Tuesday, August 7, 2012
When I started this current series of prose poems I planned 30 of them, including the title of each, and I've now posted 25 so far. But even though I already had many written before I started posting, I've only been writing them at a pace of one per week, while I've been posting them at a pace of two. So, temporarily, I've now caught up with myself and need to take a prose poem break until I crank out a few more. Considering the searing drought we're still suffering here in "the Heart of America," what better kind of break could I provide than these two older poems, each evoking blessedly rainy days from the past.
THE DARK, HEAVY CLOUDS
When the dark, heavy clouds roiled low
and then the slant wall of rain struck,
my heart went out of me into the world.
Neither here nor there, this nor that,
I became anything thirstily drinking,
became a landscape receiving it all.
My heart went out of me into the world
when the dark, heavy clouds roiled low
and then the slant wall of rain struck--
went out of me, but did not return;
although, one night, as I waited alone,
an owl hooted from the nearby trees...
Can a poet still chant with delight about the rain?
Or is that cornball, cliche? After months of drought
thick grey clouds crowd in, loom lower, darkening,
until the first cold drop suddenly stings my face.
Then another, and another, plucking at dusty leaves,
splotching the sidewalk, trickling down windowpanes,
smacking a squirrel square on the nose, nudging worms
where they quiver like squirmy fingers underground.
Can a poet still be a mouth of the Earth, drinking?
Or is that old hat, passe? Yet my tongue's a root,
my hair drenched grass, my heart a glistening boulder,
my thighs tangled with the thirsty bones of the dead.
Rain has Intention, and Voice. My ear becomes night,
listening. Who can state absolutes, rigidity, limits?
I'm simplified to this elemental choice--grow, or die.
I'm a planet and its weather, a seedbed and a storm.