This Poem was Submitted By: Mell W. Morris On Date: 2006-01-15 16:06:59 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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Winter Drought

Of two million words in the English language, only a few are apropos: arid, desert, dry, vulture. I watch the birds spiral from high places down to scabrous, scorched earth. On the horizon, cumulous clouds with dark, heavy underpinnings start to form then change to new shapes, amassing cloud upon cloud. They disappoint as clouds finally dissipate before they reach us. All that rain... gone like broken promises. The sky is a canopy of grey, soft cashmere grey. Each day the same, temperatures ten to fifteen degrees higher than normal, a result of global warming, or so they say. My mouth is dry and I feel as if I were floating outside of time... a sensory suspension. Winter sun shows shadows with colors I've never seen, rivers of light sift slowly through the landscape. A sepia scene where I summon and call the rays of light, day and night, until at last, raindrops begin to fall. 

Copyright © January 2006 Mell W. Morris

Additional Notes:
My ancestors of Cherokee blood had sundry ways of calling the rain. One way was a dance wherein participants wore elaborate costumes and gave honor to the gods while begging for rain.

This Poem was Critiqued By: Mark Andrew Hislop On Date: 2006-02-06 14:37:51
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.72222
Mell The rain, it's life giving quality (as an image of something else, rain is called to precipitate a different kind of life, one not yet known) is evoked here in several ways. The rhythms of the lines of the poem sometimes race along, sometimes pause, almost like rain that starts to fall in big drops, changes it mind for a few moments, and only then decides whether to let itself go or not. Global warming ... my mouth is dry. The body is a globe as much as the earth, fever is a drought. Sensory suspension is almost an incantatory trance. What gods leave us 'begging' for rain? Inscrutable ones. Let it fall. Lovely. Mark.

This Poem was Critiqued By: Mark Steven Scheffer On Date: 2006-01-24 23:49:29
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Mell, It could be that two sides of the brain thing. It's amazing the results when we share our impressions: I've been accused of being an overly cerebral writer. Yet no one sees how I write my poems, how long it takes me to write them, how much "planning," if any, goes into them. When someone says that a writer is cerebral, I think of James Joyce taking his 25 years or whatever to write Finnegans Wake. I'm really an intuitive writer, work extremely fast with incredible focus, like a sprinter, and go with the direction of the poem, almost let it talk to me and take me where it wants to go. To me, you're a cerebral writer. Everything you write is so INTENTIONED, or seems that way to me. Which is why I often feel distant from your poems. Which gets back to that two sides of the brain thing I began with. I'm just trying to explain to you why i don't critique your poems - i feel like a foreigner before them. It is not because I do not believe your poems don't have any merit. There are people all over the world who will pay hundreds of dollars for a bottle of wine. I'm a beer drinker who wouldn't know a red from a white, and could care less. That doesn't make a good wine any less exquisite, any less valuable - the fact that I have no palate. For me to critique you with relish, you'd have to write down to a beer swigger. Get it? This one is written with great command, great intention, great control and discipline. And, of course, as always, that great ear. This much i can "feel." Must be 'cause both wine and beer have alcohol. Mark
This Poem was Critiqued By: Terry A On Date: 2006-01-18 00:06:14
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
The descriptive phrases in this poem work are exceedingly able. The effects of drought on the land, mirrored by the physical and mental effects felt by the speaker. The combination is so spledidly done; the reader, through the sensuous imagery experiences the poem. But somehow, I feel you have not made a case for moisture to come. Two lines and we are brought from drought to rain. When I read the poem several times, I felt Gerard Manley Hopkins lines --From poem 51--"Mine, O thou lord of life, send my roots rain."--as fitting the poem. In order to be completely successful, I feel this poem needs more of the summoning. As richly done as your portrayal of a parched land. But still Mell, so enjoyable because each image was unique and interesting and woven so well. Terry
This Poem was Critiqued By: Thomas H. Smihula On Date: 2006-01-16 08:15:58
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.27273
The word selection and presentation give the reader the feeling of praying for rain. You paint the picture so well of clouds upon clouds yet they never reach the destination where one stands. I see that finally they arrive after summoning one last time. Forgot you had Cherokee blood that answers why you are so free of spirit. If you get a chance this month take a look at my poem Quest no need to review just take a look. It is about my wife who has Indian blood but was born Mexican. Many different American tribes have asked her which one does she belong to. She has high cheek bones, dark complexion, and looks more Indian than many who are. It was a honor to read this poem for I felt as if I was watching the skies myself. Thank you so much for sharing.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Dellena Rovito On Date: 2006-01-15 20:16:36
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.66667
Ossiyo Sweet Lady, Boy have we ever got rain here in Oregon. Day after day! My friend Rolling Thunder/Cherokee medicine man, could call the rain/and thunder by rubbing the belly of a beatle! His book "Rolling Thunder" by Doug Boyd spoke of it. You probably don't do much reading in bed but maybe. God I hope you can pull it all together soon! Your such a blessng to all of us. Me most specially. I need not move away from TPL with you around! You are of such esteem! Reading your poem made me thirsty! Mouth dry,sky gray but nothings going on. Like life stands stll. Water is life! We must have balance. Mother Earth will preserve herself in whatever way she must. hurricanes/floods, tornadoes/global warming/fires. here in ore. if the climate were to warm, many northern species of trees would not be able to reproduce or compete well. habitat changes will kill animals/fish/birds. Our Salmon our suffering horribly/with the dams/chemicals/forest cuttings-warming the streams. We always think as a people that we are unchangable as a specie. But very subtlely we are. Our original dna is becoming different. More sets of teeth! [was 2 now it's not so uncommon to have more.] We eat so much nonfood today! Anyway I'll stop ranting.... They disappoint as clouds [dsappoint-dissapate-is nice] finally dissipate before they reach us. All that rain... gone like broken promises. [love broken promises] [would be a neat title] I love you and what you write. Every little bit makes a difference! As a Native American, protecters of the Earth, you speak well! Wadoh, Dellena
This Poem was Critiqued By: Thomas Edward Wright On Date: 2006-01-15 16:28:53
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Hi Mell- Haven't heard from you in a while, was worried. Glad to see you've still got the urge and energy to write. We're having a warm winter up here, little snow, though some predicted for tomorrow. Somewhere in all of this is the story of man down through the ages; gauging his environment, discerning the future in a cloud, the scent on the wind, the change in the change. Wishing you a healthy 2006. All the best from the Land of Plenty. t.
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