Rain –– February, 2023 Featured Poem

And it is still raining! In January I was so busy editing my new book All in Measure: A Book of Hours, 2020-2022 I missed posting a poem. Yet another storm is passing through the Bay Area. Snow on unexpected hills. Even more trees uprooted or branches broken.

When we first moved here, California the State was in a very long drought. On the campus of Stanford in 1977 they were losing many glorious trees to this opposite weather challenge. I have come to learn this is the natural state of cycles in California. The trees that survive have adapted. The way of life.


The atmospheric river deluges
our San Francisco neighborhood.
The wettest day on record for October,
near hurricane-force winds.
Pacific winds slam the park’s numbered trees.
Whips them again and again, roars.
Sky-sheets of rain flung sideways.
The house sways and rattles
like a clipper ship under full sail.
The Golden Gate Bridge wails in the gale.

In the sodden, becalmed morning-after,
needles and branches litter tarmac and grass,
broken limbs dangle.
Fallen Monterey pines sprawl down hills, block paths.
Torn roots tip skyward and dirt caves yawn.
The ocean is white with high surf,
kelp tossed up and half-buried by new sand.

Downed trees are like beached whales.
Exposed branches, flesh, untouched by humans.
Where only ravens, hawks and squirrels trespassed.
Pine trunks smashed, crowns broken.
Thicket of a crow’s nest ransacked,
wedged between crushed boughs.

San Francisco Parks and Rec tends the trails
but leaves these trees as they died.
Toppled by forces of change,
offering refuge to new seedlings
and a lesson in humility.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.