(For Lila Shahani, Who Finds Hope in the Rain)
sung at the top of our voices,
croaking like frogs hopping
from the rice paddies. Rain! Rain!
for our scrawny bodies carousing,
running through the monsoon
downpour like scampering chicken.
is not the same rain where we got
lost like cascading lilies rushing
through boulders at the field’s edge.
like surly gardeners cutting off twigs
from blackened trees and bushes
to prepare for a long, dreary winter.
leaves reel in a wild wind dance
pitching them off to unseen crannies
to rot in the rain like all things must.
gone in the fall of discarded days,
we scarcely remember rain dances
where we were naked, free, and happy.
But we still have our little deserts despite that.
Mayans, Aztecs, and all the prayers they have got.
they halloo in the rain, bathing naked in the rain.
I’m happy in the rain, just happy in the rain…”
Oh, to feel that downpour on my face again!
Monsoon scares even the farmers and fishermen.
“Rain, Rain, go away, come again another day.”
rains from Indonesia to China. Now Australia.
Poor chap over there has a dour face. He gazes
looks back at stunted buds on his rotting trellises.
father who needed the money to send a kid to school.
gathers no moss,” my roused errant friend snapped.
I grabbed its scruff and mumbled: Shut up, Stick!
*These Poems were prompted by a post written by Lila Shahani, Assistant Secretary (for Communications), in the Philippine Government.