Spring Rain

Spring Rain


The smoke of our campfire lowers

And coagulates under

The redwoods, like low-lying

Clouds. Fine mist fills the air. Drips

Rattle down from all the leaves.

As the evening comes on

The treetops vanish in fog.

Two saw-whet owls utter their

Metallic sobbing cries high

Overhead. As it gets dark

The mist turns to rain. We are

All alone in the forest.

No one is near us for miles.

In the firelight mice scurry

Hunting crumbs. Trees toads cry like

Tiny owls. Deer snort in the

Underbrush. Their eyes are green

In the firelight like balls of

Foxfire. This morning I read

Mei Yao Chen’s poems, all afternoon

We walked along the stream through

Woods and meadows full of June

Flowers. We chased frogs in the

Pools and played with newts and young

Grass snakes. I picked a wild rose

for your hair. You brought

New flowers for me to name.

Now it is night and our fire

Is a red throat open in

The profound blackness, full of

The throb and hiss of the rain.


~ Kenneth Rexroth (1905-1982)

from In Defense of the Earth (1956)


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