Monday, June 14

Making a rainstick ...

Rain curtain — Paolo Guidici

Instructions for making a rainstick
When your hidden joy
plumps and swells
let the wind tickle her tiny feet
and the unicorn cloud
breeze her away.

With your baby teeth
hollow out your gourd
from the heart out,
until you are as empty
as the moon
when she smiles on
the sea and jousts
with the bobbing masts
of wandering ships.

Sweep the floor of your echoless tabernacle
with royal feathers plucked from peacocks.
Dry the bleeding walls of your vessel with a shroud
made of fleece shorn from blind goats.

You are ready now.

Fill your earth top with pebbles and beads,
grains of rice, beans and pumpkin seeds,
leave your sky bottom whistling
clear and clean and cold,
so when the shudder laugh
rolls through you,
tumbles and upends you
in the murmuring wave,
the rains will come at last,
at long last
the rain will come.
© Lorenzo — Alchemist’s Pillow
for Ruth and Terresa … (just because)
Or simply try the following ...

This poem is taking a ride on the Poetry Bus, which this week has been driven by Jeanne Iris. Click on her name to see what other poetry bus riders have done. Jeanne has asked participants to include an audio of us reading our poems; mine is below. This is the first time I do this, so there have been some technical glitches and the audio quality is not good. I'll either think about getting a better microphone or putting an early end to my recording career...


  1. This is one of those poems where anything I see in it and say about it now could change in subsequent readings. I've read it four times.

    There is powerful sweetness here, of the rites of the writer and muse, the organics of working out what is within, the primordial ritual of spilling out life and then recycling what has been given by other spent lives, to make sound.

    To find this way you did of expressing the making of sound from out of the inner sanctum - the work of a poet - is profound and skillful.

    And thank you.

  2. (Maybe my take is completely wrong. But that I would find a take that could be wrong is the beauty of a good poem, no?)

  3. i loved, loved, loved this. the flow, imagery, it was a beautiful story. i couldn't hear your poem however, i just viewed the image, which i found disappointing. i would have loved to hear you read it. the rain sound by clapping was fun. i'm glad i stopped in today.

  4. Great choice of video to accompany your piece. I love watching people really enjoy themselves on a stage and that looks like fun!

  5. Seems like a sacred recipe for creative expression, Lorenzo. Delicious.

    Mesmerizing to listen to you deliver your words - they seemed like well-loved companions as they slipped off your tongue.

  6. That's such a good poem, Lorenzo. I enjoyed it very much - also hearing you read it.

  7. How beautiful! I so enjoyed that. I'll have to go make one.

    I enjoyed the clapping, too--I've seen that before--amazing, isn't it.

  8. That first stanza is incredibly earthy and erotic, L.

  9. ok, have seen the vid before but a great reviewing the verse though is marvelous...hollow it out from the heart with your baby teeth...nice.

  10. The poem is very sweet and tender and also I'm very happy to see a photo from Latoday as the image. Very good choice.. A link to her may help the viewers :)

  11. Like both the poem and the reading. When I saw the title I thought, that sounds interesting, I might have a go at making one... Not sure I can muster the ingredients. :)

  12. Lorenzo

    Enjoyed hearing you speak your poem -- Hearing it said aloud by the poet breathes life into the words -- This poem about making a rain-stick is definitely not traditional nor a childlike craft, it is an evocative, whimsical, and mystical piece of poetry.


  13. Rainsticks are my absolute favourite... until they break!!

  14. All I can conjure up to say is WOW. I am still awe struck from those words.
    "when she smiles on
    the sea and jousts
    with the masts
    of wandering ships"

    Chills the skin...

  15. This is a beautiful poem, Lorenzo. Just beautiful, and conjures time as well as rain. Loved it.

  16. I loved this - it had the aura of a spell to me, and in fact (as we do NOT need any more rain) I was thinking I shouldn't have played the audio - perhaps it won't conjure the rain HERE since you're reading it THERE.

  17. I could hear you perfectly...let it not be the end of your recording career.


    And, interestingly, we've been in the 90's for weeks without rain...and today it is raining. Well done. :)


  18. When you write like this I swear I hold my breath :). I can't take it in line by line. I must look at it word to word. Then line by line. Then overall. Then back to word by word. Absolutely lovely! The imagery is stunning. How do you do it? I wish this was on 10th Daughter. Don't know if there is a theme posted; don't know anything about the latest there, but know this would be hard for another writer to beat in terms of the pure beauty of words.

  19. I just want to roll around in these words.

  20. Where to begin? First of all...hello! It's so good to see you again.

    I LOVE this poem! I'm equally as happy to hear you read it. I turned my control panel way up, so the sound wasn't a problem for me. You have an awesome reading voice and fantastic timing.

    If I had to pick favorite lines, I'd end up rewriting the entire poem. I am particularly fond of:

    "With your baby teeth
    hollow out your gourd
    from the heart out,
    until you are as empty
    as the moon"

    But then again, I am in love with the ending. Like the rain that comes, your words flow beautifully. I'm having the same reaction as other people have, because I've got to read it (and listen) yet again. Wonderful work!

  21. Lorenzo.

    I can't find words.


    ( and I've got a peek at Mary Oliver below, which is wildly strange as one of her poems inspired my post. )

  22. i don't know what happened, but i got your voice this time! very well done!

  23. I want to paint like your words... wow... thanks!

  24. I loved every bit of this post. Thank you very much.

  25. Happy? Or sad? Probably the former, but its greatness is in the not being sure.

    The 'unicorn cloud' and the 'wandering ships' deserve their own poems.

    And pardon my brain's inclination to think of completely random things, but when I saw this in my reader the "boomstick" scene from Army of Darkness popped in my head.

    Er... I'll go make coffee now.

  26. Lorenzo! I've had my head out of the blog reading mode this week, and just catching up now.

    This poem! Evocative, tender, multi-layered. Hard to find the words to express all that is in it. If I were to read it in a college poetry class, we'd dissect it for hours.

    Enjoyed your reading of it. More of us blog-poets need to consider such an avenue of letting our voices be heard. There is nothing like hearing the author of a poem share their words as they were meant to flow.

    Never seen the rain sound by clapping video either, until now. A treat.

  27. Oh, Lorenzo!
    I'm just now getting out into visiting my blogging friends, and I find this miraculous poem. I couldn't enjoy your reading, for the audio link is inexcusably black, but I read the work over and over, loving the sound of the words, the images (oh! blind goats!), the emotions it created. Lovely. Just wonderful. You've outdone yourself.

  28. You rock!!! :)
    and roll too!! Wonderful! Thank you! :)

  29. I came back again to listen to your recording, after recording my own yesterday. It's not easy to do, to sound the way you want to. I think I erased four recordings I'd begun. I hope you will record more of your poems. There is something tender, and good, about hearing you, and hearing myself, hearing Dylan Thomas, or Robert Frost, speak the words we've written. Thank you for the idea. When you got to the following lines, I loved the rhyme, which seemed like just the right rain stick noise:

    Fill your earth top with pebbles and beads,
    grains of rice, beans and pumpkin seeds, . . .


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