A New Nursery Rhyme for Beijing

A poem by Canaan Morse


Rain, rain start to fall,

wash the window-studded walls.

Through the sewers thread your way,

flush the oil out to sea.


Rain, rain pouring down,

blessing for this desert town,

boiling in its crowded squares,

lost amid our blind desires.


Rain, rain please don’t go;

through your glass we see our foe:

black his car and black his shoes,

in his pocket all the keys.


Rain, rain come again,

clear the noise and bare the skin.

Green the leaf, and nurse the tree,

soak the man who cannot cry.


December 2012, Beijing. AQI: 384

Canaan Morse is a literary translator based in Beijing