I am writing this a week early, as I am now officially caught up to all those posts I banked early in the summer, thinking I was such a smarty pants. Today, (August 20) it is raining, steady and lovely, the rhythm soothing, the grass looking cartoon- emerald green. This is a nice change from the violent storms we have experienced in the Midwest for most of the summer, and it reminds me how much I like the rain.
Rain can be tricky for poets. It certainly creates a mood, but it also creates a temptation for some over-used cliches – the sky is crying, tears raining down someone’s face…you get the idea. Writing about rain can be playful (Langston Hughes’s “Let the rain kiss you”), meditative (“Spring rain/leaking through the roof/dripping from the wasps’ nest” – Basho), funny (Richard Brautigan’s “It’s Raining in Love”), or melancholy (“Strange how hard it rains now/Rows and rows of big dark clouds/When I’m holding on underneath this shroud/Rain” – Patti Griffin).
The Beatles said, “Rain/I don’t mind.” Do you? Take some time to consider the rain in a new way today and write about it. Here is a poem that is not about rain, but features it. (I wrote this little poem based on a Facebook post by poet extraordinaire Rachel Bunting about nectarines.)
Juice rains over my wrists, between
my fingers, an orgy of sweet, slick
summer, each bite a kiss, tiny planet
bursting with syrup and light.
My forearms shine, a midwife birthing
the first perfect day of the season
after weeks of storms and call-the-elderly
heat, cradling this one flawless fruit,
small bundle of promise-
inside its peel, the world.