I think of the children who will never know, intuitively, that a flower is a plant’s way of making love, or what silence sounds like, or that trees breathe out what we breathe in.
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Night 23 December 1977 Tucson
It is raining in the desert,
that rare desert rain.
I have set out containers under the eaves. Rain
will fall around the containers
but will fall into them, too, and for a week or two
or a month, there will be water for certain plants,
water with less alkali dust.
My friend Robert is spending a month alone
in Sabino Canyon. I hope tonight he
has a tent, a shelter, to be warm under
while he harks this rain’s falling
in the hair of his soul.
I hope he isn’t chilled and has the arms
of his listening circling him like a healer’s song
with footsteps dancing inside his ribs
around a low fire of embers and stars
and quiet laughter.
I have sent out poems, mischievous,
full of pagan joy, sparked with winter solstice
shining in green windfall from high mountain trees.
Even in the poems is desert, even in the poems
high trees let fall green, even in the poems
filters the rare desert rain.
I send them to fill with the rare love
of my rare friends.
That will last a little while, then I’ll
send out more.
I set out containers for this rare desert rain.
It will last a little while.