Out of the Waters of Elizabeth Bishop

Rain in Southern

California is not pleasing.

It's a circumstance,

an occasional happening,

a freak of nature.

The desert sky steams

grey mist as if some

enemy nation released

cylinders of poisoned gas.

Empty of people and cars--

London during the Blitz--.

the streets shimmy with shine.

Wet crows hover in trees,


the end is near,

the end is near

Outside my window

water chokes a cheap tin spout,

gurgles a dreary gush,

instead of the patter

I expect. Shouldn't rain

be beautiful? Shouldn't

my complexion plump

like hydro-cultured grapes?

Shouldn't my eyes dampen

with moisture of gratitude

for celestial gifts

of precipitation?

Perhaps iguana, saguaro and I

choose the sand, sun and wind,

choose the cracked and sturdy path

that destiny blazes for us,

because we have the skin for it.

About the author:

Beverly Jackson lives in Blue Lake, Ca. among the redwoods and alongside the Mad River. (Her reward for a lifetime of survival in New York City and Los Angeles.) Her poetry and non-fiction has appeared in many online and printed literary journals and her short story "In The Lion Zone" appeared in the March 2000 issue of Zoetrope's ALL-STORY EXTRA. She is currently working on a novel titled "Scratching Toward The Light." The first chapter, "Dora and Mack" was accepted as a short story to be published soon in BLUE MURDER.