Rain Dance

Outside, distant thunder applauds the performance

of  rain dancing on the pavement strewn with magenta vinca blossoms.

In here, the clock, tripped up by a power blip during the night,

flashes a time that is not now, and therefore, by my groggy-headed logic,

this moment is timeless and must be savored,

so I snuggle into my nest of pillows for a Sunday-morning lie-in,

happy that the sheets on now are the soft jersey ones,

glad that I started the dishwasher, its hum-swoosh-and rattle cycle

oddly comforting–domestic, mundane, familiar.

The Radio One presenter starts every sentence with “Basi’ly”

and plays a Sam Smith ballad that’s sad in a good way,

especially when his voice climbs for the trademark high notes

in the bittersweet chorus, and though I’m lying here  inbed,

arms wrapped around nothing but a pillow, I’m lying

to myself, and in the lie, I’m dancing with the rain–

a slow dance, a last dance, but dancing all the same.

 

Copyright 2018

T. Allen Culpepper

It Rains

Cheap wine in a plastic cup.

That’s what things have come to,

as I sit on the porch alone

in the overripe loneliness

of an endless summer afternoon

punctuated only

by a pop-up thundershower,

and ponder the inevitable decay

represented by a neighbor’s

flag, its stars hanging heavy,

its stripes tattered at the ends.

 

There’s a season for chasing dreams,

a time to pull away

from  the dead ones.

The hawk still circles

up toward the clouds,

but the squirrel lies

car-flattened in the street.

 

The rain grows harder,

washing in on me,

but I still feel unclean,

and if there’s meaning in it,

I don’t know.

 

Copyright 2018

T. Allen Culpepper

Glow

Green-gold sunlight seeps

through granite clouds, lightening

the gloom for a breath,

as when someone beautiful

appears at a a dull party,

and like the beauty who can’t

be bothered to stay,

then sneaks off again somewhere

as fat raindrops splash the curb

like champagne bubbles

against the side of a glass,

in preparation

for a maudlin toast.

Copyright 2018

T. Allen Culpepper

 

 

Rain Memory

Digging out the rain gear for an uncharacteristically wet week in Tulsa

brings back a vision of my undergraduate days in another T-town,

Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where rainy days were more routine than

exception, splashing through puddles from dorm to biology class

in a mass of oxford shirts and khaki, plastic slickers and duck boots.

Carless, I walked everywhere, paying little mind to the weather,

except for choosing the rainy days to show up for all my classes

so I could skip and lounge beside the duck pond on the sunny ones.

 

Copyright 2018

T. Allen Culpepper

Rain Against Glass

torre rain.jpg

Drops of rain slide down
the plate-glass observation windows
of the Torre Latinoamericana,
their there-and-gone movements
pocking the panoramic view
like light blips on a film screen;
and there’s plenty of action down there,
the pink taxis and green buses
jamming the thoroughfares,
the pedestrians caught out
reaching for umbrellas
if they’ve planned ahead,
or, if not, jogging a few steps
before they realize the futility
and just enjoy the coolness
of the shower, unless they’re
close enough to take cover
in cafes, where the employees
find themselves suddenly
overwhelmed with customers;
and the volcanoes in the distance,
keep simmering like the inhabitants
of the city they have guarded
since the era of the Aztecs
and their thirsty gods.

Copyright 2016
T. Allen Culpepper