Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE RAINY SEASON, by CLARENCE MAJOR

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THE RAINY SEASON, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: You've never seen such a flat black ocean
Last Line: And the gold, the pink, lavender rocks
Subject(s): Mexico; Rain

Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico August 1968

You've never seen such a flat black ocean
a perfect straight line.
Now the sky is gray with no wrinkles.
Two inches thick from here
with soft-wash black telephone poles leaning against it,
crooked and old,
the thinnest things you ever saw.
Look at the corner of this brick wall.
(I have painted it several times.)
It changes color under the splatter of the rain.
Hear the thunder, see the lightning.
Out toward the malecon a huge black bird with wings as wide as a fan belt
for a Ford
dives down into the deep ocean,
leaving a large clean spot open in the sky.
Now the edge of the sun floats as the mighty bird comes up,
and ducks again.
Across the street,
three white American station wagons
parked against an orange brick wall
beside a white-faced hotel
with a black doorway.
This wall the trees the cars the traffic
change before my eyes.
But now along the mountain range
you see yellows that stay
put with the blues, touched gently
by blue light.
Now a red truck very red in the rain
with halo-light around it
comes around the corner,
followed by a sleek brown nag,
ears down, pulling
an old weatherworn wagon
as the cars plow through,
turning and slicing the water back
onto two women carrying washtubs,
filled with wet clothes,
balanced on their heads.
A little bowlegged hombre
beneath a large sombrero
and in a raincoat
drives his legs meanly up Hidalgo.

Now, the sun that must take
its time in going, comes out
to finish.
The weather here is so strange.

Now, the ocean is gray
and scorched the yellow of butter.
So are the river in the road
and the green rocks
and the gold, the pink, lavender rocks.

Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org

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