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 breaksomething 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
I will leave the trinket for another to find.
I sidestep the omen. Ignore
Having learned nothing from Sophocles as I put one foot in front of
"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
The wifeI have assumed they are married, long marriednods 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
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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