"dazzle gradually"

"Dazzle Gradually" 2017 poems, paintings, new art & photography--a diary, a discipline, a delight. Read over my shoulder as I post my unedited poetry ---you can see it in the raw or get my first book and see how the work evolves with new books rolling out next year.


Polly Alice

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rain smells


Post number 100 will help me promise that June will live up to the poem-a-day standards I've promised here at the For a Place blog.  May was a dismal poetry month due to all day morning sickness.  However, I've been advised that it is still okay to say something even if you don't have anything nice to say, so a few poems about morning sickness are in order. (The sensitive reader is warned).  But first, another poem about birds and rain.  Really that is the only nature here in the Suburbs and easier to write about than air conditioning trouble, plumbers and the other quiet chaos of an oozy puddle mysteriously arriving in the basement and my victorious suckage of 20 gallons with the help of a new wetvac. (though you may read a poem or two about that as well.)  Happy June.  We've made it.

Rain smells

Who is that says that rain brings out the smell of ozone?
I see this in novels and poems everywhere.
I have no idea what ozone smells like.  I imagine it has no smell
or does it smell like smog? or the absence of smog?
I have sniffed carefully during the last 34 rainstorms.
I do smell the cement cooling, the chalky steam full of
minerals and the creation of mud, of worms
coming up for air.  Is that ozone?
I can tell you exactly what it smells like.
Rain smells like turtles
turtle shells to be exact.
Now if you have never been friends with a turtle
held him up to your face and talked in a
sensible manner about bugs, berries,
and other things he likes,
while he swims in midair and thinks
about biting your nose,
then you've never really smelled a turtle.
If you had, you would know a turtle has
something between a cat and a bird's eye.
He smiles with a yellow beak and a small
pin hole for a nose.
His dry skin, even in the armpits
and behind the knees, smells
like the inside of his honeycomb
carved shell,
and the inside of his shell
smells like rain.

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