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Thursday, March 30, 2006

RAIN, THE WEST INDIES by William Joyce



The sun and the sky and the clouds
grow weary
with quarreling and two miles away
over the scolding of the parrot,
the coo of the dove
drop a theatrical pronouncement
full of grave threats,
zinc and lead overtures,
a curtain so formal
I listen for trumpets
instead of wet drumbeats.

The mountain is the natural
receiver of rain.
If it didn't receive rain
it would boil a heady brew
to serve its foster children,
the sensible valleys
and incestuous cities
below.

But it gets rain
and more —
a clatter of stirrups
as the leaves mount
their branches and ride
out the nailheads
drumming their stacatto
on the raised arms
of the banana trees,
the palms of the coconuts
wavering like skirts
and flirting
in the most tempestuous weather.

And halfway between the clouds
and the river
the papaya trees remain
stoic with their preposterous load
of green genitals.
A volley of claps
on the roof;
the river shoots
its funnel of applause
for a drunken courtesan
lowering her veil
over the crotch
of two mountains
and all the arid humps
dreaming of a second virginity.

I delight in the rain
as I would comic theatre:
the landscape fluted and gorging,
the animate peeping out,
waiting to dart to a guaranteed
covering while the footing grows
precipitous. For a moment
I'll peel off my clothes,
stand wary as a clown
experimenting with a new costume —
rain down my face,
rain racing rivulets
into my three crops
of hair, rain
beading like pellucid money
so soft I dream
in the rain
while everything civilized
wavers and groans
under the weight of rain,
rain.

Posted by jebratt :: Thursday, March 30, 2006 :: 0 comments

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