Go away thou wicked, fierce, searing sun!
Why giveth us thy hot heat, thy too burning heat?
Why driest our earth till all’s a dusty mist?
Why obscureth the sky till thyself it dost delete?
Thou has given to men red, fiery rimmed eyes!
Hast cursed his skin to tinge, to redden and wither!
Hast given him a body pained, wracked with fever.
Why must thou interminably, fiendishly, linger thither?
You have always been the tropic jungles friend.
You brought forth its myriad, teaming, stinging life.
You raised lizards and snakes in face of man.
Dost thou intend death to them? It’s death or life!
There is no steam there now, miraging forth;
But death does linger over all, clinging there!
Do we hear you boisterously laugh and roll with mirth?
Flaunt thy heat before us, but relent! It’s not fair.
All the fields about us carry the stench of death
As far as the eye seeth, a monument of thy waste.
Hark! Does there fare forth a wind with breath?
Yea! Above the mountains are mists! Give us a taste!
Oh Rain, why linger there? Comest thou hither?
Clouds delete thee, rain praises thee, oh mountain!
The jungle, the fields, men’s senses are aquiver.
Dost thou, oh Rain, intend for us a blessed fountain?
Day by day thou hast crept the mountains crest.
Water filled clouds there have swirled and roiled.
Rain! Comest this time to our thirsty breast?
Come this time to a land to scorched and boiled!
A hundred yesterdays have found thou devoid of mercy.
Thou comest to the mountain raineth there and retreat.
Flirting with us, mocking us till we curse thee.
Must we again taste this waterless, dried defeat?
Must we taunt thee more ere ye fail?
What? Can it be thy vanguard left the mountains?
Is this a blessed conquering of yonder wall?
It spatters; no drenches! Water! Life’s fountain
It falls in steady downpour, pounding me.
It’s heralds have thundered forth in their glory.
The dry countryside voraciously downeth thee!
We live again. Thank God, he heard our story.
Rain, why dost thou not now be gone? Cease!
We have water, but it carries away our land.
Thou didst bring us once, a blessed surcease.
Take thyself hence ere we drown. Wind, do fare!
We hath not enough before. Now, too much.
Canst thou not refresh with a daily shower?
Must thou always starve us? Do not such!
Come often, but take no more each day than an hour!
It’s been quite a while since rain has blessed us. The earth leaves its habitat to blow in our faces. Our eyes are bloodshot and dust cakes upon us.
The first five verses are a taunt to the sun. The mountains west of us seem to have a shower every day. The rain comes that far and retreats. The second four verses describe this. The last three verses are inspired by the old human quality of calling force rain, but just as much as we need. No more, no less. The old human failing of wanting and getting, and yet being dissatisfied with results. Always, it’s too much or too little. Wish it would rain a little nevertheless. Seems if it does, someone will scream about the amount of it.
Written August 10, 1944