Jill McGrath



Tetebatu, Indonesia


This tropical rain thunders down like the gods

are shouting at us and springs back up

from the fields, misty around the edges

like lightning rods transported back to heaven

or the strings of a harp



Nothing else in the landscape moves.

I am transfixed, I feel the pole of my spine

threaded with rills of water

cascading up and down.


And then the rains stop

as if a curtain has hurtled upward.

The light seems to freeze, deepens,

illuminates a new world. The clouds lift,

and the volcanic mountain rears up

and away.

Within this field of silence, the unruffled waters,

begins a threading sound,

the frogs’ chorus is timid,

then bolder, a throaty unwinding.

Everything human is hushed

for this brilliant singing.


Mt. Rinjani accepts the night’s purple fields,

the serenade of darkness, the fragrant dance

of plumeria, of jasmine,


accepts the offerings of celebration,

the small wings of my hands lifting

in applause.



Copyright © 2002 Jill McGrath.  All Rights Reserved.

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