There are days when nothing makes much sense. I pick up my phone, sit down to work, dialing, speaking, dialing, and feeling most of the time like a buzzing housefly, a swooping mosquito, a chattering chipmunk. I calmly ask all those creatures to wait in the wings and let me work. Sometime close to noon, I take a brief break, put a pillow behind my aching back, close my eyes, listen to the rain.
I have always found the sound of rain soothing and satisfying, comfortably green, but today it feels shredded and inconsistently grey. More work to do. I pick up the phone, dial, speak, listen, repeat. Mid-afternoon, drained by the drabness of the work, I put on my hat and go down to the bay. Earnest-the-wonder-dog and I walk in the rain.
We’re not singing, but humming old nursery rhymes, watching sea birds swoop and sway.
No Strings, One Clarinet, a Bass Drum, and a Piccolo
It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring.
He stumped his head, went to bed, slept too long,
and all went wrong. Now he can’t get up at all.
He’s way too tall, his feet are stuck between the ribs
of his bed, his hands limp flour sacks, his skin
stretched loose like an old grey goose, his eyes
bunched tight, a barbed wire fence, slack jawed
against his nose, a balloon about to pop,
and he can’t hear a thing. When he looks,
the room’s on fire, his life a lie, and death
is make-believe, everything in-between
spun sugar or worse -- treacle made
to look like butter cream. What to do
but shrug and hum: It’s raining,
it’s pouring, the old man
is snoring. He’s jumped
to red, forgot the dead
and anything else is