Rainy Poems

Dreary
Chilly
Slanted
Saddened
Weeping
Showered
Drenched
Drizzled
Scattered
Colored
Unexpected
Misted
Nourished
Fragrant
Beloved
Rain.

The Hawaiian language has over 200 different names for rain. The breadth of these names describe the form and qualities of each type, as well as the specific times and regions of the islands these rains can be found. The Hawaiian culture recognizes rain not only as an integral part of survival, but also as a friend and spiritual guide. To talk about the rain is much more than small-talk in Hawaii, it is a conversation and language in itself. The physical intricacies of rain color parts of your day and life differently and help to understand the depths of others. Hawaiian ancestors trusted the different rains to determine when to plant specific crops, fish, harvest, and so much more. Most of us have lost so much of our connection to the land. I can only hope to notice and welcome more of these sacred, rainy visitors.


Haikus

1. My love is the rain
Soaking through the sheet of night
Time folds into sky

2. Gardens refresh us
Flowers are forms of water
Our souls drink the rain


The rain dripped down
the faces of leaves
then tapped unbreaking
a dance in the streets.

We laughed in gleams
shone brighter in night
to finally feel climate
that sung us alive.


Afternoon rain in Wailuku, HI 5/31/2020

In Hawaiian poetry mentions of rain or rains may signify joy, life, growth, greenery, love, good fortune (light rains, mist), grief, sorrow, and tears (heavy rains), the presence of gods or royalty, sex, beauty or hardship.

Some of my favorite Hawaiian rain types:

  • kili, much beloved rain
  • ko’iawe, light moving rain
  • ua nāulu, showery rain
  • ua lani pili, rain downpour
  • ua ho’okina, continuous rain
  • ua hikiki’i, slanting rain
  • ililani, unexpected rain
  • uakoko, rainbow-hued rain
  • Lēhei, leaping rain of upcountry Maui
  • kuāua hope, spring rain
  • ka ua ‘awa, grieving rain
  • ʻeleua, dark rain
  • kuāua, hopeful rain
  • ehu, fine spray rain
  • Lani-paʻina, crackling heavens rain
  • ʻUla-lena, invigorating, yellow & red rain of Maui
  • Mololani, well-kept rain of the Lehua flower & Ohia tree
Writing & Photography by: Katy Claire Funke

W.S Merwin

W.S. Merwin, was a beloved poet and conservationist who lived in near-solitude in Haiku on Maui from 1970 until his death in 2019. His work was highly influenced by his passion for restoration of depleted flora and his connection to the elements on the island. I am looking forward to visiting his plantation soon where he restored hundreds of species of palms.

Merwin wrote several beautiful rain poems. Here is one of my favorites of his:

Rain Travel

I wake in the dark and remember
it is the morning when I must start
by myself on the journey
I lie listening to the black hour
before dawn and you are
still asleep beside me while
around us the trees full of night lean
hushed in their dream that bears
us up asleep and awake then I hear
drops falling one by one into
the sightless leaves and I
do not know when they began but
all at once there is no sound but rain
and the stream below us roaring
away into the rushing darkness


- W.S. Merwin

The Rooster

4am:

“Dawn!”
He screams

before it even comes.

“Gold!”
He demands

all day long.

Hoarse by noon,
but never relents —

my silver-lining sweetheart,
my eternal optimist.

Then,
there he goes,

look at him run!

Please,
don’t give up!

Keep chasing that sun!


Wild chickens are in surplus here on Maui. There must be a dozen roosters trying to claim every neighborhood as their territory.

Here is a rooster who has been circling my house for weeks and I swear his crows are on a 20 second timer… His voice must be so tired!

Writing & Photography by: Katy Claire Funke

One idea

You once told me that all I needed was
one idea

and how quickly I’ve learned
what one idea
can do:

One idea
can carry the wind and
find the beauty in the storm.

One idea
can carve the canyon and
give you the wings to fly accross it.

One idea
can unfold the story,
inspire the songs,
and hold your attention.

One idea
can turn an ache into a glow,
a limitation into a possibility —

a single memory into a fairytale.

One idea
can last a lifetime
in the heart,
in love,
in gratitude.

You once told me that all I needed was
one idea

and how easy writing became when that
one idea
was
you.


Writing & Photography by: Katy Claire Funke

Beautiful afterglow at this evening at Sugar Beach.

One of my favorite idea-inspired poems by Rumi:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”

– Rumi

Reflections

I still see you
in the mirror —

like one we shared.

Only this time
it shattered

into
everywhere.

Into the roses
blooming

into the shadows —
the remnants
still shine

the silver storm
of your eyes

as they saw
what also
shone in mine.

Shards of you
pattern the sky
in a mosaic of night

I seek every glimmer
of your every light.

A mercury
of reflections
slips into the seas
of my mind

and into anywhere
I might find beauty

as you once taught me to.

How I longed
to see the world
from your point of view.

And why I look for you in me
I wish I knew
,

when to hold a piece
would cut
too deep

( to hold what was —
or what couldn’t be )

as you were always
somewhere
I couldn’t go.

Still
my mind opens doors
down halls of glass
in a house of mirrors

where I hope to find you
everywhere.


Writing & photography by: Katy Claire Funke

Mother’s Day Poems

Garden

She taught me how to tend the garden
planted in my soul:

the times to sow,
the times to to prune,
to nourish, protect and cradle.

But never neglect
to pray with hope —
for the blooms will come back,
( they will always come back
).


On the beach today

On the beach today
curled up in the warm island sand
mothers hold their babies in the surf.

I’ve heard mothers described as
islands :
safe places to land.
But they also must be
oceans :
endless depths of surging love.


Mom’s store

My mother owned the only grocery store in town.
Yes, only a grocery store,
but equal to a kingdom
in my little girl brain.

This is my mom’s store!
I would exclaim,
as if she were a queen.
They would tell me,
you look just like her.
A statement instantly perking up my princess crown.


Artist

She claims to have no artistry
yet,
an artist is all I see.

In ways she paints in scents of color
with arms outstretched like salvia
in flowers she plants the love for others —
her heart of honeyed dahlia.


Writing and featured image by: Katy Claire Funke

My obsession with florals comes from my mom. Here are some shots from her garden this Mother’s Day:

Orchids

My heart bleeds flowers.

Today, most overwhelmingly, with

The Orchid :

one which can be
so easily
overwhelmed;

needing everything in her life to be
just so :

romantic in her lighting
– diffused or moonlit

exotic in hydration
– luke-warm and delicate .

In the air she thrives,
( as she’ll swell
with stems in soil. )

Like a serpent,
she resorts up trees,
roots coiled.

She’s unafraid to wilt
and adapt to new homes,

with patience
she blooms :

her secret alone .


I have been so fascinated with orchids and their temperamental nature recently. There are a lot of differing opinions on how to properly care for these finicky blooms, especially on the topic of watering. I always heard that you should use ice cubes, but others say the trick is to temporarily submerge the roots in luke-warm water. Now that I see orchids more in their natural tropical environment, the latter makes more sense with the warm rainforest the flowers thrive in. But, I have also heard that every orchid is different and requiring special care.


Petal on a string

Like a petal on a string,
a feather on the air,
I glided to
you —

to your poetry
of stars :

written
in the night

dancing
in your eyes;

they fell
into the shadows
in the corners
of mine.

Though the day
will turn dreams
away
like Orpheus,

won’t you stay here for now
and hold me in the darkness?

Writing and Photography by: Katy Claire Funke

The Pageant

Maui held a beauty pageant
for the plants on the island’s stage …

First up was the talent portion

The Palm Tree did the hula,
the Hibiscus danced ballet,
but it was the Trumpet Vine
who wooed the crowed
with her jazzy serenade.

Next up was the evening wear

The gowns were rich in pines and petals
from the Norfolk and the Orchid,
but to the Bougainvillea
and her ruffled florals —
the blue ribbon was awarded.

Then there came the on-stage question

The Fox Tail and the Lobster Claw
didn’t have much to say,
but the Bird of Paradise won, wings-down,
with her passion for civil rights day.

Awards would start with specialties …

Of course, Photogenic, went to Belladonna,
she thought she’d win Congeniality,
but that went to the kind Plumeria
(Belladonna had no personality).

And then there was the final moment;
the title holders announced

The first runner up was the Ginger Plant
with her spicy need for the spotlight
but the crown went to the Pineapple,
for her sweetest beauty laid inside.


Writing and Photography By: Katy Claire Funke

This month officially marks 10 years since I entered the world of pageants. I won the title of Miss Idaho’s Outstanding Teen through the Miss America Organization in 2010. It was one of the most life-changing moments for me and I still reap the benefits from the skills I gained through my pageant experience. Even though pageants get a bad rap (and don’t get me wrong, they definitely do have some not so pretty aspects), I can say, without a doubt, that the people I personally worked with: my state directors, fellow contestants, and title holders, are still some of the most remarkable women I have ever encountered. I earned a great deal of scholarships through the Miss America Organization to go toward my college education and so many unforgettable experiences that I will always be grateful for.

A moment in the sunrise

I try to never miss a sunrise

to paint my intentions
within a landscape
completely indifferent
to me.

I can seamlessly slip
through the
spiderwebbed cracks
on my little patio

and into the sunlit glow
of a sacred space,

exhaling my prayers
and wildflower hopes
to breathe in peace
made with the day’s
groundlessness;

understanding
the unknowings
and embracing
the chance of showers
through the answers
of Saint Honesty.

I know if I unfurl today
I can wrap myself back up into
our shared sky of peach blossoms
and watch the egret take flight
from its canvas of polished reeds.

It’s here that I find harmony
within an impossible opalescent
distance,

while sipping slowly
at the therapies
of our secret garden …

and for just our moment

gravity shifts
miles into
inches

and I can trace over the ocean
until i find your
fingertips:

like a soft morning kiss .

Bonus Morning #Haikus

Dalí melts the clocks
The sun rises in your eyes
Wind sails to your seas

__________________________

Monet sent lilies
to make a good impression
on his best painting

Claude Monet, 1914, The Waterlilies: Morning

Writing & Photography by: Katy Claire Funke

I fell in love with Poetry

A love story #prose #poetry

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment
when I fell in love with Poetry.

Somewhere between the summer nights
and the carelessness of his hair.

Of course, he was a musician with this
hypnotizing rhythm and a smile like Chardonnay.

Just the way that he knocked at my door that autumn day …
I must have known for certain that I’d never be the same.

How he waltzed right up to me and took me by the hand.
How he whispered, we should dance
and I felt so silly, only knowing a few steps
like the haiku shuffle, and the iambic slide —
but oh, the way he held me, right then I could have died!

All of it is beautiful, he said, because it’s you.
I swooned into his smooth talk, but deep down always knew
that my rhymes about my dog were only child’s play,
while a masterpiece he was, (but good heavens, still I blushed!)

On our very first date we hiked up into the forest—
and no, he wasn’t wealthy, but was richer than the royals
when he showed me all the jewels hidden, muted in my world,
and he listened ever gently to all my heart had to say.

To hear it as he did was like dining at the Ritz.
As never had I seen the sky in such divine array
in a morning glory apricot.

And music — how it just lit up like candlelight!

And all the late-night drives… where was he taking me?
A coral beach at sunrise? Floating on the sea?
Somewhere down the way to a love, complex and deep?
I swear the way he knew me was like I’d known him all my life .

But my dear, he was a heartbreaker…
He showed me what it was to cry through all the pain —
oh, the pain! His pain, my pain — it was all the same.
An unanticipated turn into a ping-pong game;
ending in a knock-down-drag-out fight within myself
pinned into a corner. I had to write to get me out.

Impassioned in our nights and exposed in all my scars
that he kissed and turned to stars while we held each other tight.
We forgave and fell asleep, only knowing I’d awake as a new unburdened day
finding beauty ever steady than it was in yesterday.

On my journey never knowing where all of this would land,
but always being thankful for the journey he began.

Writing & Photography By: Katy Claire Funke