Saturday, June 19, 2021

A Prayer for the Last Rain

I go in the morning of the day to the high places
where the clouds build tower upon tower, and the light
comes up from the moving water to fill the sky;

I break the glazed bowl and scatter the offerings
as you told me to, remember? that July in the days before.
My fingers remember the grit and the hard edges

and the loom of the forgoing, the endless necessary
and useless refusal of pleasure, which amounts to nothing
and informs nothing; the shape of the leaves left by the wind

on the hilltop. Christ Jesus, walking in this bitter way,
gave us three instructions: the first two I have forgotten,
but the last was "do not break the bowl!" and if I wake in tears,

of a Saturday, it is just this memory: of all that I have broken,
and forgotten, and lost. If you make a bowl of your hands
and let it fill with light, how will you keep it? It spills

and the moving air takes it. That high-strung English boy
thought it was seed for the west wind, but it is only the splash
of a ruined vessel. All of the made things break;

all of the leaves crumble. The pouring rain smells of tannin,
the mud runs clean, and the gutters fill with yellow and orange and red.
Please let this rain never end. Let this one be the last.


Pascale Parinda said...

Such a beautiful elegy.

am said...

So much here in the imagery and embodiment of this prayer you've written.

The words lead me in so many directions, including:

"For where'er the (never-ending) sun does shine, And where'er the (never-ending) rain does fall, Babe can never hunger there, Nor poverty the mind appall" -- William Blake

James Lee Jobe said...