In this week’s poem, “Sun Shower,” Ken Olson shares a paean to an especially lovely and ethereal weather phenomenon. I love this poem’s attention not just to the visual imagery and music of a sun shower, but also the rich scents it rouses from the earth.

Olson writes across genres. He was named a 2021 Maine Literary Awards finalist for short works in poetry and, along with co-authors, was a finalist for the 2017 John N. Cole Award for Maine-themed nonfiction for their book “Acadia National Park: A Centennial Celebration.” His op-eds have run in various national media. Olson is retired president and CEO of Friends of Acadia.

Sun Shower
By Ken Olson

A sun shower has straightness
a thunderstorm hasn’t, descends
in a lit linear spray. Its waters bless
eaves, re-form drip lines (dimpling
troughs into the ground), present
an aperture of draining raiment
thin enough to see through,
speaks sibilance, no blasting
rapture, no dark rupture.

Rain plips of an afternoon, plops
hit the deck—drops filtered by
the prismatic, color-wheel sky
hiss, purr to tapers, attenuate
to nil. Puddled quiet, they absorb,
then emit, whiffs of leaves, drafts
of barks, grasses, toads, quaffs
of mosses, marshes—fetid-sweet,
muck-charged olfactory caresses.

Megan Grumbling is a poet and writer who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. “Sun Shower,” © 2024 by Ken Olson, appears by permission of the author.

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