Poetry

We live on a ridge overlooking the Willamette Valley to the south.  Winter storms curl off the Pacific and come up the valley to greet us, sometimes with horizontal rain.  You either learn to love or at least live with the rain here or you move…

What Is It About Rain?

What is it about rain?
Tears from heaven?
I don’t think so.
Go ahead—rain on my parade.
A reason not to live some place?
Please, let it be so
Let it keep the throngs away.
 
A soft patter most times
It renders the land here
A dozen shades of green
All winter long.
Out near the horizon it
Sloughs down below the
Clouds like blue smoke
And if we’re lucky leaves
A refractive wonder
In its wake.
 
Sometimes though, it comes in
On storm gusts from the south
Like a battering ram.
 
Right now it’s dripping off
The Douglas Firs and
Running off the roads and
Coursing through the culverts.
What doesn’t reach the Willamette
Seeps through clayish earth
And strata of rock 
To replenish the aquifer that
Feeds our wells and makes
Our existence here
Possible.
 
I grew up in a drier place
And when it rained
My Father would go out on the
Porch to watch and to breathe in
The smell that blooms up
When rain first tastes the earth.
My father standing there—
Wavy black hair, narrow hips
And broad shoulders—My Father,
Who came from an even drier place
In his youth and taught me
To love the rain as he had.
 
Warren C. Easley

November 2007

Revised Jan. 4, 2012