Thursday, June 7, 2018

Fifty Shades of Rain

Another wet Thursday!  But today the water is specific to rain.  We all have rain in common - too much, too little, gentle spring rain, torrential rain, rain mixed with snow or sleet.  We walk, sing, dance, and play in the rain.  We stay inside and drink soup or tea or something cozy with alcohol, read while it rains, listen to the rain on the roof before we go to sleep.  We groan at the rain when we hae to walk in it to catch a bus or train and curse up a blue streak when a car goes by and SPLASH! thoroughly wets us through.

Basho wrote of rain:
spring rain
leaking through the roof
dripping from the wasp's nest

And this from Robert Louis Stevenson. I memorized this as a child but always wondered, what kind of rain?  Simple and delightful.

The Rain
The rain is raining all around,
It falls on field and tree.
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.

The Japanese have 50+ words for rain.  Being Japanese their words for rain are seasonal, specific, and at times, extremely artistic. We westerners look at rain as rain - the same rain that falls in the morning is the same rain that falls at night.  Right? Nope. In fact, they created a poetic form that addresses the changing of the seasons, the nature, and the now - the haiku.  The melancholy felt when the seasons changed  and the climate changes took place are part of their concept of mono no aware (mo-no no awah-ray) and mujo (transition or change).

Here are some of their words for rain for you. I do not expect you to use the Japanese word you have chosen to write about.  But, I'd like for you all to write a poem about rain - light rain, misty rain, welcome rain (after a drought), or rain and dew mixed for example.  You may use any form you wish to write your poem.  However, if you use haibun or haiku, please use the classic form meaning, for a haibun write a factual account of rain and for haiku, use a seasonal word.  One of my favorite is kisame (kee sah may) - rain that drips from the leaves.  Pick a favorite or two and write!  Don't forget your rainboots!

Also, please link your poem to Mr. Linky and visit the other poets who are linked.

ame –  rain
kosame –  light rain
kisame – rain that drips from tree branches
enu – misty rain
ooame – heavy rain
yokoburi – driving rain
shuuchuugouu – severe localized downpour
uro – rain and dew
kanu – cold winter rain
shun rin – spring rain
shun u – gentle spring rain
shuu rin – autumn rain
ugo – after rain
nagame – long rain
yuudachi  – sudden evening rain
shinotsukuame – intense rain
yulimajiri  – snow and rain
uhyou –  freezing rain
hisame – very cold rain or hail
ryokuu – summer rain
touu – winter rain
houshanouu – radioactive rain


  1. I love this prompt, Toni. As always, I am having a bit of trouble with the linky, but I will get to writing. Thank you for giving us a new perspective on rain.

  2. Kerry: Thank you. I am always glad to give a new perspective on anything and am always happy to receive the same. thank you for writing to this prompt so beautifully.

  3. Linda Lee: thank you for adding your poem!

  4. Toni- can you do me a favor and delete my link? I want to write something more aligned with your prompt. Thank you.

  5.'s okay. No fauxku here. I'll protect you but must earn you, there is a haiku at the end of my haibun. It won't bite you. Totally sloth approved

  6. Linda I do not know how to delete. But put correct link by your name. I am looking forward to the poem. I know it will be worth waiting for. Thank you.

  7. I love this prompt, Toni! I am tied up with preparations for travelling to a conference in Cardiff in the morning but I will try to write a poem this evening or when I return.

  8. Well if it's sloth approved....(hurries ahead fearlessly)

    I tried extra hard to catch the feel I thought this theme deserved. I hope you approve of what I came up with, friend.

  9. Kim: I love your poem! Thank you for posting it.

  10. I will try to write something later... but now it's bedtime for me. Here we have lack of rain. But also with no rain it becomes important.

  11. Shay: your poem is much loved by this pupperina

  12. Bjorn, I am looking forward to your poem!

  13. Evening, Toads! Thanks, Toni, for this evocative prompt! :)

  14. Frank: you are so welcome. I am glad you wrote to this prompt!

  15. Your post fascinated me when I first read it last week. Today we had a rainstorm so I decided to write a short poem.


Much time and effort went into this post! Your feedback is appreciated.