Rebuilding the Sky

The sky has fallen,
in a triphammer beat
of pieces on the roof,
moving in waves
crossing and recrossing
the blacktop road.
It teaches gravity
to the hands of the leaves,
bending their wrists
and arms toward the earth.
It grays my view,
turning down its contrast
and intensity.
Everything that was up
ten minutes ago is now down,
except my eyes.
I can’t help but scan
the sky, searching
for a hint of sunlight,
even if now all is darkness.
The rain’s abating, and
light begins rebuilding day,
propping up the damaged
sky once more,
upon a rainbow’s


Still Falling

The rain’s still falling,
I can hear it on the roof,
beating a tattoo of the
rat-a-tat-tat kind,
but one that makes the ink
flow indelible in my skin.
It never wakes me up anymore,
only keeps me awake, unless
it expands the rhythm section
with a thunderous tympani
and the flash like I saw
in  your eyes when I was
the lucky one.
Through the curtains I see
the footprints of a billion
soldiers marching in a column
of the uncountable, from above
to below where I fold boats
of white paper and float them
and their crew of words
to shores where they’ll
disembark in hopes of again
establishing a beachhead
and conquering you.

Getting Out of the Rain

The rain will be upon me soon
and I can’t escape it.
I’d hoped to beat it to the punch,
get some work done outside
before outside forces me
back in, but I just can’t
keep pace anymore.
Not even with rain clouds
slowly oozing toward me,
a grayer gray growing
in the southwest sky,
a greener green filling
the lower left of the TV screen.
I’ve found you just can’t
outrun rain, not if you’re
in its path, and sometimes shelter
means more than an umbrella
and dissociating oneself
from soggy reality.
I was just talking about rain,

The Language of the Rain

Raindrops, by Tony Webster, via Wikipedia

Sometimes, as I sit and listen
as rain raps its rhymes upon my window,
I wonder if it sounds the same on windows
looking out elsewhere in the world.
Kind of like how I wonder if a Brazilian dog
understands little Deputy next door
as he gives hell to some damp squirrels
in the pines out back.

He’s out there watching the sky now,
like he knows all this rain will end,
as it does in Dresden, Pietermaritzburg
and Exeter, and with it bring that instant
of peace before noisy life begins again.
I like to think we all understand,
that message no matter where we sit,
no matter what language we speak.
Or bark.

I’m Dreaming of a Wet Christmas


The dormant grass has pushed aside
the blankets of white it normally wears
and instead sports green Christmas couture.
Rain has come this year, like Santa,
not the usual ho ho snow
that all of art and commerce
project upon our holiday hopes,
which we hang like stockings.

My nices outweigh my naughties,
so whichever white-bearded Big Guy
is really in charge up there
salted those rain clouds for another reason
than to turn this poet’s soul
from black to dinge. Though, even
if it was white — hey, it could be! —
this wet Christmas has grayed it, too.


No white Christmas this year for my home ground a few miles north of where the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers meet beneath the mistletoe at Cohoes. In fact, we could have some flooding. Now I’m no fan of the white stuff when it comes to driving or shoveling, but I do like waking on Christmas morning to the sight of my world covered with white frosting, like the cinnamon buns I always made for the girls’ Christmas breakfast.

In case I don’t get back here tomorrow or Thursday, Merry Christmas to you, lovely readers of my second-chance writing life. You are a gift to me.

Five Sentence Fiction ~ Blush

Lillie McFerrin


It’s not like I was totally embarrassed or something.

I mean I’ve been this drunk before, on hot dry nights and nights as cold and rainy as this one.

But tonight I may have blushed a little when I couldn’t pay the bartender for the vodka on the rocks he nudged across the crowded bar – my seventh or eighth or tenth that evening – because I had forgotten my wallet in the rush out of my girl Alice’s.

I reached for it in my back pocket and came up as empty as that bottle of Stoli I’d polished off just before I skedaddled out of her place when she got a call from her husband.

Okay, reaching under my raincoat to pay the man, I may have felt a little warm-cheeked when realized I left my wallet there on her dresser … where my pants still lay folded oh so neatly.

©Joseph Hesch 2012

This week’s little story is written in response to Lillie McFerrin’s Five-Sentence Fiction prompt “Blush.”

No Turning Back

misty day on my windshield

misty day on my windshield (Photo credit: jypsygen)

The rain sprays spitballs against
the windshield, annoying in their haze
and every-three-seconds shrill erasure.
Inside the glass, another sleep-short night
rains a torrent on my focus of cars
blinking their red eyes awake.
But sharp plays my vision of light
blooming in our room, revealing
a landscape of bed linen knee-hills,
coverlet valleys tossed in tenderness,
and a population of two become one.

Turning back isn’t an option anymore.
I’ve come too far and to look behind
invites chain-reaction misery.
The screech of tires and wipers on nothing but
dry reality awakens me to consciousness
of my roadbed partners, no doubt lost
in the sublimity of their own dreamscapes.
I pull to the shoulder, still shrouded
in the mist of my dawn memory,
close my eyes for a better view and,
for a minute, complete my journey there.

©Joseph Hesch 2012