Spring 2008

Table of Contents - Vol. VI, No. 1


Poetry    Interview    Translations    Fiction    Book Reviews

Jared Carter


Into the Rain

The President, busy with world events, did not reply. It fell to White to turn down Bennett’s last plea. The word came just after Bennett had finished a final dinner of fried shrimp, fresh frozen peaches, and his favorite, hot rolls and biscuits. He was whisked from his cell and into the rain and up the scaffold. He had been so afraid of rainstorms, and so by his side hurried the . . . prison chaplain, using a penlight to read – shout, actually – the 23rd and 46th Psalms as they rushed Bennett to the arms of the executioner. The soldier’s last words: “May God have mercy on your souls.”

Richard A. Serrano, Los Angeles Times, July 12, 1994, page 14.

The Lord is the falling rain, and I am a droplet borne up
by the wind, come from out of that tempest.

The Lord is a voice calling through the mist and the rain
and the storm, a voice that I know and heed.

It is rain I remember, and its thunder, when my mother
would gather me in her arms, and comfort me.

It was rain on the window, when the shadows of drops
ran like tears across the face of one that I loved.

It is in the presence of rain that I bow my head,
so that I might be anointed, and made precious.

And it is by rain that I am blessed, rain that will quicken
the green pastures after I am carried away.

Rain that I enter now, admitted into its falling and rising,
rain by which I am borne up for ever and ever.



Then suddenly, neither at dusk, nor afternoon,
but sometime between, the house shook itself,
and trees gathered in slow convolution.
A wind came over everything, through doors
banging shut and opening again, windows
rattling in their frames, braided rugs lifting
Along the floors. The surge continued, finding
its way along the bookshelves and down the hall.
On the side porch, an erratic scraping
As though someone walked among the chairs,
changing their positions, ever so slightly.
Had there been a lamp in the parlor,
It would have been snuffed out. Even the pilot light
on the stove was found, and extinguished.
And the leaves of the snake plant shifted.

All through the hedge and the bending trees,
the air was strangely cooled, as though risen up
from some deep place – wind that kept
Rushing through the rooms, seemingly compelled
to search for something – and the house itself
was carried back through the years
To the sound of a pendulum clock keeping
witness in the hallway, and a spinning wheel
beginning to move of its own accord –
To a time when candles were lit by evening,
only to be caught in this sudden flow,
flaring for an instant, flickering wildly,
Then going dark – the wind moving on
through the house, the moment forgotten,
leaving only a long, measured breathing.


© Jared Carter



Poetry    Interview    Translations    Fiction    Book Reviews

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