Rain after Drought

Waking to a diapason in the downpipe
I peer through curtained panes to a curtained sky
Something extraordinary, half-recalled, is happening –
Water falling spontaneously out of the air
Without the aid of bucket, hose, or sprinkler…
Machinery of the mind creaks, jerks, retrieves
Out of archival dust a phrase – ‘It’s raining.’

The garden hoses gleam like water-snakes
With wetness not their own. Leaves shine. Plants purr
Arching their backs under the rain’s caress
And breathe in deep. Earth sighs. Snails, drunk with joy,
Turn catherine-wheels; and – proof the thing’s no dream –
The unmended patch of guttering pours its flood
Exuberant as in past remembered years.

A glance at the chart dispels all mystery.
This ridge of High, advancing, rode too high,
Tripped on the Southern Slopes, there met this Low,
In consequence, cleared off in deep depression,
Whence, from a scientific point of view,
Precipitation became inevitable.

But I, still subject to simplistic impulse,
Can only mutter, ‘Thank God for the rain,’
Reverting to a phrase which Russian peasants
And primitive peoples use, personifying
A being who in their minds had invented
A system for recycling planet earth
And was, in an early form, the first ecologist.

Richard’s choice

Poems of Nature