The Oregon Rain
Bill Long 3/27/08
How Do I Hate Thee? Let Me Count the Ways..
At this time of the year, the Oregon rains become almost unbearable. You understand and even sometimes appreciate rain from November through early March, but when the gray persists, the leaden skies are unforgiving and the rain continues, it simply wears you down. So, I took a trip to CA, to watch the PAC-10 men's basketball tournament, and basked in the warmth of the sun for several days. But then I returned, and the rain continued. Occasionally there would be a break and the sun would appear, but then the rains returned as quickly as they disappeared. I have written this poem in honor of the rains, inspired by the poem "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..." of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861).
The Oregon Rain
By Bill Long, Poetaster
"How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways.
I hate thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach. I hate thee for good cause.
First, because of the meterologists, as they are euphemistically called...
They report imminent end of rain, a bold lie;
in the summer they confidently predict cool
When multiple three-digit days remain.
They of the toothed grin, pencil-thick necks and faux sincerity, they the great deceivers.
Second, because of the combined cold and rain. The waterproof jackets make you freeze;
The warm jackets are destroyed.
Wear boots and you galumph winter and spring;
Wear Nikes and you squish to sickness
Though Phil Knight smiles from Beaverton.
Third, because of false hope. Hope never comes
Which comes to all. Or, even worse. Hope comes
With the occasional sunbreak, but then it is dashed, smashed, pulverized, crushed, bruised, obliterated, erased, deleted, effaced, wiped out.
The slugs go forth with joy
Slithering from the grass onto the walkways
Antennae reaching for every
They, the only creatures on God's good earth,
Enjoying the splash.
The Oregon rain--I hate thee with the breath
Smiles, tears, of all my life!--and, if God choose,
I will not leave thee as long as I live.
Copyright © 2004-2008 William R. Long