Jan 18, 2011

It's Raining Poetry


Rain and Tuesday can be a downer combination, but today it's okay. It's the kind of rainy Tuesday that forgives a top up of cream half way through your hot chocolate and indulging in poetry half way through your to-dos. I thought of this Seamus Heaney poem (about a musical stick native to the American Southwest) this morning as I was taking my wellies for a walk. It was nice to distract myself by listening to the rain, instead of feeling it ...

The Rain Stick
Up-end the stick and what happens next
Is a music that you never would have known
To listen for. In a cactus stalk

Downpour, sluice-rush, spillage and backwash
Come flowing through. You stand there like a pipe
Being played by water, you shake it again lightly

And diminuendo runs through all its scales
Like a gutter stopping trickling. And now here comes
A sprinkle of drops out of the freshened leaves,

Then subtle little wets off grass and daisies;
The glitter-drizzle, almost-breaths of air.
Up-end the stick again. What happens next

Is undiminished for having happened once,
Twice, ten, and thousand times before.
Who cares if all the music that transpires

Is the fall of grit or dry seeds through a cactus?
You are like a rich man entering heaven
Through the ear of a raindrop. Listen now again.

~ Seamus Heaney

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