April 27th, 2006



I have rain on the brain.

This is not an unusual state of affairs in southern Sweden, where it rains a LOT. The Pacific Northwest ain't got nothing on us. The saying, "April showers bring May flowers" was actually invented in Sweden, but the original goes more like this: "January, February, March, April, May and sometimes June showers..." It rains an average of 164 days a year in Sweden. More in the south, I'm pretty sure. My fingertips are permanently raisined and we won't even talk about my hair. So without further ado, I present 3 excellent poems about rain.

What I Did on a Rainy Day
by May Swenson

Breathed the fog from the valley
Inhaled its ether fumes
With whittling eyes peeled the hills
to their own blue and bone
Swallowed piercing pellets of rain
caught cloudsful in one colorless cup
Exhaling stung the earth with sunlight
struck leaf and bristle to green fire
Turned tree trunks to gleaming pillars
and twigs to golden nails
With one breath taken into the coils
of my blood and given again when vibrant
I showed who's god around here


by Diana Der Hovanessian

Rain undoes the stone
unfastens grass.
Nothing is permanently
attached to bone.
Neither epoxy
nor promises last.

But I keep those inflections
you telephoned to wear
with your frown on rainy days.
There is another you
I have invented from your name
and cemented to my bones forever.

Let rain say nothing stays.


by Ron Padgett

Of rain
hit the buildings
but we in our apartments
are kept dry by the buildings they're in

The rain is rolling off the buildings
and bouncing off
and the roofs keep the rain from
getting us wet

the ceiling is not letting any water in

it goes spat spat spat
on the windowledge
trying to get in

the windowpane is streaked with rain
trying to come in

to go everywhere

to make everything wet

I am lying in my bed
head near the window

aware of all this
thinking How Great

We Win