Rain rain beautiful rain

Do you know that song by Ladysmith Black Mambazo? It’s been in my mind these last rainy days after such a long stretch of winter sun.  I love looking out and watching storms move over the bay.

Of course, the chickens don’t share my enthusiasm, and huddle in the roofed area around their house.

I wrote this poem almost three years ago, looking out over the bay after a long stretch of rain.


When Nietzsche said we no longer need God
because we have grammar, he was talking about

a morning like this one. The rain has finally paused
and patches of intermittent radiance play over the washed world, 

illuminating first the water, then the bridge,
then the towers of the city that gleam white for a moment

before a focused mist, like a celestial
garden hose, sprays a single patch of downtown

with a filmy, golden gauze. And to top it off, the light
glides over the Golden Gate and creates a rainbow

smack between the orange towers, opening
through clouds into a vault of lapidary blue.

And the brain hums and leaps, inserting pattern
and meaning into this display, because grammar itself,

every word we use demands it,
the way the twelve gunmen

need a story to justify their ambush
of the unlucky Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan,

the way that we are always inserting divine intent
into every exquisitely random raindrop.

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