Night Rain


“To imagine how the use of our resources depletes someone else’s — unless we develop that capacity personally and nationally, we all die. We must see connections or die. Justice is the ability to see connections and live by them.”

— James Carroll, A Terrible Beauty

The world is my prophet
turning my face to fix my gaze
upon the diaspora of my own cells
the promises that dissolve upon leaving the tongue
the prayers that never left
and the self-intoxication from their potency
and the starved faces for whom they were supposed to have medicated
the dried-up blood from
the violence of silence
and the unhealed in their
merciless war to survive.
A night rain in my darkest soil,
growing the seeds that wish to stay comforted (concealed) in potash and lye
little white morsels of illusory nourishment
Separated from the one life that is donald trump-mother teresa-sexual predator-water protector-jesus christ-judas iscariot-pontius pilate-the neighbor we avoid greeting-everything holy and everything vile-you-me
Falling like a veil that kept me apart
Falling as the voice inside I cannot deny or send back to my version of the heavens
Falling like it is the end

but it’s just night rain.

.

©2018, Amaya Engleking

This poem answers my prompt at dVerse Poets Pub, which asks you to look at the origin or meaning of your name and write an open-form poem about it. You may choose any of your names, just as long as you explore its meaning. My first name ‘Amaya’ can be found in different cultures around the world. I wrote here about its meaning in Japanese (‘night rain’) Hopi (‘dispeller of evil’) Sanskrit (‘without illusion’) and Basque (‘the end.’) I enjoyed finding the connection between the varied meanings. Feel free to come join us as the prompt will be open for submissions until Thursday 10/11, 3pm Eastern.

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42 comments

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) · 13 Days Ago

    This is stellar, i love how you tied all the meanings of your name, where the night rain in the end made me just smile.. there is something like a separation between dream and reality in that rain, like a veil maybe.

    • Gospel Isosceles · 12 Days Ago

      Yes, the veil. I loved the visual of the falling rain and the falling veil. Thanks, Björn.

  2. kim881 · 13 Days Ago

    Wonderful writing, Amaya! There is much to praise and I especially love:
    ‘the promises that dissolve upon leaving the tongue
    the prayers that never left
    and the self-intoxication from their potency’
    and
    ‘A night rain in my darkest soil,
    growing the seeds that wish to stay comforted (concealed) in potash and lye
    little white morsels of illusory nourishment’.

  3. Blogging_with_Bojana · 13 Days Ago

    Wow. Girl, you’re brilliant.

  4. sarahsouthwest · 13 Days Ago

    Woah, what an ending. Lots of great images – the violence of silence – that’s strong – made me think of all those survivors who kept their pain secret.

    • Gospel Isosceles · 12 Days Ago

      I wasn’t thinking of that necessarily but I’m glad those victims are on your heart. Often in that case, silence is not a choice but part of the damaging ramifications.

  5. nosaintaugustine · 13 Days Ago

    “A night rain in my darkest soil.”- fantastic!

  6. Vivian Zems · 13 Days Ago

    An insightful poem- where you’ve turned your name inside out to explore its meaning. My fav line:
    A night rain in my darkest soil,
    growing the seeds that wish to stay comforted (concealed) in potash and lye

    Perfect!

  7. Grace · 13 Days Ago

    What an interesting name and its meanings Amaya. So many connotations with night rain that you can encompassed with Everything holy, everything vile. I also admire the same line as Vivian :

    A night rain in my darkest soil,
    growing the seeds that wish to stay comforted (concealed) in potash and lye

  8. Glenn Buttkus · 13 Days Ago

    A very strong and personal poem that perfectly illustrates your prompt. You had me at /the dried-up blood from/ the violence of silence/; a perfect juxtaposition. I tended to go long, deep into poetic prose, to endeavor to fully honor the prompt.

  9. Ali · 13 Days Ago

    I love the last line.

    This is my favorite part:
    “turning my face to fix my gaze
    upon the diaspora of my own cells”

  10. whimsygizmo · 13 Days Ago

    I LOVE the repeating of “falling” in those last lines. Beautiful.

  11. Mish · 13 Days Ago

    Brilliant. The connections you built between varied origins were so seamless, that reading it again after reading your postscript was like reading another poem. First read took me deep into my strongest belief about life/humanity/existence….that we have the ability to save the whole flippin’ world, but we choose not to. This line “the dried-up blood from the violence of silence” is a profound, perfect expression of that. Second read, I love the way you circle back to the “night rain” evoking comfort and perspective. When you joined dVerse, my first thought was….what a beautiful name you have.

    • Gospel Isosceles · 12 Days Ago

      I’m honored by your multiple readings with care, Mish. And thank you for taking the time to let me know where each reading took you. What a compliment. What a gift. To walk with another through my own poetry. I’m honored, really.

  12. rothpoetry · 13 Days Ago

    We definitely live in an Amaya world. The end is near! Not sure the end of what!?

  13. Frank Hubeny · 13 Days Ago

    Nice last two lines.

  14. Pingback: He who Was Beloved | Hephaestus’ Waste & Cosmic Rubble
  15. Gina · 13 Days Ago

    a night rain in my darkest soil – that line brought me to conspirators gaining momentum under cover – brilliant lines Amaya – your name holds secrets and power

  16. Brendan · 13 Days Ago

    The various meanings of your name is woven here into a complex identity which informs the voice and its fate. Night rain’s a-gonna call, and Amaya must sing it all. The connections are both dreadful and holy and all of it is falling but it’s only and most night rain. Amen.

  17. Chris Black · 13 Days Ago

    Reblogged this on Today from the Man Shed and commented:
    A serious piece of writing, do check it out. Reblogged on Today from the Man Shed.

  18. almerighi · 13 Days Ago

    Il mondo è il mio profeta
    girando la mia faccia per fissare il mio sguardo
    sulla diaspora delle mie stesse cellule
    le promesse che si dissolvono dopo aver lasciato la lingua
    le preghiere che non hanno mai lasciato
    e l’auto-intossicazione dalla loro potenza
    e le facce affamate per le quali avrebbero dovuto essere medicati
    il sangue asciugato da
    la violenza del silenzio
    e i non cicatrizzati nella loro
    guerra senza pietà per sopravvivere.
    Una pioggia notturna nel mio terreno più buio,
    coltivando i semi che desiderano rimanere confortati (nascosti) in cloruro di potassio e liscivia
    piccoli bocconcini bianchi di nutrimento illusorio
    Separato dall’unica vita che è donald Trump-madre teresa-predatore sessuale-protettore d’acqua-gesù cristo-giuda iscariota-pilastro pilato-il vicino evitiamo di salutare-tutto santo e tutto vile-tu-me
    Cadere come un velo che mi ha tenuto lontano
    Cadendo come voce dentro non posso negare o rimandare alla mia versione dei cieli
    Cadere come se fosse la fine

    ma è solo la pioggia della notte.

    Great Poem! Greetings from Italy!

    • Gospel Isosceles · 12 Days Ago

      I appreciate you taking the time to translate this piece, Almerighi. I found it interesting that
      1) “night rain” was both “una pioggia notturna” and “la pioggia della notte”. So for the title “Night Rain” which would you choose? (I’m guessing the translation from the final line.)
      And that
      2) “falling” was twice “cadere” and once “cadendo”
      It’s the beauty of the Romance languages, to change depending on context, but I wonder why you, as translator, chose to make those slight modifications.
      The only thing I would change is to not capitalize the T in trump. No person is with or without any more privilege than another.

      Grazie mio amico!

  19. Just Barry · 12 Days Ago

    This is exquisite writing. I can’t single out a favorite part as it ties together so well. Just amazing work here.

  20. qbit · 12 Days Ago

    That is amazing. “donald trump-mother teresa-sexual predator-water protector-jesus christ-judas iscariot-pontius pilate-the neighbor we avoid greeting-everything holy and everything vile-you-me” — not sure you could make that any better.

  21. katiemiafrederick · 12 Days Ago

    A Name For All
    A Name For Love

  22. Frank J. Tassone · 12 Days Ago

    Powerful, evocative, prophetic, and so well done!

  23. purplepeninportland · 12 Days Ago

    Incredible, power in this poem. A couple of my favorite lines:
    “the dried-up blood from
    the violence of silence”

    “Separated from the one life that is donald trump-mother teresa-sexual predator-water protector-jesus christ-judas iscariot-pontius pilate-the neighbor we avoid greeting-everything holy and everything vile-you-me”

  24. sarveshwahie · 12 Days Ago

    Well, I woke up to your comment on my post this morning and then I came here to read this. It has been raining here, through the night I guess and I cannot help but share this with you. Do you know ‘Rain’ by Tones on Tail? Please listen, if you haven’t already.
    and yes! The world is a prophet!

    • Gospel Isosceles · 11 Days Ago

      Thanks, I just listened to it. Kind of reminds me of the dreamy tone color of Washed Out’s tracks.

  25. Kathy Reed · 12 Days Ago

    This is profound, Amaya. Night rain brings out our fears and contentments alike, I think. But you put me in a spell with references to the names of those who leave deep marks in our lives, holy and evil, with aplomb. I love the veil as protector.

  26. Prashant Nawani · 12 Days Ago

    The night rain and your beautiful name! The weaving, so fine, and without subscribing to meter and rhyme…

  27. annell4 · 11 Days Ago

    Night ran so beautiful in the dark, so beautiful when lit by electricity.

  28. B. Brown · 8 Days Ago

    Beautiful! and nice promp

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