Refractory of Rain
A Meditation based on "Spring Rain," by G.K. Jamieson
Acrylic on Masonite, 24x30 in., 1972.
Nine days of rain! Enough to make one fidget!
Rain sheets the north screen porch of our log cabin.
From pines it rinses pollen's golds, which gutter
in rivulets, merge, divide, converge in branches.
They seep out weep-holes at screen's base—sad water,
pale yellow with spent pollen and its sorrows.
Will sunlight never break through gray skies' sorrows?
This ceaseless drum of raindrops makes me fidget
no less than she who, ready, broke my water
six years ago to taste the air of cabin.
But cabin air now cloys, and clogs lung's branches,
and panics us—we leap into the gutter.
How can I pluck our spirits from this gutter?
How not give up, when facing all these sorrows
which snag us, like prickly briar-patch branches,
past which we try to slip, in hampered fidget,
en-pointe nine days of drumming rain? We've cabin
fever, and thirsts we cannot slake with water.
"Let's seek, poor child, fresh color in the water!
The air's so wet, acrylics dribble, gutter
our easels—quick—fetch dry rags, in the cabin . . . .
Choose colors, brush, knife, fingers—for those sorrows.
Transpose what you are feeling, every fidget,
to pinking sky, green leaves, to purple branches."
Robust, each ruddy trunk thrusts up its branches,
takes up, by capillary action, water
with all the mineral wealth of soil (no fidget
resists its slurped ascent from soggy gutter).
Their gift is water's hardwood—built of sorrows
respired through leaves—whose timbers frame our cabin.
These trees both shelter us and heat our cabin.
Their oxygen, respired from leafy branches,
burns sweet within our lungs, sweeps up our sorrows
on breaths released in vapor—gifts of water!
Can water pluck us up, from vapored gutter,
and lift us by our every writhing fidget?
We're pearls of water, lustrous, in this cabin,
laying down pigment—gutter's roots, sky's branches ó
refracting, bead by bead, each fidget's sorrows.