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Evening Clouds the First Night of This Week’s Storms in Oklahoma

It’s raining again,
early evening. Yesterday, .3;
now, more. I decide to stay with it,
on the front porch, appreciate it deeply,
considering the drought these last
three, four years—maybe still,
don’t know. Five days ago,
in south Oklahoma City,
there was historic flash flooding following
an outbreak of tornadoes and torrential rain—
up to nine inches, maybe more.
Flood and drought
is the natural cycle on the prairie.
We humans have long ago forgotten
that.
But it does appear now
to be extreme: “exceptional
drought,” recalling for us,
hand-me-down memories
of those Dust Bowl Days;
just now too, more intense
rain, flood. I calm myself
on the front porch,
taking in the long-awaited, cherished
moisture,
ready to absorb the sound of rainfall,
(crashing thunder would come later
in the evening, with 1.7 inches total
for the day)
and set my sight on savoring the lush green,
the huge puddles. And then,
just as Earth is about to hide it,
the sun bursts through! Golden light
yanks me from the porch.

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Light rain falls,
but I go out
and watch the river-like torrent
rushing through the pasture. Doe Creek
is out too.

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And then,
in the cloudless eastern blue sky,
a full rainbow. I can see
its complete expanse
and as the western sky turns golden
the rainbow in the east brightens
and glows for a long time,
as if it were stable,
permanent.

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It is that I am to stay with.
There is distant thunder.
The wind picks up again,
from the east—
the direction of the rainbow.
I stand in the road
for the best view,
of lush spring grasses
and wet, golden, dried tall grasses;
listening to frogs sing
and listening to the rainbow—long a sign,
messenger,
to humanity.
One tradition says that the rainbow
is God’s message that any future floods
would not be at the hand of a supernatural
divine one. Hmmm…if so,
must be us, then. Indeed,
coyote howls sound
like a siren,
and rainbow shouts silently:
“RESPECT THE EARTH SYSTEM!”