Posted by: gdevi | July 14, 2010

Summer Rain

After the abominable heat the last many days, finally the rain is here. Steam rising off the earth; everything is cooling down. Beautiful!  It is the monsoons in India as well.  So it is all good.  Perfect weather for reading. Here is a beautiful rain poem by Mary Oliver:

Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me

Last night

the rain

spoke to me

slowly, saying,

what joy

to come falling

out of the brisk cloud,

to be happy again

in a new way

on the earth!

That’s what it said

as it dropped,

smelling of iron,

and vanished

like a dream of the ocean

into the branches

and the grass below.

Then it was over.

The sky cleared.

I was standing

under a tree.

The tree was a tree

with happy leaves,

and I was myself,

and there were stars in the sky

that were also themselves

at the moment

at which moment

my right hand

was holding my left hand

which was holding the tree

which was filled with stars

and the soft rain–

imagine! imagine!

the long and wondrous journeys

still to be ours.     (Mary Oliver)

There are many, but here is one of my favorite rain songs. And another one.

I listened to Coltrane a lot this morning and it strikes me that Mary Oliver saw things the way Coltrane did. Here is another beautiful poem by Oliver:

Little Summer Poem Touching the Subject of Faith

Every summer

I listen and look

under the sun’s brass and even

into the moonlight, but I can’t hear

anything, I can’t see anything —

not the pale roots digging down, nor the green stalks muscling up,

nor the leaves

deepening their damp pleats,

nor the tassels making,

nor the shucks, nor the cobs.

And still,

every day,

the leafy fields

grow taller and thicker —

green gowns lofting up in the night,

showered with silk.

And so, every summer,

I fail as a witness, seeing nothing —

I am deaf too

to the tick of the leaves,

the tapping of downwardness from the banyan feet —

all of it


beyond any seeable proof, or hearable hum.

And, therefore, let the immeasurable come.

Let the unknowable touch the buckle of my spine.

Let the wind turn in the trees,

and the mystery hidden in the dirt

swing through the air.

How could I look at anything in this world

and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart?

What should I fear?

One morning

in the leafy green ocean

the honeycomb of the corn’s beautiful body

is sure to be there.


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