Home > Poetry > Poetry – Country Rain

Poetry – Country Rain

I wrote the following piece after thinking back to childhood memories of thunderstorms.  I slide between the vernacular of my extended family’s Appalachian roots and my current northern city condition.

rain-puddle

Country Rain

Juxtaposed prognostications -
urbanites talking about
’chances of precipitation’
while those esteemed as rural,
lifted hands to heaven
remarking, ’callin for rain’.

Things is different
for them country folk.
Them there’s the people
who don’t fret getting
their hair wet of a downpour.
’What!, you made outta suga, boy?’

I was just knee-high
to a wheat field grasshopper
when my aunt went off awalkin
through the rain of an evening
carrying narry an umbrella.
’Where ya off to, Liza?’

’Clearing out the cobwebs.’

Sometime later, I reflected,
draped over the porch’s banister,
about that statement.
It was a summer day
that blew in a thunderstorm.

I had sat there watching it come.
It marched purposely across the fields
and then halted just yards away
as if bashful in its desire of me.

A wall of water stretched to touch heaven
and then dug its toes into earth
transforming the space between
into a vertical river.

I wanted to ride that river
and know the feeling
of cobwebs releasing.
I stepped through its curtain,
closed my eyes, and joined its current.

Country rain has a permanent smell.
It encodes its DNA along the double helix
of whatever it is that composes the true heart -
not the beating organ but that inner spark
that animates humanity to greatness.

You know its there when
the draw of a deep breath
tickles a memory of lost, one-lane roads
and the escape of that breath
carries a dark soil perfume
laced with the humus of autumns past.

It plays upon your ears
till the sound of rain
looks like green
and tastes like Eden reborn.

A man marked in this way
will hear the first drops of rain
before the clouds release them.
When the wind blows just right,
he will stand still with outstretched arms
face lifted and eyes closed
inviting their touch again -
the touch of a million lovers
tracing the quick years on his face.

And in staccato voice, they’ll sing,
’We remember you…
we’ve danced along your webs before.’

He’ll remember the steps
and new webs will be danced away,
to be carried on the current
of a country rain.

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Categories: Poetry Tags: , , , , ,
  1. June 24, 2009 at 11:14 pm | #1

    I am quieted. What a marvelous poem. And as an uprooted country girl who tries to survive every day in a semi-urban life, this struck deep.

    I’ll link to you in our Friday Random Acts of Poetry at http://highcallingblogs.com This is too good to be missed.

    • June 25, 2009 at 5:24 am | #2

      L.L.,

      I appreciate your kind words about this piece. I struggle with how to respond when someone has something nice to say about my attempts at poetry.

  2. June 26, 2009 at 4:22 am | #3

    poetry is such a great outlet for me.
    i love the trend of non-rhyming poetry. it’s very free, and almost conversational.

    then again, it takes a GREAT amount of skill to convey the same freedom within a rhyming scheme.

    nice job here.

    • June 26, 2009 at 12:53 pm | #4

      thank you, JR.. and yes, it takes someone with lots of talent to make a rhyming poem feel free to do so.

      I have read very few that I care to read through the whole thing because it is so hard.

      I do have a piece that I wrote that rhymes.. but I did it kind of tongue in cheek. I will post it sometime soon. Its called Scab Crack on my Knee. Now I know you are intrigued :)

  3. June 26, 2009 at 6:02 am | #7

    Tony – as a very part time poet myself may i say …

    that’s a very nice job he drew through you there :-)

    impressive!

    and speaks volumes of truth.

    Those summer storms are something to feel alive in – providing the lightening is not in your immediate vicinity! ;-)

    <B

  4. June 26, 2009 at 12:55 pm | #8

    thanks <B! I will have to check out your poetry… do you post it on your site?

  5. deb
    June 26, 2009 at 3:38 pm | #10

    for whatever it’s worth, I feel I will think of these words the next time it rains and I am drawn to stay outside. Marked by this now too.

    • June 30, 2009 at 2:42 pm | #11

      Thank You Deb!

      Those are very kind words about my attempts to put my life into some form of ‘art’.

  6. July 3, 2009 at 10:53 am | #12

    Tony I am awed and silenced at what I have found here. This is raw and real. You are gifted.

    I have recently exchanged city life in sunny South Africa for a quieter country life in Ireland. Mountains fill my view and streams gurgle hellos each morning. Your poem will replay in my mind when the Atlantic clouds come billowing in with their gentle rain.

    Claire

  1. June 26, 2009 at 12:01 pm | #1

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