Poetry Friday: Monsoon season and Mary Oliver

Poetry Friday is hosted by Jama @ Jama’s Alphabet Soup
Thursday was a rainy day here in New Jersey. Not the usual pitter-patter kind of rainy day, but a monsoony rainy day – thunder, lightning, and torrential downpours.  Rain like this reminds me of growing up in India, when the monsoon season would suddenly break above the skies of Bombay and then remain for weeks and weeks.  Thunder rumbled above us as we began every day, and the rain would come down in sheets. Roofs, windows, the entire house, echoed with the sound of rain for days on end.  Streets would fill up with water, turning into impassable rivers, and scenes such as this were altogether common:

Monsoon season drove the grownups around me mad, but I loved it. I loved the music of rainfall and the way the skies changed their shades of grey: soft and soothing at times, ferocious and terrifying at others.  And I loved to dance in the rain:
Girl Enjoying Rainy season India
Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me 
by Mary Oliver
Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying,
what joy
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again
in a new way
on the earth!
That’s what it said
as it dropped,
smelling of iron,
and vanished
like a dream of the ocean
into the branches
and the grass below.
Then it was over.
The sky cleared.
I was standing
under a tree.
The tree was a tree
with happy leaves,
and I was myself,
and there were stars in the sky
that were also themselves
at the moment
at which moment
my right hand
was holding my left hand
which was holding the tree
which was filled with stars
and the soft rain –
imagine! imagine!
the long and wondrous journeys
still to be ours.

14 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Monsoon season and Mary Oliver

  1. I am not unfamiliar with monsoon rains having grown up in the Philippines. Yes, I understand about those sights being run-of-the-mill so to speak. 🙂 I can not resist Mary Oliver. beautiful beautiful poetry."at which momentmy right handwas holding my left handwhich was holding the treewhich was filled with starsand the soft rain –imagine! imagine!"What a gift.

  2. Mary Oliver is my favorite! I have saved this poem to use as a model in summer writing camp. So beautiful and simple. The huge rain hit here and flooded a flower bed which flooded our dining room. Towels worked, but my husband has a big weekend project to look forward to. Drainage.

  3. I grew up in a very arid place. We danced in the rain whenever we could because it was such a rare occasion. And when there was enough rain for a river to run in the gutters in the streets, we had the only rivers I ever knew as a child: temporary ones!

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