A Drop of Rain


By Gavin Ding

This poem is the result of a classroom activity in Indian Classics III, a fourth-year DRBU BA course.Students were studying a unit on Sufi and Hindu poetry and were free to create their own stylistic writing that is inspired by these enlightened poets. The goal is to capture the student's internal contemplation in the form of poetry. Students were not required to follow a rigid format or style, but to explore and encapsulate the genuine words of their spirit. 



I’m a drop of rain,
Wishing to return to the ocean —
Yet, I am afraid.
The journey is tough, with many hardships along the way.

I might land on a rigid rock and quickly dry away.
I might land on the cold earth and be mixed with the muddy array. 
I might land on the myriad creatures and become their bodily waste.
How could I ever return to the ocean when I die midway?

Only if I could enter into a stream and be carried along
Uniting with the lakes, rivers, and seas
Finding my home— the place where I belong.
It’s the water’s tendency to flow downwards towards the ocean, 
Yet, in this hopeless journey, there are so many obstructions.

But wait, I’ve got it all wrong
My deepest longing is what obstructed my arrival
Confusing me with the appearance of an unsupportive world 
No matter what I become, I’m always with the whole 
The ocean is water and so is my soul.

Whether falling on a rock, mixing with earth, or ingested or spewed,
I’ll always find my way back into the clouds and start anew
Water always changes, transforming into ice, dew, or vapor 
Yet, the pathway back home is always remembered
The transformation is not the issue, 
The reluctance to act is.

I wish to fall on a rigid rock, so I may erode its surface
Paving a riverbed for the raindrops of the future
I wish to fall on the cold earth, so I may nourish the plants 
Supporting the vessels that cycle the water through transpiration.

I wish to fall on creatures, so I may wash away their dust,
Purifying their bodies and be taken a little further.
Again and again, I will return in different forms.
My task and accomplishment may seem insignificant,
But my union with the ocean will surely happen.