There I was again
writing urgently about the rain
There I was again writing urgently about the rain as if it would ever stop or change somehow into something ordinary like brushing ones teeth or filtering the cat litter through a slotted scoop. Truth is, if you walk outside and water falls from the sky that's pretty amazing. Or a breeze filled with petals from the cherry tree on Eagle Run, or once what sounded like hail turned out to be thousands of green caterpillars dropping from the sky onto the fibreglass porch cover. One long weekend in May a few years back it was ash that fell, covered everything and pretty much ruined the summer. I read about a man in Alaska driving along at night when a moose fell from the sky onto the road in front of his car. Well it's not really falling though is it. More like an elemental joining of things above with the things already below. Even light wants to be here It clings to the raindrops looking for weight. And if you walk outside while water falls from the sky and someone kisses you that can be both amazing and elemental and probably the cells of a thousand poems will slough off and fall to this extraordinary earth.
One of the more daunting challenges faced by poets is the idea that anything we write has already been written uncountable times. So why write yet another poem about rain? Or the moon. Or bones, barns, magnolias, geese?
I asked chatGPT to guess how many poems have been written about rain. It didn’t want to reply but when I pressed the bot replied:
Taking an educated guess, considering the vast history of poetry, the numerous languages and cultures, and the ubiquity of rain as a topic, there could easily be hundreds of thousands to millions of poems about rain.
“There I was again” was first published in Dunes Review, Vol 13, Issue 1. Summer 2008. Ten years later, I entered it into a poetry contest with the Royal City Literary Arts Society and it won first prize.