Tuesday, May 8, 2012

OpenLinkNight: like trying to fight the rain

adorns a doorway, downtown Lynchburg, VA

we draw pictures,
connect wet dots on windows 
no numbers to follow,
trail our own imagination with fingers

rain drop worlds constellate
until heavy they run down the glass pane
join puddles, stretch for the gutter, gush
river toward storm drains

carry bits of yesterday's newspaper,
a crushed beer can, the body
of a small animal that tempted fate, a tree
limb lost, leaves, silt. a child 

in galoshes & slicker kneels the curb
                   pop~pop~pop,
rain pelts the plastic, chubby pink fingers extending
to release a folded paper boat, it floats
down the road
   down the road
     down the road---

he squeals in joy, gives chase, unable
to clomp clumsy feet fast enough to catch it
b4 the waterfall---a father
carries him back up the street,
the set of his shoulders as he holds his son
is one i know all too well,

the first bullet he did not stop
     the first loss~you try to explain
as more already head their way

pop~pop~pop

It is OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets - Hedgewitch is running the show - and bringing about 160 other poets, maybe more...maybe you...so go write something and come on...what are you waiting for? well, maybe it to open...which it does at 3 pm.

117 comments:

Heaven said...

I like the sounds of the rain, the sadness of lost limbs and fate, the father holding his son on his shoulders. There are some rain you just can't stop from pouring ~

the walking man said...

Yes life is a series of shots taken in one form or another the key I think is in having better aim than the rain.

kaykuala said...

It's such fun to see the droplets turn to rivulets gushing down to the storm drains. More fun for chasing the paper boats. Reminds one of playing in the rain and Daddy with watchful eyes nearby. Thanks for the memories,Brian!

Hank

Chantel said...

I love the flow and inevitability of this. Rain makes my bones ache, but I paint often when it rains. Something about the smell...the world wet and quiet.

I remember stumbling through explanations with my boys...now I just hug them. Words can be useless things at times.

"rain drop worlds constellate..." Beautiful.

Mary said...

So many beautiful wordings in this poem. Brian. I love 'rain drop worlds constellate.....' The father-son happenings at the end of the poem stir my soul!

ayala said...

Beautiful and sweet.... We try to shelter them from the storms but it's not always possible... Love this:)

Ravenblack said...

I like rain and I think you've captured the way rain interacts with objects -- on the window, the way it puddles and joins, and flows carrying stuff away, all the sounds. Chasing after a paper boat -- there's a feeling nostalgia I got reading that. Like this a lot. :)

Daniel said...

The last part, beginning with "The first bullet ..." I don't think I understood. It felt like a dark cloud interrupting a reverie. Also, how does the photo tie in with this piece? These questions arise because I am likely missing something this morning.

SueAnn Lommler said...

Love the "sounds" and what the rain conjures up. Gentle...moving...wet...playfulness....tragedy. Nice journey to the waterfall.
Hugs
SueAnn

Heather said...

b4 the waterfall...of more of what is to come...
i love
rain drops worlds constellate...there is sadness here

CiCi said...

So many of us play in the rain, totally unaware of the horrible things going on next to us. It is a joy to watch a father playing with his son, spending time with him. It hurts me to see dads beside their precious children and talking on the phone, not connecting with their children. So when a dad is present and caring and in the moment I applaud him.

^.^ said...

I hope this is not what I think it is ... the pop pop makes me uneasy ... tell me it's not so,B ...

Myrna R. said...

You paint such a serene and wholesome picture in the rain. And then you pop the unexpected. I guess the hardest job of parenting is protecting our children from those pops, wherever they come from and whatever they are.

Pat Hatt said...

Having fun in the rain
Is fun if it is warm at your lane
If it is cold
Not such gold
But spending time
Surely isn't a crime
As many don't do it
Other than a little bit
And what goes on in other places
Rarely enters our mind as we go through the paces.

Brian Miller said...

its a bit of melancholy daniel...seeing the boy upset over teh loss of his boat as it disappeared into the storm drain...and feeling for the dad consoling the son...and knowing it will not be the last time...

Six Feet Under Blog said...

I love the sounds of rain as long as it's not a bad storm.It inspires me to create.

Steve E said...

Do not remember my first 'loss', but Pop probably does. And he knew (though he was sightless) that he would not be there to salvage my hurt, pride, loss whatever.

I knew that with my children also...but knowledge does NOT make it easier.

These lines--from that genius mind of yours--gave me a backward glance at myself at the old farmhouse window, during a stormy afternoon:

"...rain drop worlds constellate
until heavy they run down the glass pane..."

THANKS, Friend!

mrs mediocrity said...

ah, the hardest part of being a parent. also, perhaps, the most important.

this is beautiful, melancholy, poignant... a new favorite in a long list of favorites.

Gloria said...

I feel melancholy in this Brian, but really ncie!

Natasha Head said...

Heavy on my heart today as it eats your poetry. The image of father walking away with child in arms, the pop, pop, pop...takes my imagination down into the darker sewers where rain water festers...could be the mood of the day, but my guess is its these words which you have left to allow us to interpret in so many ways. Heart still heavy, Poet...see you soon!

oceangirl said...

Lovely poem, very you.

missing moments said...

Not always possible to protect! Great words Brian!

Tara Miller said...

A Father's shoulders are a wonderful place for children to be. Also their arms and heart....kids need their dads and need to know and feel their love. A little bit of sadness in this one but beautiful still. I know your shoulders arms and heart feel much love! :)

Mama Zen said...

Oh, I know that (miserable) feeling!

I really like that break between child and galoshes. Jarring and very cool.

chromapoesy.com said...

You drew me through the poem with the water and brought tears with the father knowing there's only so much pain he can prevent or mitigate.

Chris said...

Love the language here, and the flow of the poem; the beginning sets a melancholy mood--then comes an uplifting moment, the happiness of the child (I imagine his galoshes and slicker in bright, priimary colours)--then, oh no! down goes the boat, and the father comes running, to late to stop the sadness, but he is there to hold his son and offer comfort, so all is not lost. Great write.

poemblaze said...

Great poem. I especially love trailing fingers through the raindrops on the window.

Beachanny said...

Felt like that movie "don't look now" where the child drowns and the father grieved, kept chasing the vision of the child in a slicker and the "vision" turned out to be a killer.
There is that same duality here - playing in the rain, pop, pop, pop - dad can't save you when it's raining bullets. A good protest poem about gun proliferation. Well writ, sir.

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

There is a great sense of love and inevitability in this piece--Lovely--

zongrik said...

a) what if we connected dots, but there were no numbers?

b) weird you have raindrops there. there's a new haiku site tackle tuesday and today the prompt is raindrops, and i'm in the middle of getting my post ready. i even did some raindrop artwork on illustrator. so, now, "raindrops are falling in my head" (hey i'm gonna turn that into a haiku)

c) pop~pop -> do you watch community?

Anthony Desmond said...

ah man great expression of life's sometimes stormy weather... def like trying to fight thee ole raindrops

Deus Ex Machina said...

It's a very feely thing. It's construct has a beat all its own. A window into the window of a storm, of a child, of a father, of human connection. The popping. The floating. The wonderful clumsy feet. The set of his shoulders. The popping in another kind. Sometimes, no one can explain.

Abhra Pal said...

Beautiful poetry, Brian.

colleen said...

I like rain drops "constellate" and the images of window pane paintings we have all made. The ending caught me off guard. It could almost say plop, plop instead of pop pop. By the way, this is the third wet poem I've read today!

Teresa said...

Beautiful descriptions~very vivid. What a contrast between nature and innocence and the reality of life.

Cindee Snider Re said...

Oh, Brian, you took my breath away... again. Your words, the way you weave them, simple everyday images packed with the deepest human emotions, and a twist I never saw coming, maybe because I stand at that place with my firstborn right now, knowing that set of the shoulders, remembering back to the days of first loss, the first bullet I couldn't stop, and fast-forwarding to where we are today. Brilliant...again!

Gerry Snape said...

do you think maybe Mary felt like this? the innocence of the child and the thoughts of where that child may end up! wonderful poem...great words...great concept... another I'll read again and again. Thankyou

Gwen Dubeau said...

Strong poem and emotion behind it, really felt it as I hear real raindrops spatter my windows today..great write and images Brian! Smiles.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Great moment captured here. Loved the description of your son, and the animal what tempted fate. A great write.

Arron Shilling said...

rain pelts the plastic, chubby pink fingers extending

love this brian - a real slice of life and mind... a splash of creative stem - tender is the word...calm and cool

nice work bro :D

poemsofhateandhope.com said...

Pop pop pop goes the rain, pop pop pop go the bullets- a real picture you painted- real life for sure- the rain soaked backdrop, the father carrying his son....for me - this had a sadness to it .... Something about the bullets flying their way...maybe life flying their way- the father will know it and want to protect his innocent children from it

1emeraldcity said...

Using the rain and raindrops here to underscore a life lesson is a brilliant coup, Brian, and your use of language, just as brilliant and clever. We can't always protect the ones we love from the dampeninging, the bullets, the dissappointments in life, tho, we'd like to. Like this piece alot!

PoppySilverUK said...

This makes life seem grounded and real, a passionately told piece! Wrenching as it is beauftiful :)

EKSwitaj said...

Oh, I used to love playing on wet windows like that, but here you've made it sinister.

Edward said...

somewhere between this post's serial rhythm and despair you dare us to reach through loss with love...beautiful...

Uneven Stephen said...

You express so much in this short little stanza:

"carry bits of yesterday's newspaper,
a crushed beer can, the body
of a small animal that tempted fate, a tree
limb lost, leaves, silt. a child"

I love the sounds of the rain popping, and that paper boat makes me think of "It". Cool poem.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I could practically hear the giggling little guy, but it was overtaken by the sadness at the end.

Shawna said...

I love the stormy mystical feel in the opening. These are my favorites:

"connect wet dots on windows"

"rain drop worlds constellate"

"limb lost, leaves, silt. a child"

"pop~pop~pop,
rain pelts the plastic"

Your closing, Brian. Oh my, this is so powerful that it took my breath for a few seconds:

"the first bullet he did not stop
the first loss~you try to explain
as more already head their way"

I read this as if his older son was killed (he could not stop the bullet) so he holds the second tighter, even more desperate to protect him from a dangerous world. The way he holds his shoulders shows the sadness, the loss, the fear.

Yousei Hime said...

Just wanted to say HI and join the crowd of commenters. You've already read mine, so smile and enjoy you're evening.

marilyncavicchiaeditorpoet said...

Very tactile in your description of the raindrops. Nicely done!

S.E.Ingraham said...

Your almost light-hearted poem has many contrasts in it and brought to mind a much darker one, "After the First Death There is No Other" - for some reason ... parent's greatest fear, you have limned here ... subtly but it's there ... well done

http://leapinelephants.blogspot.ca/2012/05/no-more-than-bird-with-piercing-voice.html

De said...

LoveloveLOVE this:
"connect wet dots on windows
no numbers to follow,
trail our own imagination with fingers"
Excellent.

C Rose said...

Your words snapshot each unique portion of the moment that as a whole picture they envelope me...wonderful write Brian! ~ Rose

hedgewitch said...

Some frightening images as well as comforting ones in this, of everything moving too fast, even pleasure, even(especially) childhood. Life is indeed a river in the street. Good stuff, my friend.

Unknown Mami said...

I don't like that sound.

Magpie said...

It's such an important lesson to teach our children how to deal with loss and disappointment...I know you're handling the task.

Kweschn said...

Your poems never fail me. :) Awesome work!

Ginny Brannan said...

Powerfu twist at the end, Brian. We all want to protect our children, don't we?

Sheila said...

How lucky he is to have an adult to console him as so many do not. You are a master of observation. Liking all the local pics too.

She Writes Here Now said...

All writers are prone to trail their won imaginations with their fingers :). LOVED that line, Brian!

Becky Sain said...

Great poem.
The image of the rain drops pop pop popping.
The father holding his son.
Wonderful.

Alice Audrey said...

You do the kid thing so well.

Myrna R. said...

I am trying to fight the rain right now. Hail, thunder and lightening!

Anyway, just wanted to thank you for fixing my link. Didn't know there was anything wrong. Glad you noticed.

Hope the sun is shinning for you, if not in the sky, in your spirit.

wood said...

as always, your poems are well worded and fine tuned. a gentle scene and a surprise ending (was there a drive-by?) i'll have to read this one again. as always my friend, a pleasure to read

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

you are amazing Sir Brian... one thing that I was not able to enjoy here in Canada - Rain... back home, we will sit outside while the rain pours and having our beer... hehehe...

JJRod'z

Dawn said...

So much imagery in this piece combined with a powerful mix of emotions. Having two young boys myself, I can't help but adore the father-son connections. Love it.

theborgpoet said...

Visual. All I could see was slow motion of a father holding a son, city street and getting shot...good write.

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

You certainly have a knack of showing the world as it is through your work. and sometimes you, as the reading, don't realize it until after your done. that you may or know someone who"s experience much of what you've written.
http://leah-jamielynn.typepad.com

Marbles in My Pocket said...

The set of the shoulders drives this one. All the emotion wrapped in the visual impact of that line.
I enjoyed it, Brian!

Beth Winter said...

:) Hi Brian. How's the weather? haha... Excellent offering tonight. Yours is my last for this evening and you capped the night wonderfully. Keep smiling

Patricia said...

Hi Brian =)
Breathtaking movement from connecting the dots to the waterfall... so beautiful.
Preparing the child for the path, not clearing the path for the child... so many lessons to learn for us as parents.

manicddaily said...

Lovely image of father/child/carrying. A bit ominous too though--I kept thinking of gun shot too - those caught in the cross-fire. Don't think you meant that, but it's always there too, as a possibility. k>

Charles Elliott/Beautyseer said...

Nice to be out in the rain again in heavy raingear. Well painted. Haven't even owned any raingear in years and my son never knew what a paper boat was, but I identified with the feeling in this one.

Reminded me of my own terror when a small child ran in front of my car when my own son was small. I stopped without hitting him, but was shaken afterward by the profound thought that that child was doubtless someone else's son, and how devastated they would be if the incident had turned out badly.

Susie Clevenger said...

trail our own imagination with fingers...beautiful line. Life can be beautiful and brutal...We wish to be our children's shelter, but we are not always able to be their umbrella.

henry clemmons said...

One of my favorites of yours, unless I am just possessing more clarity tonight :), I followed right with you the entire way. Excellent descriptions. I was working a piece on rain before I tabled it for lack of focus. Glad I did, urs rocked. Superb!!

adan said...

this is very heavy brian, very powerful

those cross-over lines,

"limb lost, leaves, silt. a child

in galoshes..."

i thought at first ha i got fooled by the line transfer/continuation, i use those a lot, really like them

but no, it was it was real, yes, very powerful indeed

i hope you don't know the set of that father's shoulders beyond associated fears and losses...

nice job brian, thank you

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"we draw pictures,
connect wet dots on windows
no numbers to follow,
trail our own imagination with fingers..."


Hi! Brian...
Your [beautiful] poetic words are very thought-provoking today.
Love ones sometimes think that they can protect their families always, but your [very poetic, very descriptive] words today...just let us [the readers] know...not always!
Tks, for sharing the explanation and image too!
deedee :-/

Laurie Kolp said...

rain drop worlds constellate
until heavy they run down the glass pane
join puddles, stretch for the gutter, gush
river toward storm drains

I especially like that stanza, Brian. It rained here today and while I was waiting for my daughter to finish dance, a little girl in a cute ballerina outfit and shoes just had to jump in each puddle. Her mother never saw b/c she was walking ahead of her. It made me smile.

This whole poem, though, is one of my favorites of yours.

pandamoniumcat said...

So many things connect us...like raindrops on the window. Such a sweet poem, with vivid images...yeah we all have to learn about loss...

Charles Miller said...

The parallel between the dropping of the rain and the pop pop of the bullets is very eery, though it only dawned on me atvthe end. The innocence meeting reality is patterned into a sense of wholeness and vision that seems hard to accept, though there's a harsh sense of suffering that underlies this as well. Thesevare all strong emotions that your poem arouses and evokes, and that they might not find an easy resolution, they are real.

rallentanda said...

A poem about the lovely innocence of a child protected on his Dad's shoulders...knowing that this is just a fleeting episode in a life and that the 'pops' will come where the child will grow and have to shoulder himself. Beautiful imagery of floating imagined boats of puddles in the rain. I like.

Claudia said...

i much like the reflective mood, the images, the drawing pictures on windows, connecting wet dots, can feel this on my fingertips and makes me sad for the things we lose along the way - but then the father who carries gives some comfort again - and think the risk of losing shouldn't stop us from releasing those paper boats - just about to fold one or two...smiles

Annmarie Pipa said...

I love to see my husband protecting our kids...yet there is always more and more that they need protecting from!

Sharp Little Pencil said...

Brian, the gargoyle (inert but threatening) was the perfect choice of image. Also, the whole thing was bliss until... and you're right. Trying to stop gun violence is like "trying to stop the rain." The rain, for me, on second read, became spatters and then trails of blood. The rain is bloodshed. Broke my heart, you did, a strong poem. Peace, Amy

Aidz Giannini said...

Connect the dots (yup) and the underlying rythme to this piece so subtly woven into the thread

wayside word garden said...

The imagery with the rain falling in the first few stanzas is beautiful. I love how the twist at the end changes the mood. It's a poignant moment, knowing it's the first of many losses. This is a wonderful piece, very much enjoyed it.

Rachel Hoyt said...

The popping made me uneasy, but I hope they can handle a bit of rain spoiling their day. :)

sharonlee said...

Earthy and rich in homely thoughts... I like this... the rain is an added bonus!
Peace

Dave King said...

I like this very much indeed. It is a world in a few drops of rain, a world that brings humanity into play. (Pun intended.)

dulce ♥ said...

Amazing, wet and yet...!
It's this love for our little ones that I really like from you as a reminder...

Thanks for always being there my dear Brian

Smiles :-)))-)

Vodka Mom said...

oh Mr. Sun. Sun, Mr. Golden Sun.......please shine down on me...



I just felt like singing. (pardon me.)

Valerie said...

From happy days to bitter ones, I felt them all as I read this, Brian.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Wonderful imagery Brian - from the joy of childhood to the reality of adulthood...

Anna :o]

kez said...

Beautiful ....though more rain we could do without ! everything we experience in childhood is preparing them for adulthood we can't protect them from everything ! thanks so much for sharing this delightful moment in such a fabulous way x

irene said...

You've painted a riveting father's tale set in the rain.

Anonymous said...

So much to shelter them from, impossible. I remember too. Lovely narrative here that carries us along on in the flow of the water.

Anonymous said...

sorry to be anonymous, but blogger wouldn't accept my wordpress credentials. mm (Celebrating a Yesr)

adeeyoyo said...

Lovely, seeing a father so occupied in the NOW with his son... I didn't like the popping noise - creepy, like drive-by shooting... Excellent descriptions of the water puddling, Brian.

Lady Nyo said...

Brian, poignant and beautiful, but my gut twisted with that ending.

Bullets. Children. an urban telling.

It's good to see a parent play, especially a man, with their children in the rain....

Mostly, we see parents on their damn cell phones, ignoring their wandering children, and then yelling their heads off at them when they run into the street.

Good and relevant poem.

Lady Nyo

Stephanie said...

Amazing how rain can sound like so much to so many!

Kelly said...

Masterful use of imagery and sounds. You've captured parental feelings and experiences in a way that makes this feel universal and timeless.

Daydreamertoo said...

I have no idea how I missed this last night, maybe you didn't post til late. I love the rain and never tire of reading other people's posts about it or writing about it myself.
Loved all the images in this, even the true ones about the poor small animals that fall in and drown. The child with the paper boat and splashing through the puddles trying to catch it again.
A really lovely write Brian.

Olivia said...

yes... true!

Loved how a story unfolded giving out an intense fact...

hugs xo

Chris Lawrence said...

Rain so great you can smell the ozone

Victoria said...

Yesterday, the drops of water on the shower glass captivated me. I was wanting a way to write about them. You did it for me. Sad, beautiful and sensory-packed.

James Rainsford said...

Perceptive and almost infinitely painful. Some amazingly arresting imagery. Loved it Brian.

Linda said...

Wonderfully written and full of stirring visuals.

Fred Rutherford said...

Awesome piece Brian. Love the movement in this one, carrying us through perfectly from opening to close. Great write. Thanks

Syd said...

If only those shoulders would carry us along for many more years. But we know that our own have to be squared and become strong. We carry ourselves for the most part or do we?

Andrew Kreider said...

the set of the shoulders - that's where I settled in this piece, maybe because I'm a dad too. I think I understand that feeling. And the pop-pop-pop, too. I know those rain drops and also the bullets, from this neighborhood, from so many unexpected downpours. This is a wonderful piece.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful sounds and sights..I just love:
''limb lost, leaves, silt.''

Amazing story and poem!
-Eva Von Pelt

Glenn Buttkus said...

As parents we would like to assist our
children in dodging all the bullets that
life will propel their way, but alas, like
steering that paper boat, some things
are beyond our meager attempts at
control. Such a moody piece, salvaged
at the end with parental and fatherly
passion; nice one, sir.

Laura said...

sitting here in my room, listening to the rain singing on the roof it is easy to visualize the poignant street scene...such a beautiful poem Brian, perhaps one of my favorites of yours. There is a gentleness that speaks to my heart.

Enigmatic Soul said...

Thoughtful and full of insight. Rain has such a calming effect, I miss it. Beautifully penned. :)

joanna said...

bit late making it over here, but moving as always, brian. i love "constellate." :) there is a gray mood to this, as fitting for a rain-poem. melancholy indeed.

Mystic_Mom said...

115 comments, not much left to be said except you have a real gift and a special talent - thank you for sharing it my friend!

poeticlicensee said...

These words of your last stanza,"the first bullet he did not stop
the first loss~you try to explain
as more already head their way
pop~pop~pop", leave this follower contemplative, regretful, pitiful, cynical...