While most of this country was experiencing a snowy-stormy winter, here on the California coast we had an unusually balmy one. So last Monday morning, walking in some good ol’ San Francisco Bay Area fog seemed refreshing. I was surprised when those misty droplets got heavier, and I found myself caught in the rain.
For a reason I don’t recall, I stopped and looked behind me. A rainbow shined in the sky.
I had my rainbow pause—my moment with that amazing sight.
Then I was amused. Isn’t that just like California in 2015? When we get rain, we get a rainbow, too.
I’d been looking for a topic to respond to Margarita Engle’s tanka poem challenge on Today’s Little Ditty, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes’ blog. (Read about the challenge following Michelle’s great interview with one of my favorite authors: here. A tanka is a poetic form from Japan with a 5-7-5-7-7 syllable pattern. In other languages the lines can be short-long-short-long-long.) I had just found my topic. Here is the poem:
Amidst a dry March, this misty California morning turned rainy. I turn around to find a rainbow, smiling upside-down. © Karin Fisher-Golton, 2015
After a draft or two, I realized an upside-down smile is also a frown. That seemed fitting too, in a time of climate change and in a poem with turns and words with multiple meanings. Poetry, whether it’s mine or someone else, so often helps me notice more.
To me both meanings of the rainbow are true, the smile and the frown. Whatever meaning I give it, as with any rainbow, its awesome beauty was undeniable.
You can find many more poems for this Poetry Friday at Jone MacCulloch’s website, Check It Out, and mine and other tankas in response to Margarita Engle’s challenge on Michelle’s blog, Today’s Little Ditty.