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Sunday, February 16, 2014


by Frances P. Davis

Lake Cachuma photo by Paul Wellman, Santa Barbara Independent, January 23, 2014

We listen with such longing
its little liquid voice
metallic tap on heater vent
click against cement, hiss on leaves

Our thirsty memories stretching
far back to parched times in caves
sand and dry wadis, long treks
to miracle holes gushing springs

Enough of this listlessness
dehydration’s wilting lassitude
withering fruit and vines
the farmer’s boot on powdered ground

May the sky anoint the land with rain again
let’s hear it pounding shingles
gutter runnels gushing
the splash and gurgle of surfeit

Dance or pray or seed the clouds
catch cumulous in a net and twist, bring
back birds in puddles, boats on brimming lakes
canals bearing gifts to penstocks south

Let’s smell the earth drinking
the air electric with recharged ions
let’s catch rainwater in a goblet, lift it
like the finest wine and swallow

Frances P. Davis lives in Summerland, California, a button of a village stitched to hills overlooking the Santa Barbara Channel. The village looks at water all day long, but its reservoir is dry, its lawns browning, its vineyards, raisins on the vine.  A Pushcart Prize nominee, Frances writes a column about the town for the local newspaper and publishes poems in print and online journals.