Rain

Don Paterson
I love all films that start with rain:
rain, braiding a windowpane
or darkening a hung-out dress
or streaming down her upturned face;

one big thundering downpour
right through the empty script and score
before the act, before the blame, 
before the lens pulls through the frame

to where the woman sits alone
beside a silent telephone
or the dress lies ruined on the grass
or the girl walks off the overpass,

and all things flow out from that source
along their fatal watercourse.
However bad or overlong
such a film can do no wrong,

so when his native twang shows through
or when the boom dips into view
or when her speech starts to betray
its adaptation from the play, 

I think to when we opened cold
on a starlit gutter, running gold
with the neon drugstore sign
and I'd read into its blazing line: 

forget the ink, the milk, the blood—
all was washed clean with the flood
we rose up from the falling waters
the fallen rain's own sons and daughters

and none of this, none of this matters.

From Rain. Copyright © 2009 by Don Paterson. Used with permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

From Rain. Copyright © 2009 by Don Paterson. Used with permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Don Paterson

by this poet

poem
Jamie made his landing in the world
so hard he ploughed straight back into the earth.
They caught him by the head of his one breath
and pulled him up.  They don’t know how it held.
And so today thank what higher will
brought us to here, to you and me and Russ,
the great twin-engined swaying wingspan of us