Tag Archives: rain

February still life


February still life

Rain. Which coastal town was I dreaming
last night we’d moved to where the rain

comes with a bookmark of the ocean
and the snow apologizes when it alights on dunes

with the sound of regret? The color of change
on change. Wrapping my head around how one

impermanence devours another
is like leaning on a dune fence:

its weakness is what makes it impossible
To climb or cross. Its effect is staying

In place in a place where no lines hold.
The horizon balances no books. Flat pasts

slide away, pages of undertow. Words too
late to change the page fall as I’m reading it. Rain.

The wind let me live


The wind let me live

The wind let me live
By not arriving. The ten thousand

wheels of the highway had stopped
And we sat on its back, still

As food in cans. And the dark
Grew quiet as we killed

Our engines to save fuel.
Mere hours away

The sirens set
Apart each moment in its stillness:

Duration’s blue and red lights.
They bounced off the neighbors’ houses

And into the distance, arriving
At some place where there was

No distance, and the aftermath
Of that. Then the windless rain

Like a chorus that is the song
Of the end of shape. Where will

I be when the one drop of rain
That is my life, descending with the rest,

Bursts against the earth, no longer
The same but exactly the same,

As many molecules as the stars
in a gathering puddle whose surface

riddled by wind reflects the sole
Of a child’s new sneakers

Before a Spring Storm

Before a Spring Storm

Who am I in the porch’s silence
Before the storm? A song

Of any more sense
Than mindless wind chimes?

They say merely ‘something is happening’
Good or bad it is the same thing

Until something drowns them out
Knocks them down or finishes

Happening their silence means
Not that nothing is happening

Because nothing cannot happen
Nothing is not phenomenal any

Wind chime could tell you but rather
That whatever may be

Happening is not moving them
Nevertheless they have enough

To say right now as cloud shadows
Chase light back into the sun

And knowing nothing really goes
Backwards I’m listening for the storm

To sing a song that chases
Rain faster forward into flower

Distant Lightning [from The Artificial Horizon, 2013]

Distant Lightning

Thunderheads cover the western sky
As I drive down the mountain.
The lightning shoots out, four or five bolts
At a time, some cascading to earth,
Others quilting clouds together
Into a single silent storm.
For here there’s no sound.
Only as I drive into town does a soft
Rain begin to fall.
As if someone were fighting their inner demons
And projecting it to the sky for everyone to see,
Even though it was happening only in a hallway
Of a small house somewhere.
And from that struggle comes that softest
Rainfall which does no damage
And from which lilies will bloom anew,
And peonies, and dandelions and a thousand
Things unnoticed in the grass.
And now through a window of open sky
The smallest hint of sunset on one cloud’s edge,
And the calming cool breeze that tucks
The entire town in is the result
Of that struggle, won or lost
And hidden somewhere behind
A single blind.

Ohio Rain

Ohio Rain

Sometimes in the same way Ohio rain meanders
below Akron and Canton casually beyond Caldwell and

into West Virginia stopping in Charleston for a change
of luck and then on slowly eastward and along sharp ridges

to this Valley becoming a fine mist on my shoulder as
only a memory catching its breath can before moving

on with the ease of a spoken sentence between strangers
about the weather, one on vacation, one on the way

to work but with a moment to spare in the passing mist
for the soft vowels of hello, so before the clearing wind

I feel what moves me also moves along this way, resting
when it reaches me like a mist on my shoulder,

like the lightest part of a vast weather that decides to stay
until evaporation pulls me up too and a new entirety moves on

To Be Read While Walking in the Rain

To Be Read While Walking in the Rain

All grief to the ground must go
and joy, and birds, and every step

taken forward or back is the right
and wise step, and leaves and light

from the center of the moon between
us, and our lives which are air upon

air must settle in a single eventuality, and
from the ground swells always

up through my shoes this love
yearning for the sky’s response

On the Source of the River

On the Source of the River

On the mountain rain falls, snow melts.

The source of the river is the sky.
So it is that the source of love is not within reach

But flows over me and carves my every direction.
The source of the river is the spring. So it is

That I can never go back to the source of love
but it spends itself constantly on my behalf;

So it is that the very earth is between us
but the very earth gives a way to us in the shape

of a river. The source of the river is a bog.
Like energy, love has no direction. It can be hidden

as potential until the porous ground can hold
no more and it breaks into acceleration

embanked by our lives, carrying us beyond
ourselves towards a wider body evaporating into the sky

from Spring Songs (1)

from Spring Songs (1)


Spring storms roam across the valley.
On the maple, leaves appear like gypsy tents.

Wind off the mountainside ruffles the green edges:
inside one of the leaves sits a woman at a fortune telling table

laying the lone card of summer face-down.

To the one missing her father inexplicably on a warm day after an ice storm

To the one missing her father inexplicably on a warm day after an ice storm

Mid-morning snow after a night of sleet.
Ice is melting off the roofs, descending

faster than flakes can fall, but they go
only their own speed, unconcerned

with making up the distance