March 9, 2015

First Mist by Rick Hartwell

First open-mouth kiss of rain today,
warm, moist – belying latent need –
almost unexpected; waited for so long.

Wet stone smell of sidewalks and
soft zephyrs of steam from tarmac,
rivulets streaming off polished cars.

Not yet the farmers’ rains, but rains
of early titillation awakening new
yearnings, harbingers of those full-

bodied, voluptuous downpours,
stimulating verdant growth with
the slow inebriation of a land afire.

Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school teacher (remember the hormonally-challenged?) living in Southern California. He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity. Given his “druthers,” if he’s not writing, Rick would rather still be tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon. He can be reached at

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