Red, red rain

There was a June when it rained
As it rained every June
Anyone could remember
All day, every day, every night

A rain so fine you could breathe it
So swollen you could drown
In the tall grass never knowing
Why, eyes wide and mouth agape

That June as wet inside as out
The earth heaved upward
As the rain kept falling
The sky without warning red as blood

I remember now, a voice was calling
“Come back through the long grass,
Come back through the red, red rain.”
But the red rain was you.

1914 III: The dead, by Rupert Brooke

Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day here in the US.

Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
There’s none of these so lonely and poor of old,
But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold.
These laid the world away; poured out the red
Sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to be
Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene,
That men call age; and those who would have been,
Their sons, they gave, their immortality.

Blow, bugles, blow! They brought us, for our dearth,
Holiness, lacked so long, and Love, and Pain.
Honour has come back, as a king, to earth,
And paid his subjects with a royal wage;
And Nobleness walks in our ways again;
And we have come into our heritage.

Damascus

Red sky over Homs
A faint riffle, a stirring
Of late summer breeze
Among the searing flesh
And the fly benighted airs
A brief hope of relief
From the deadly heat.

Meanwhile, over Damascus
The whiff of colonial pasts