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It’s raining.

For the first time in forever, it rains. Nothing dramatic: a rather gentle, grey, whispering thing. Most Septemberish – the sort that begs for poetry…

And because I had this very, very hazy memory of blind drops crawling on roofs – with no earthly idea of what it could be from, I made good use of the power of the Net, and discovered Elizabeth Bishop’s Song for the Rainy Season.

Hidden, oh hidden
in the high fog
the house we live in,
beneath the magnetic rock,
rain-, rainbow-ridden,
where blood-black
bromelias, lichens,
owls, and the lint
of the waterfalls cling,
familiar, unbidden.

In a dim age
of water
the brook sings loud
from a rib cage
of giant fern; vapor
climbs up the thick growth
effortlessly, turns back,
holding them both,
house and rock,
in a private cloud.

At night, on the roof,
blind drops crawl
and the ordinary brown
owl gives us proof
he can count:
five times–always five–
he stamps and takes off
after the fat frogs that,
shrilling for love,
clamber and mount.

House, open house
to the white dew
and the milk-white sunrise
kind to the eyes,
to membership
of silver fish, mouse,
big moths; with a wall
for the mildew’s
ignorant map;

darkened and tarnished
by the warm touch
of the warm breath,
maculate, cherished;
rejoice! For a later
era will differ.
(O difference that kills
or intimidates, much
of all our small shadowy
life!) Without water

the great rock will stare
unmagnetized, bare,
no longer wearing
rainbows or rain,
the forgiving air
and the high fog gone;
the owls will move on
and the several
waterfalls shrivel
in the steady sun.

There. I really don’t remember who quoted this to me, and where, and when. I’m not even sure they were quoting Bishop: the rest of the poem is entirely new to me, and to be honest I’d never even heard about Bishop until ten minutes ago.

Ah well. A rainy morning, a handful of half-remembered words, the Net – and here we go, with a new poet to discover, and owls, and rainbows, and lovelorn frogs – and I don’t know about you, but I especially love the brook under the fern ribcage. There must be a name for this particular sort of serendipity – or there should be.

If we really can’t have more Summer, let’s at least have poetry…

And meanwhile, it rains.