Gathering Rain with Poets

" Where is your water? Know your garden"
-Hopi Elders' Prophecy 2000

Last summer we rolled in
a polyvinyl puffball - two thousand
gallons empty. Today it sits dusted,
bathed and bored in the basement -
black beauty, Sunday ready
for the rain harvester; tomorrow
he'll plumb it up to our downspouts.
Maybe it's just a cistern to you,
but it's our banner of green allegiance -
off the grid - onto the web,
drinking rain like crawdads;
exchanging fluids with new middlemen,
with poplars and hawks -
Snyder called it joyful interpenetration.
Just add water and cracked concretions dissolve -
joyful interpenetration burns past pavement,
breaks up bricked over Edens,
finds the dirt even
in us where
so much depends on the red wheelbarrow
glazed with rain; and tomorrow in our basement,
on the tools beside the blue ladder.
When our black barrel sprouts its white pipes
like hyphae to suck up water
from the red roof whenever the bottom falls out,
we'll listen to the gathering
of liquid sky, right under our feet.
Amid the rabble of rain, we'll dream of next August,
of pulling peppers and zucchini from the vine;
dream of an unburdened Eden
and fresh dirt.

Rain harvester, better hurry it up -
clouds are gathering and
so much depends on
this joyful interpenetration for all.


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