Today's poem is by Eric Pankey

The Narration of Rain

Rain blows through the pines. Rain rattles water oak leaves. Rain on
            the stone chime.
Rain quick in rivulets and gullies. Rain on the river's broad back.
            Rain amid rain.
Rain fretting the rusty clay. Rain at a slant. Rain every which way but
Rain overflows the gutters. Rain marbles the picture window. Rain's
            slips, stumbles, sluices.
Rain in the corn crib. Rain in the trough. Rain blows through the


The crow carries a bauble in its break—something dully reflective—
And drops it onto the path of leaf mulch ahead, caws once, and
            lumbers up and low
Over the gauze of gnats, where wild blackberry overruns the unused
            train tracks.
I will leave the trinket for another to find.
                                                            I sidestep the omen. Ignore
            the oracle.
Having learned nothing from Sophocles as I put one foot in front of
            the other.


"Assyrians," the husband said, "are the first to use images to narrate."
(I eavesdrop in museums, a bad habit, I know, but one I prefer not to
            set aside.)
The wife—I have assumed they are married, long married—nods yes.
"In archaic art," he says, "human faces are a blank.
                                                            Emotion is given
            to the hunted animals."
She furrows her brow and nods yes. Dubious. Holding back some


I have never heard the nightingale, nor beheld the manzanitas;
I know nothing of the gods; their tedium, their melancholy, their
            blood's leaden sludge.
But I have made a narration of rain as it blows through the pines, as
            it slips, stumbles, and sluices;
The rain as a scattered body; the rain as shape-shifter; the rain as
The rain on the face of the hunter and on the sorrowful face of the

Copyright © 2005 Eric Pankey All rights reserved
from Reliquaries
Ausable Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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