The Praying Mantis

Front legs worrying,
tumbling over and over
as if the subject of his prayers must be gathered up,
lifted as an offering.
A tilt of a triangular mandibula
a slow motion Tai Chi dance
ritually moving through the prayers.
Ritual motion is replaced by
unending stillness
broken only by the falling rain.
The prayers have been answered,
the arachnid moves for shelter under a shimmering leaf.

A Mackerel Sky

Sunday’s Herringbone cloud patterns
meant rain within 48 hours.
Sailors call it a Mackerel Sky.
Yesterday the air grew humid
and my hair went all curly and cattywampus.
today the smell of rain is in the air,
the sky has grown dark,
but no drops have fallen.
The atmosphere is pregnant with rain.
the trees leaves are turned up
ready to catch the moisture
the birds are hushed
and I am at the window
shutters thrown open wide
waiting on the rain.