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                                                     Love the rain like a swallow



Come out from the window.

                                                                           Venture into the rain.

                                                                            Stand among the blossoming apples.


Love the rain like a swallow.


                 Where the old barn leans like a staggering drunk, and out of its 

                 rot-holes swallows are pouring into the midday thundershower,


Barn swallows—

The barn swallows are back,


                                                   Their air-circus opens

                                                     In the falling rain

                                    And dozens are







                         It is the air force of the barn swallows,

                   Escorting the rain to the quickened spring roots.


                                          And the saturated acres are meltingly green

                                                                    And solar with dandelions,


                        And the apples are weeping petals for joy:


                                         Love the rain like a swallow.




            O leave your window

For the rightness of the rain


                                   And the rain dance

                                                                    Of the swallows!


                                              With all that congests the mind

           And weighs down the soul


Come into the storm


                                For the soft battering ablution

Of the rainshower—


Flee into the rain

                        From the stupid old lusts

                                         Of the world


And become a blossoming apple tree,


A locked-in Gene Kelly


                                Whose dancing is

                                                 The rain-dancing

                            Of the swallows!




In the cool showering

Of the purpling thunderheads,



Like a knifethrower’s famulus


                                                  Where the swallows

                  Are courting disaster


And you are a welcomed

New pillar

           In their obstacle course


As they scramble among the fruit trees

                                                   And shoot the mowed expanse


                                                              To the shoreline willows


Then boomerang over the lake in its restless patina of ringlets, where these airborne Narcissi are in love with the water-image of their own daring—


And in the sighs and murmurs of the rain

Listen for the tsks

Of these perfectionist aerobats


Who are never

                                    Close enough to catastrophe


And whose air show

                       Is a feeding frenzy—


            They are performing for tips in caddisflies,


The micro-origami of the white millers that the rain washes out of the willows—


You can see their ghostly flutterings in the gray bars of rain, before they vanish with a swallow’s passing swoop and the audible snap of its beak—


A midair refueling!


                                                In and out of the barn

                                                Traffic the chittering aerialists—


And the patent has expired

On their invention of joy!


                                                             Love the rain like a swallow.



              O you are late

          So late

                 To the ceremony of the swallows!


You must invite yourself

                                        To their high-stakes play in the rain,


The extreme sport

Of these fierce and famished angels

                                                       Born in a barn—



           From the ends of the Earth


With glorious news

                                              too elating

                      To straightway deliver:


That you are not a marionette

On the strings of a Puppetmaster,

A painted tear on a varnished cheek.


You are lashed

To the mast—


You are tied

To the stake


And your head is sodden


And these murderous knives

Are flensing your ego


And the rain

Is cleansing your sorrows

Of you.


You are of no concern to the swallows. 


You are of less concern to the rain. 


                    And the indifference grows inspiring:


                    You are of no concern to yourself.



                                   Because there is never a reason not to despair.


                                   Because your life is a gift wrapped in Oblivion.


                                   Because you have found a fulcrum to move the Earth.


                                   Because only saving the swallows can save us now.



                           Love the blinding moisture you wipe from your face—


                           Love the rain and your tears of gratitude.    


                                           You are the stormed-on King Lear of Bliss.


                           Love the rain like a swallow.



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