The Poets

June 12, 2010

On the Rains of June 11th & 12th, 2010

He Reigns

Like cascades pure in silver stream
The rain is falling like a dream-
It glistens through the street light’s glow,
And blissful flows in single seam.

And here I stand a soul below
Enjoying what may soon be snow-
A watcher of these marvels, see,
A spectator of nature’s show.

I do adore this lifted sea
Whose plenum gray move placidly
Across the sky where rains are poured,
And nebulous hangs over me.

Thank you for their tender chord
And for the peace that it restored-
For all this mist and lovely gleam,
It testifies of you, O Lord.

These cascades pure in silver stream
Are pure arcana- not a dream …


Of the Poem (Catalysis and Parameters)


I stood there under an old carport last night- it was raining and I was utterly mystified by the sparkling amber hues it produced through the streetlight above me. It was past midnight, but an urge to resist sleep and watch rain lead me outside.

I remembered what William Wordsworth once wrote:

Earth hath not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty

It was beautiful, peaceful. The loamy smell that permeated everything earlier in the day was now vaguely tangible- but a deep sense of serenity lingered on in the air, and all I could think about was my daughter and God, and how thankful- wretched as I am- of every wonderful thing I’ve been given.

I reluctantly tore myself away from the bliss of it all-I had to sleep. But once inside and finding my way to the couch, I cracked the window open to hear it rain, turned on the laptop, and began to compose.

Poetic Parameters:

Stanza: four quatrains and a closing couplet
Meter: tetrameter (e.g. four metric feet, or eight syllables per line)
Rhyme Scheme: aaba bbcb ccac aa (using the closing couplet as an oblique refrain for lines 1 and 2)


The poem’s overall structure was inspired by Robert Frost's poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (a poem whose style was in turn modeled on an even older form known as a Rubaiyat stanza).

I found an incredible similarity of events between Frost’s poem and my experience of the rain last night- a deep desire to behold nature in her beauty, and a reluctance to leave it. The structure of his poem therefore influenced that of mine.

Hope you enjoy it.


Nancy said...

I LOVE this John!!! I love the words of esteem (like a dream, blissful, marvel, adore). I love the feelings you highlight and which this piece evokes (enjoy, placidly, tender, peace, serenity, thankfulness). And knowing your enamorment with rain, I so much enjoy the blessing of friendship it brings to me. But most of all I love the testimony to the Lord. He indeed REIGNS!

Kendra Lise said...

This flows beautifully, John. I read it aloud to my cousin (she's a poet as well) and got goosebumps at the sound of the words coming together. Thank you.

GypsyMoth said...

Beautifully written! I have a question for you... I have a lot of poetry of my own that I'd love to share (years worth of work), but I'm concerned that someone might steal my work (I'm new to blogging but not writing). What are your thoughts on that? I'd appreciate any help. Your blog is an inspiring place to visit the past and the present through the world of poetry. Thank you. PS: Have you ever been to ~You are given one word (a new word each day) and 60 seconds to write a poem or whatever you're inspired to write in that timeframe. Simple yet fun. I do this almost daily and really look forward to it just for fun.

John W. May said...

Nancy, Kendra … you ladies are way too kind. But seriously, although we had a wet weekend, don’t you think the rain was gorgeous? Rain is by far- without qualification- my number one favorite expression of weather … cold, sleeting, mild, pouring, sunny, it doesn’t matter: I love all its forms!


Very pleased to meet you, GypsyMoth. I’m so very happy you visit this site. To call it ‘inspiring’ is an incredible compliment! Thank you for making my day. It means a lot!

Inasmuch as your own works are concerned, my advice- first and foremost- would be to have them copywritten… this way your works will always be protected and attributed to you. My second piece of advice- or rather request- would be to share your works with the world. This may seem like sentimentalism, but the raw truth of it is that the world needs to experience more beauty, more creativity. Photography, painting, music, sculpting, writing, poetry … these things- and I can’t express this enough- these things directly contribute to a better and beautiful world, and better and beautiful humanity. In a very real sense, GypsyMoth, the world needs the beauty of your expression.

You’re an incredibly fascinating writer. And God as my witness, when I read your post (Doors and Windows) I was immediately pulled into your perspective. You write like Thoreau, gorgeously. I’d love to read more- especially your poetry.

Life loves art. And whether you heard it or not, Life is calling you.

As of April 9th, 2010