Friday, February 5, 2010

What The Rain Can Do

Some people don’t’ take me very seriously. I can’t help that. As an adolescent, I nearly died of it though. I was an emotional cripple, unable to grow up, desperate. I knew something was way wrong and had no idea even what question to ask. I went through changes that cost me but saved my life. Part of that process involved no longer caring that some people would sooner pick on me than bother to get to know me. I am just too strange for some. Adult society is far more civil than adolescence though, at least it is if you stay out of bars and jails, stay away from 1% bikers and related users of violence. That too has helped. I spent too long in the pressure of illness and ostracism though. I am convinced it is a message of destiny, formative for a reason, revealing a personal truth. I take these kinds of things seriously and my childhood and adolescence is first among such equals. I was isolated by illness in certain critical parts of my childhood and ostracized by some in high school, especially in the first two years. When I took up drugs it was with great relief, nothing short of salvation. The drugs saved my life in very real ways. That was also the cost.

I love the rain, still. I never complain that there is too much of it, even though I am in the temperate rains of the Pacific Northwest. I especially love the storms that approach hurricane force. Once in East Pakistan the monsoon pattern brought in a storm of sufficient force that a tornado touched down on the other side of Dhaka (then it was Dacca). This storm put joy in my heart even while it broke the young papaya tree in our back yard in half. Just before that storm broke, the clear sky overhead had turned chartreuse colored. I have never seen anything like that since. It lifted the hairs on my back and neck.

For years after I returned to the States in my twenties and early thirties I would say of myself that I would sit on the roof sipping brandy watching the monsoon storms pass nearby. I never actually did that, but I still love the image today. I also said I did the same watching the revolution. There was one. We left East Pakistan not long before the successful break with West Pak. that made East Pakistan Bangladesh. That bit of roof sitting never happened either, but what a satisfactory image this is.

What The Rain Can Do

I live so lightly
on the planet that stepping
into dreams is just
what I do. I breathe
and go somewhere else where rain
turns into mirrors
reflecting the truth,
calling me out of myself.
I become a mage.

March 29, 2009 12:20 PM


  1. This is beautiful. Your poetry transports the reader to your alternate world. I like!

  2. Loved this poetry, especially the beginning.

  3. Hello Karen, Vinisha. Thanks for your comments.

  4. Oh wow. I love this one. Magical :)

  5. Michelle, welcome back. I honor your Mum's passing. I cherish your sore heart.

  6. This is such a beautiful poem. As is often the case, I don't follow its path or emergence well through the story you placed above it. I see them as two very separate gifts.

  7. Thank you Rachel. When I wrote the post I wasn't actually trying to tie the prose to the poem in a direct narrative line, only to carry along some of the elements into each other. My love of the rain leads to the way it can be a rich image for me. World travel allows me to conceive of very far away with visceral certainty, for I have been far away. That this world has often been hostile to me allows me to prefer another world and make it real. Thus when I write such a poem, I come from my personal truth hard won. I shape shift not only myself but the world.

    Thus the intertie in this post is structural rather than in the narratives.

  8. I really like this poem ... it gives off an almost ethereal feel and yet holds an underlying, undefined somber tone ... perfect!

  9. Fenny, thank you. Very nice to have you among the people who write something as they pass. I see by Feedjit that so many more actually stop by, however briefly. I wonder sometimes who they are.

  10. Oh hell...Michelle, you say you see me...I guess I better start wearing better clothes when I am at the computer, then. :)


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