours before,
these fragile bones
had been so much more.
You’d never guess that
just hours before,
the rumble of fire
had roared through
its core.

The rain,
however heavy,
however cold,
however hard,
cannot wash away the pain
they feel inside.
The sorrow stains them
in a way that rain
cannot remove.
Their tears are gone,
just like the ash has gone,
but the pain,
cannot be soothed.

iii. The Rain

March 7, 2011

The rain came down,
without a warning;
Soaked him to the bone.

He stood there, cold,
soaked to the bone;
Staring at the road.

Soaked to the bone,
he wondered what to do,
as the rain came down.

He could go on,
soaked to the bone,
or turn back home.

He’d come so far,
yet quite a way to go,
soaked to the bone.

He’d dreaded meeting her;
And now to meet like this,
soaked to the bone?

A million reasons,
not to go and now,
soaked to the bone.

Soaked to the bone,
his clothes were heavy;
Feet were squelching.

Soaked to the bone,
his hair was matted;
Fingers wrinkled.

This was not the way,
this day should be;
Soaked to the bone.

No, he thought it best,
soaked to the bone,
that he turn back.

Try again another day,
he wasn’t scared; just,
soaked to the bone.

i. Rain City

March 4, 2011

Above them glowed a golden sun,
The first they’d seen of it in years.

The people gazed up at the sky,
At something they had long forgot;

For so long, rain was all they’d known;
The rain defined their lives; The rain,
Had been the only thing they could,
Depend upon. From morning right,
Through every day, the rain came down.

There were a few among them who,
Had been around before the rain,
But none remembered how it felt,
The rain had washed those days away.

For all the rest, the sun was new,
An alien come from the grey;
That soft grey safety blanket they,
Had been wrapped up in right from birth.
And now that blanket had been snatched!

Exposed, they stared up at the sun;
It stung their eyes and burned their skin;

They soon all ran for cover from,
This stranger in the sky. And this,
This scramble for the shade was what,
Sparked memories for that small few,
The few that had survived this long.

They suddenly remembered how,
They too had run for shelter when,
The rain began to fall. There was,
A time when they had hidden from,
The rain; A time when they had missed,
The sun… And now it had returned,
To grant them warmth once more.

But how were they to tell the rest,
Who loved the rain, and loved the dark,
The clouds it cast above, the grey,
It painted in their sky, the cold,
It’s blanket wrapped them in. How could,
They ever understand that this,

This brightness, boldness, heat, was good?
A thing for them to bask in, not,
A thing to fear; A thing to set,
Them free from dreary servitude;
A thing to light their way; A source
Of vibrant joy. The light it cast,
Could rid them of the apathy,
The rain had filled them with; Could help,
Them live again, if only they,
Could see the truth. But fear of change,
Impeded them – Their fear, it made,
Them yearn for rain, for what they knew,
And when the sun persisted, they,
Rose up as one and put up walls,
To block its light; To keep its heat,
At bay, to claw their blanket back.

Eventually, the elders passed,
’til none remained from days before,
The rain. No, none were left to teach,
The rest to leave the shade and trust,
The sun. And thus, they stayed inside,
For good and raised their young the same.

The sun burned on, up in the sky,
But none who lived there let its light,
Shine on their lives; they never felt,
It’s warmth upon their skin again.

They never knew the joy the sun,
Could bring; They never felt the sense,
Of freedom that it promised them.



Inspired by the title of the song, ‘Rain City‘, by Turin Brakes.

xxxi. Tanka

February 15, 2011

Outside, the rain falls.
I watch the flowers rejoice;
it has been so long
since last it lavished them so.
Inside, I am still waiting.



Find a history of Tanka, here.