Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rainy Season

In my younger years -- before work made all weekdays equal regardless of compelling weather, before motherhood made lazy days the stuff of dreams -- I used to read (and sometimes write) poems when it rained. Sure, a rainy day is also good for playing Wii (or watching Sleeping Beauty) but I still love turning to verse when the sky turns gray...

Song For The Rainy Season

Hidden, oh hidden
in the high fog
the house we live in,
beneath the magnetic rock,
rain-, rainbow-ridden,
where blood-black
bromelias, lichens,
owls, and the lint
of the waterfalls cling,
familiar, unbidden.

In a dim age
of water
the brook sings loud
from a rib cage
of giant fern; vapor
climbs up the thick growth
effortlessly, turns back,
holding them both,
house and rock,
in a private cloud.

At night, on the roof,
blind drops crawl
and the ordinary brown
owl gives us proof
he can count:
five times--always five--
he stamps and takes off
after the fat frogs that,
shrilling for love,
clamber and mount.

House, open house
to the white dew
and the milk-white sunrise
kind to the eyes,
to membership
of silver fish, mouse,
bookworms,
big moths; with a wall
for the mildew's
ignorant map;

darkened and tarnished
by the warm touch
of the warm breath,
maculate, cherished;
rejoice! For a later
era will differ.
(O difference that kills
or intimidates, much
of all our small shadowy
life!) Without water

the great rock will stare
unmagnetized, bare,
no longer wearing
rainbows or rain,
the forgiving air
and the high fog gone;
the owls will move on
and the several
waterfalls shrivel
in the steady sun.


--Elizabeth Bishop

8 comments:

LSaeta said...

I don't mind rainy days ... except when they come without any power in our house! It was a long seven and a half hours ... take out dinner and homework by candlelight ... but we survived.

Judy Williams said...

How wonderful! That poem is one I've not read.

The slight diagonal of the curb and the natural framing of the cottage house by the dark y'ed trees is GREAT.

The front that has inundated you is heading east and will sweep across Texas, as well as a cold front from the north, so we will get rain and VERY COLD temperatures.

I found this cool jazz guy playing a terrific rendition of the classic Here Comes That Rainy Day on youtube. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did. :)

Gunn said...

You have MANY talents.

Dixie Jane said...

I love the rainy day poem, Laurie and the Here's That Rainy Day music, Judy.

I remember my poetry-writing girls, the submissions on Mothers' Day and birthdays and the vestiges left around the house for me to discover. I miss that.

The poetry thread runs through the family as I recall your grandmother writing poetry also. A nice way to fill a rainy day.

Yakpate said...

I feel cold just LOOKING at this lovely b&w... makes me want to enter that snug house and curl up in front of the fireplace (SURELY there's a chimney hiding behind the tree branches) with a snifter of brandy and a book of poems.

LA: did you know there's a new release of ee cummings erotic poetry?

altadenahiker said...

I love so many of your pictures. This is one.

Mike said...

You have outdone yourself with the last few pictures, Laurie. The dialogue with your daughter about the rain was brilliant as well. This is such a fantastic blog.

Laurie said...

Thank you, everyone.

Leslie, homework by candlelight sounds like the title of a poem!

Yak, I had not heard about a new cummings collection. I'll have to go googling right now.

Love the link, Jude.

Until tomorrow...