Friday, August 7, 2009

Rain Barrel: An Original Poem

I began working on a poem late last night/early this morning to post for Poetry Friday—but I didn’t have time to finish it. So…I pulled out Rain Barrel, a poem from A Home for the Seasons, an unpublished collection of memoir poems that I wrote many years ago. The poems in the collection relate the experiences and happy times I had at the home of my maternal grandparents.

My “Dzidzi”—grandfather—truly had a green thumb. He loved working in his vegetable garden in summer. He kept a big wooden barrel for collecting rain water next to the cellar door. The “we” in the following poem refers to me and my two cousins. My cousins—both girls—lived in the duplex that my grandparents owned. The three of us spent much of our childhood together.

Rain Barrel
by Elaine Magliaro

Beside the cellar door

stands Dzidzi’s rain barrel.

Deep brown as the earth itself,

it seems rooted in the ground.

In it Dzidzi captures the melting sky

he waters garden flowers with.

We plunge our small tin watering cans

deep into Dzidzi’s wooden well

and pull them out full of fallen rain

we shower over the brown-faced sunflower,

bright pink peonies, and puffy white snowballs.

On sticky summer days, we splash

our arms and faces in its coolness.

And sometimes, alone in the backyard,

I stare down into its dark liquid universe

as if looking for a lost star

that has fallen there.


My poetic contribution at Political Verses this week is Bah Humbug Exercise: A Poem That Could Have Written by Rush Limbaugh.

At Blue Rose Girls, I have a post about my writer’s block, a poem about poetry, and a link to Poems about Poems: Why Not?, an article by Katha Pollitt at The Nation website.

Tricia has the Poetry Friday Roundup at the Miss Rumphius Effect.


Jules at 7-Imp said...

Lovely. I think I remember reading this before.

jama said...

Love this. Especially the "melting sky." Also like saying "dzidzi." :)

Elaine Magliaro said...


I couldn't remember if I had posted this poem before. It's funny the objects and experiences from our childhood that remain embedded in our memories.


Thanks. Polish words can be tricky to pronounce. I'm sorry my parents didn't teach me to speak the language when I was growing up.

Sara said...

"full of fallen rain
we shower over the brown-faced sunflower"

I feel refreshed myself after reading this. So lovely.

Susan T. said...

Very nice, Elaine. This is lovely. We have a new rain barrel--made out of recycled plastic.

Julie said...

This is lovely, Elaine - you should get that collection back out again and send it around to the batch of new editors.

My grandfather had a small well in his yard and I thought it was so deep it went all the way down to the other side of the earth. Very dark, mysterious water!

Elaine Magliaro said...

Sara & Susan--

Thanks for your comments. This poem comes from the collection of poems that I wrote which is dearest to my heart.


I appreciate your encouragement. I do need to start sending out my manuscripts. Most of them just languish in my computer.

Dark, mysterious water in wells and rain barrels can make for poetic inspiration.

laurasalas said...

Love this one, Elaine--my very favorite part is:

In it Dzidzi captures the melting sky

he waters garden flowers with.