Rainbows and Rain

It was a day of rainbows and rain
This morning, he is at peace for the first time
She has a future, though she does not know her present

The sudden call at six am
Driving through the drizzle
Holding back grief
Phone calls, conferences, cleaning, finding
Piecing her life together after so many years

On the drive back
Very bright rainbows
One after another
And then a double rainbow
Large and near

It was a day of rainbows and rain
We stop for a sandwich on the way
A right, a left, there they are
Water falling from above as we prepare to place earth onto his casket

Silence, prayers, words, deeds
We are to cover him
Two shovels, two lines of people
Dirt falling onto sanded pine, hollow echoes
Someone places one shovelful, another moves nine
Each at work, focused, a job to do, he is on their mind
The tree above me is soaked and can no longer protect us
Steam rises from the dark hot footpaths
No thunder or lightning

How do we remember him?
How can we remember him?
Did we really know him?
Could anyone?

Silence, prayers, words, a sense
Rain falling on asphalt, grass, tombstones, dirt
Each making their own sound as the droplets bounce

On the drive back
A full rainbow
All across the sky, left, above, right
We want to pass under it, but it recedes as we drive
Through it we see the green of the mountain
The blue of the sky
The white of the clouds
Illuminating the thoughts of these days
And the path ahead

Step by step

By step

Long Time

It has been a long time since my last post. I have been very busy during these first months of 2012. I did find time to write some poems for publication. No luck. I also wrote a couple of science fiction short stories. They remain somewhat unfinished. One is actually pretty close to the ‘final’ edit, though sometimes every edit feels like the final edit.

It is a rare day lately that I find myself with something to write. Late 2011 through early 2012 was an exceptional period for me, starting to write in my mid-50’s when my son showed me Reddit, writing short stories there, discovering Twitter, pounding out a dozen three-line poems a day several days a week, discovering WordPress, republishing short stories and tweets, finding pictures for possible poems, writing the poems, discovering Duotrope, creating poems and stories for publication, sending them out, waiting, collecting rejection slips, trying again, and then moving my focus on to other aspects of my life.

On Wednesday, my wife’s father passed on. He was a difficult man who was hard to love, yet many people did. My wife’s mother has dementia, and we are setting up arrangements for her.

Wednesday and Thursday were very intense days. On both days, driving home in the rain with my son, I saw rainbow after rainbow, larger, brighter, and closer than any others that I’ve ever seen in my life.

On Friday morning, I woke up with the phrase ‘Rainbows and Rain’ in my head, so I sat down to write a poem. After I wrote it and went through the usual ten drafts, I looked up the phrase on Google and found a book with that title published in 2005. It is about mourning and grief. I don’t know anything about the book, but it was interesting that someone else thought of the same connection.

This is not a poem that I want to send out to seven markets and wait 120 days for an answer, which in most cases (all so far for me) is ‘no’. This poem has me feeling closer to how I felt in 2011, when I sent out so many three line poems on Twitter and rapidly read the work of other poets, my poems taking on aspects of others, their poems sometimes taking angles of mine, and watching my best work re-tweeted to ever larger audiences. Experiencing the dynamic of poets creating, absorbing, and recreating, in fast real-time, was one of the high points of my life. Perhaps someday I’ll go back to that when the time is right, when life is simpler and I again hear the call.

Today, I need to talk. Sometimes, you just want to have someone listen for a while. Then it is their turn. But today, it is my turn.