Sunday, February 10, 2013

Autumn Rain

Thunderstorms were frightening to a youngster growing up in rural Southern Illinois.

They seemed so packed with fury, so unpredictable as they lashed out, leaving so much damage in their wake.

But rain, particularly a gentle rain at night, was a different matter.

I learned to listen to its comforting cadence against the windows or on the roof, to hear the music it contained.

Sometimes it was like a whisper. Sometimes a Saturday night hoedown.

But it was my kind of music. I loved going to sleep to it ... waking up to it ... or just lying there listening to it.

We forget, sometimes, what a gentle, soothing, healing sound rain can make, especially as harsh summer days begin slowly surrendering to the cooler days and cooler nights of autumn.

This poem is about that kind of rain. It was originally published in Capper's, then in my first collection, Chance of Rain, issued by Finishing Line Press, 2003:


Struggling awake
to the sound
of trees scratching
at my green roof,
I see their limbs
swaying against
rolling clouds.

Dancing lightning,
slanting drops,
steady drone
of falling water;
trees, docile now,
guiding droplets
to thirsting soil,
I turn my pillow
cool side up,
go drifting off
in this cradling
sea of sound.
 © 2003
Today's word: hoedown


Helen Chandler said...

I still love your poetry, Every time I read one that I've read before, I see new things in it--and can see, hear, and feel them them. With this one I can almost smell rain.

Hope all is is well with you and yours! Did I tell you that the huge rocks that Giant City State Park in in our home area of Southern IL have toppled over or into each other? There's no path trough it and a sign blocking it with an explanation. It's at the old entrance was with the creek and picnic tables. As you know that's where Giant City got it's name. Of course, the vast thick woods and hills are still there. I love to go through there in the spring and see the dogwood and redbud trees.
I just went back there and found out the awful truth that nobody will walk that path and see the caves again. Sad...

Take care, Helen

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Helen, for that update on Giant City, the site of my early introduction to the wonders of nature ... and one of my favorite stopping points through the years. It's hard to imagine that drastic a transformation in that wonderful trail.
--Best wishes,