Hour Twelve: Awake

Yellow rose petals were brought down to the deck by heavy rain. And the bronze tubed chimes sung me awake in last night’s winds. The unwanted volunteer vine, unwanted by our neighbors, bursting along our shared fences makes me smile in its tenaciousness. I wonder where the two squirrels go as rain pours down? Lime green leaves trail over the edge. I walk under the long armed tree bowing with the weight of days of moisture, and the wind jokes as it shakes raindrops onto my shoulders. My toes leave prints on the kitchen floor from puddled rain. It is cool, finally.

Hour Eleven: Omen

when the virus eased, spring rains came

masks exchanged for gumboots
to splash about with abandon

sourdough for clouds
billowing upward, no longer inside ovens

needles completed their appointment

and my favorite color, periwinkle
bloomed in gardens
on canvases
and sometimes in the sky
I don’t know why

an omen of happiness, I suppose

Hour Ten: Spackle

One may think the color of water blue
ocean blue

but not rain

my drops are crystal
lucent

window spackle

magnifying
tiny bits
life you overlook

I remind you
notice small
tarry
there is much to receive

Hour Nine: Skrzaty

She stepped from the room where she lost her mind.

Surely, the Skrzaty will find it, they will.

Close the door tight.

She stood in the rain.
With a knock,
she beckoned.

(‘The Skrzaty are there, you just can’t see them,’
her mother’s reminder, her Polish superstition.)

“Play, play, and put away!” 

With thunder in her ears,
lightening at her back
and once more for good measure,

“Play, play, and put away!”

Will the Skrzaty listen?

Hour Eight: Shonny

if you slap a puddle
it splashes you
and out of the house Shonny scurried away
to find a splash, a sploosh,
a burlesque to perform
in defiance of the world
sleeping in stupor
missing the rain

Hour Seven: Donuts

Mel got off at two am, normally.
Louie called in sick.
And the rain wouldn’t stop.
In normal times, rain met with approval.

Now Mel had to wait, with the rain.
No donut and coffee on the way home,
first morning donuts, no better gastronomy,
normally.

And here he stood,
keyring sliding through his fingers,
around and around,
flashlight in hand,
a normal round to make,
now in the rain.
Should have been Louie.

In normal times, rain kissed
a blessing to all,
but now, for days,
it didn’t stop,
just more, no more
please,
not normal.

Mel’s shoes squished with rain,
after three days this was now the norm.
But it should have been Louie.

Mel would miss that first batch of donuts.

Door knobs wet and slippery, but locked.
Lights out. No movement, except
for the glitter of the drips and drops under
the halogen lights strung up on poles
illuminating the sky. 

Mel could never see the stars.

Mel would have to wait for the sub who would grub
and moan just like always, normal,
a guy who couldn’t keep regular time,
only sub time once in a while and let Mel
pay the price, as if it was Mel
who planned it. 

Pulling up chair
under the awning
dodging the drips
Mel waited for the sub
and thought about
donuts and coffee.

Hour Six: Rain and Lace

When full moon courses behind rain clouds there is light enough even though there is rain buckets poured over Emile hair jacket pants drooping a long line down their body it felt delicious they could see didn’t need a flashlight artificial intelligence guiding Emile’s eyes to only what it wants Emile to see no umbrella either no barrier to the barrage just Emile and rain no steps heard over the blathering no need for them to light step this night afraid to wake others be seen alone with millions of gallons of water pouring over them alone and yet one candle lit behind lace curtain dutiful eyes seeing through lace through downpour alone within their codes of safety rain and lace coupling.

Hour Five: Chattels

He didn’t visit in the rain.

Nev lingered,
even in the downing pour, 

cashew temptation, payment, exchange for goods,
in one hand.

The capsule placed so rightly
in her other
ready for reward, 

but he wouldn’t come,
not in the rain, 

even if it was just before dawn,
their favorite time.

Layers of trinkets, months of meetings, friendship and trust,
rain filling gaps inside the bottle
a place chattels couldn’t fill, ease its emptiness, make whole,

except for rain and devotion.

Hour Four: Absolution

“What manner of land is this into which I have come?
It hath not water,
it hath no air,
it is deep, unfathomable,
it is black as the blackest night,
and men wander helpless there in.” 

Charlie’s right foot tingled
from stillness in the blackest night
listening to rain make itself known,
an uncommon visitor, welcomed, unavailable.

Stagnant air pushed aside
he stood to breathe,
shake his foot,
feel again, not tingle
but heartbeat. 

He was sorry,
hurried home from unfathomable action,
and wandered,
wonders why he walks as he does,
limping not from injury, at least not physical,
but in deep blackness.

In the pitch of helplessness,
hand resting on the pane
separated from rain,
rain that cleanses, rain that refreshes, rain that gives hope,
curling fingers, pulling back, the manner of bone breaking glass.

Charlie’s watery absolution.

 

…….

 

Quote from The Book of the Dead, in Pitch Balck, The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair

Hour Three: After the Rain

Hilly opened the window after the rain. She lifted her cup and the liquored scent rose to greet her. Remembering.

When the rains came she was waiting. Lines formed in the earth, then split making room for whatever sky would offer. Blades of grass mellowed and folded themselves to the ground, hard to hold straight…after the rain. 

She lifted her cup and the liquored scent rose to greet her. Remembering.

It was easy to drink deeply in the small hours. Rain-freshed air subdued by Turkish brew rounding through her system eased her worry. Too much or too little. Both a worry after the rain. She lifted her cup and the liquored scent rose to greet her.

Remembering.

Hilly waited for birdsong. Her beacon, a relay that all would be well, a new beginning once more. It wasn’t necessary to remember the storm. Birds flicker on. Dry earth closes its satiated mouth. Grass greens, stands encore reaching for sun…

…after the rain…after the cup…never remembering…

Hilly opened the window.