Rain outside washes down the summer heat;
puddles and streams flood the city street,
leaving the air cool; and, with relief,
the trees stretch out in branch and leaf
to dance and play with misty wind
as with some long-forgotten friend.
As a man from arid desert washes hands and face,
so they wash, with unpretentious grace,
and rub their boughs together as if with glee.
So you, my Lord, my Savior, work in me
new rain, which to the swelter of the mind
brings cool; and, through this mist, of life remind
old images, long dried from agelong drought,
to raise, and bring their gladness out.
Francesca and Paolo
I asked what was their tale,
but sulking Paolo only wept,
and Francesca said with sorrow,
"It was the book's fault,
wherein we read of Lance and Gwen,
for what the book said, we did,
and when they touched and kissed,
then Paolo, and this was his fault,
leaned in with touch and kiss,
and I couldn't refrain from return,
for Love overpowers all,
and because of what was Love's fault
we read no more that day."
So said Francesca sadly;
sulking Paolo only wept.
The Lily of the Year
The lily of the year, O Lord,
your rising from the dead,
perfumes with life the ages, Lord,
like scent of new-baked bread,
or scent of summer rain
that promises to parched earth
that spring rush is in the air
to green and seed and birth,
or bouquet of wine that hovers
to fill your house with love;
it gives us cheer and gladness
to praise our God above.