Thursday, January 28, 2010


As some of you know, I write a lot about rain. 

It was such a central part of growing up in rural Southern Illinois. There were many summers when our garden wilted ... never mind the grass that seemed to turn to confetti in our yard ... the cistern ran low ...

Ah, but there were summers, too, when there was an abundance of rain ... and all was well with the world.

We city dwellers tend to forget the importance of rain. We lose touch.

This poem is an effort to restore that touch ... to explore some of the possibilities in the music ... the magic, if you will ... of rain. In the end, I guess it all boils down to "this rain tonight, tremblng leaf to leaf ... to earth."

The poem:


I lie listening

to the summer night,

wondering what

it might have been like

before roofs came

to glorify the rain,

to magnify the sound.

Was there gentle

crackle and murmur

of a small fire,

a faltering lullaby?

A song kept going,

stick by stick,

until the words

finally surrendered

to deep silence?

The silence of

ashes giving up

their warmth?

Perhaps there was

only the faintest

of songs, like

this rain tonight,

trembling leaf

to leaf ... to earth.

© 2003

("Nightsongs" first appeared online on Poetry Tonight. It also became a part of my first collection of poems, Chance of Rain, issued by Finishing Line Press in 2003)

Today's word: murmur

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