May 15 Mary Oliver: Rain in Ohio

Okay, so this is the last post before I go on vacation. It’s the opposite of yesterday, this one is about rain.

I picked it because, we’re having a summer that can’t make up it’s mind; first it’s hot then cold and wet and we just have to deal with it. What do you do, it’s the weather.

The other day, the rain came down steadily, but wasn’t pouring, so I left the windows open. The sky darkened to night status at 2pm and the drops got big and round. The wind started splatting them against the windows and lightening struck, followed by a hollow rumble that didn’t shake much up. And still I kept the window open. Then there was a deluge as if the ocean was falling from the sky and some drops hardened into hail stones. The wind was wracking the inadequate window screen which flapped like a drape. A puddle had formed on my sill and carpet. I shut the window and got a towel and was quite disgruntled, especially since by the time I had the towel down and was stomping on it, the day was back to hot and sunny and clear, blue skies.

This is a cool, little poem. It tells a story that sounds like something out of Winnie the Pooh (except the animals seem more wild and less friendly). The descriptions are beautiful: skies nicking the trees with their hooves, snake crawling the vine with his long ladder muscles, thunderheads whirling up out of the white west. I can see it all very clearly. Here comes the rain alert, alert – bring  a towel and, for god sake, close the window!

Rain in Ohio

by Mary Oliver

The robin cries: rain!
The crow calls: plunder!

The blacksnake climbing
in the vine halts
his long ladder of muscle

While the thunderheads whirl up
out of the white west,

their dark hooves nicking
the tall trees as they come.

Rain, rain, rain! sings the robin
frantically, then flies for cover.

The crow hunches.
The blacksnake

pours himself swift and heavy
into the ground.


About penneloppe

I like to write horror, dark fantasy and crime fiction. Sometimes, I'll write science fiction, but usually I like to write science fact. I also write screenplays and stage plays. My day job is office work. I live in Seattle and I have a cat.
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