Tag Archives: rain



Dog days, a wearisome unfallen rain
hangs in the air, a glum unfallen rain.

The slow buzz of fat bees is caught
in flower throats, can’t thrum unfallen rain.

Clouds hoard spoils they’ve taken from the seas,
refuse all pleas to overcome unfallen rain.

Oppression snuffs out every breath—no argument
remains against this deaf and dumb unfallen rain.

Don’t move, this too shall pass, we say,
for all the fallen have known some unfallen rain.

A heavy, angry god of thunder booms,
collecting in his kettledrum unfallen rain.

And you, Cynthia, would break this hold of grief?
As if mere words could summon falling rain!

Lately I have been attempting poems in the Arabic form known as the ghazal (pronounced “ghuzzle”). I have avoided it in the past because, like haiku, it has been widely misunderstood by a popular rush to adapt it to English, and fallen far from the mark in both letter and spirit. But I’ve been reading the poet Agha Shahid Ali (1949-2001) who clearly explains the requirements and promulgates good examples of the ghazal in English. He’s convinced me of the possible power of the form, classically rendered, in the English language, and I am enjoying working with it as much as—though quite differently from— the sonnet.



Now is a perplexing
season in between
the custom quartering of the year—
no bloom, no grow,
no reap, no sow—
the water of the world
collects itself to overflowing
and becomes the atmosphere.

Another drippy morning dawns,
we mutter “not again…”
the paperboy who thumps
his sodden news against the door
looks mad as a wet hen.

The gift of tears has come
to Tefnut, weeping, on her knees.
Damp wads of facial tissue fall
before sad movie after sad
played on our DVD’s.

It’s February fill-dyke, be it
black or white, the farmers say.

Time for the heavens to let loose
the sins they’ve taken in.  Time
to cry for nothing, night or day.



I forget the song, the one for the rain,
and now is a week of wet space.
Hey nonny tell me how it goes again:

the lift in the wing, the spring-tickled brain,
the chuckle through holes in the lace—
I forget those songs, and the one for the rain.

Nose pressed against the cold glass pane,
I have lost christmas, the child’s window face.
Hey nonny tell me how it goes again:

what wind will spin the leaden weather vane,
how can a nothing be erased—
I forget the song, the one for the rain,

the word of magic that will name,
will put a blankness in its place.
Hey nonny tell me how it goes again:

to softly sit and wait for grace.
This I wish, the gift not to complain.  But
I forget the song, the one for the rain.
Hey nonny tell me how it goes, again.