Rains by Steven Hazo
Rainflakes spatter in ragtime
on red shingles.
the rhythm suggests a fool
on stilts who’s stilting nowhere,
stilt by stilt.
splatter’s the size of a saucer.
By noon the rain’s fog-faint
as spray from the skrim of a wave.
By night it strengthens into sluices
wallowing like wax on windshields
and smearing even as it’s wiped
or storm, it’s all a matter
of seas sun-siphoned to the clouds
and then returned aslant or straight
as plummets to the bullseye world.
Rainfalls-to-be resemble rage
or uncontrolled desire in the making:
lowering clouds gone gray,
and the quick crack of dazzle
down the sky.
of stippled open ocean
settle silently as loneliness.
But after the overture of buffalo
thunder and the slashing flash
of menace, there’s such a steadiness.
In time the sprinkling down
of cloud-high floodings fractioned
into drops may float an ark
or drown a new Atlantis.
quadrillions totally on target
and aligned, they stay proportionate
In all the languages
of rain they say there’s still
a place for order, even
in bluster, even in passion.
Dining with Montaigne
What’s welcome is your French disdain
Quotations from Solon,
Horace, Virgil and Plato,
Digressions on food,
ambition and father hood, assuredly…
But all in the spirit of conversation —
without an angle, so to speak.
When you call marriage a “discreet
and conscientious voluptuousness,”
I partially agree.
you explain that “valor” and “value”
are etymologically akin, I see
Your views on cruelty
recall Tertullian’s platitude
that men fear torture more than death.
Of honors you are tolerant, noting
that honors are most esteemed
when rare and quoting Martial
in support: “To him who thinks
none bad, whoever can seem good?”
If mere consistency identifies
small minds, you never were small.