Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Because it's April and the water is trickling

Bob Hass won the Pulitzer recently. Here's an old one that E. read at my wedding and that I memorized a while back when I couldn't sleep:

Spring Rain

Now the rain is falling, freshly, in the intervals between sunlight,

a Pacific squall started no one knows where drawn east as the drifts of 
warm air make a channel; 

it moves its own way, like water or the mind, 

and spills this rain passing over. The Sierras will catch it as last snow 
flurries before winter, observed only by the wakened marmots at ten
thousand feet,

and we will come across it again as larkspur and penstemon sprouting
along a creek above Sonora Pass next August,

where the snowmelt will have trickled into Dead Man's Creek and the 
creek spilled into the Stanislaus and the Stanislaus into the San Joaquin and the San Joaquin into the slow salt marshes of the bay.

That's not the end of it: the gray jays of the mountains eat larkspur seeds, which cannot propagate otherwise. 

To simulate the process, you have to soak the gathered seeds all night in the acids of coffee

and then score them gently with a very sharp knife before you plant them in the garden.

You might use what was left of the coffee we drank in Lisa's kitchen visiting.

There were orange poppies on the table in a clear glass vase, stained
near the bottom to the color of sunrise;

the unstated theme was the blessedness of gathering and the blessing of  dispersal---

it made you glad for beauty like that, casual and intense, lasting as long
as the poppies last.

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