So, today, it rains. I am loving listening to the sound of it fall o the dry ground, the coolness, freshness, even the greyness of the sky and the newly soft light.
While waiting for the rain, my mind turned back to this poem. I wrote it a couple of years ago, and so the raspberries in the pictures, this year’s crop, are healthier than the ones described below. Water has been on my mind as I’ve been working on my new book on John’s gospel – water poured out as an offering, water to wash the eyes of the one born blind, water the bubbles up within you, so you are never thirsty again. That gets closer to the other kinds of thirst here, in this poem. There are many things we can be thirsty for.
The breeze stirs the raspberry patch,
the leaves with crisp yellow edges
rustle under their net,
and under them
are deep red fruits, dusted grey,
The colour of blood spilled
not today, or yesterday,
but months ago.
They are strong,
an intense sharpness.
They have lost their sweetness.
Yet, even so, the blackbird balances
on the net, reaching down
with a hard yellow beak.
The ground beneath is grey, too, and
fissured like the fruit.
The heat rises, stillness falls on the ground
like thin shadows.
This thirst, this longing for rain,
Joy, and gentleness,
love and lovingkindness.
Presence and peace.
These I long for.
I need them like flowing water.
Come like the rain.
Come to us like rain.