Rain Tomorrow Storm—Antoni Ooto

no matter how much rain falls

you will be all right

recall spring
while nature whispers to a waiting field

all those secrets soaked faithfully
nudging a belief in growth

in peace, sowing trust
leaning forward;

like a monk dropping seed
keeping that final vow

Published first by The Remnant Archive, September 2020

If There’s a Better Tomorrow

If we count back to zero,
if we call to the spaces beyond, 
and trek the stars that follow. 

Which of our dreams, should we offer— 
to a long winter’s night?

Let’s remember…
“what (was) usual 
is not what is always.”
             —Jane Hirshfield

Published first by Green Ink Poetry, December 2020

Waiting Out the Storm

My friends afford me 
the comfort of their absence.

Sometimes a week or months go by.
Then when I feel alone, I remember 
somewhere out there, in that other place,
someone still cares.

This was a time of need and fear,
divisiveness and protests.
It was a time of followers, idiots, leaders 
believing their own lies and doubling down.

It was ridiculous.

It was a time for waiting
with little space for hope.

I worried and felt shame.

In other years—
at lunches among old friends I’d nod, 
seemingly attentive, listening to past cons, 
a rant, some rehashed excuses, 
as misguided comments circled the table.

Opinions simmered— 
but not mine.
When finished everyone leaned back 
eyes checking for approval.

And I sat silent, knowing less, 
about whom, I thought I knew most. 

In that breather, 
I took stock of the present.

The unending fires,
super hurricanes and floods,
oceans choking in plastic,

desperate cities looking out of war,
and ice shelves becoming history.
(Yes, all that.)

My mind is too small to hold 
without a pause button.

It’s easier remembering how 
rain quenches, restores.
But winter, (Oh God!)
winter has no time for old men.

Wait we must, then shovel our penances.  

In a storm, 
the world disappears, 
and in spring, 
with enough faith, we’ll find it again.

Published first by The Confessionalist Zine, November, 2020

©2021 Antonio Ooto
All rights reserved

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