Two Poems

by Sean Patrick Hill

Driving Through Andalusia

And we could have everything and every day
We make it more impossible.

What we see you say isn’t ours anymore.
Is this what we mean when we say ruined?

Every river we cross is bled dry,
Each arroyo a deserted dirt road.

Let me ask,
How are you now?

I’m as hot as I am hungry.
All day I have been turning stones
To bread, and I’ve been drinking
Water like a failed saint.

It’s true what they say about Costa del Sol,
The sun-baked grain and grass.
But have you noticed what they neglect
To tell you about is wind,
How each blade turns in its grip.

The hills are broken into pieces,
Empty haciendas,
Wandering off like lost Romans
Into the distances of the afternoon.

After so many hours of driving I admit
I never thought Gibraltar would appear
So small.

I was thinking just now about Hemingway,
And Hills Like White Elephants.
Like the girl in the story, I’m not convinced.
Like her, I’m thirsty to the point of desperation,
And the wind can’t meet my demands.

Go ahead. Tell me the hills will go on,
Like herds across the burning sea.

You won’t convince me of anything.
I’ve eaten nothing but bread for days.

The Good Rain

            to my wife

This inner weather is enough
To drown the rattled trees
I imagine being
Full of frightened birds.

You’ve heard my amateur forecasts—
High pressure, cold sheets of rain.

No wonder sleep shocks me
Into terrible dreams of fighting my way
Through rivers
Choked with mud.

But today the garden is greedy for rain—

It’s not wind that ruins your thyme,
But unbroken streams of sun.

Show me your squash blossoms and berries
Hidden under leaves.

Tell me again why you love the rain.


Sean Patrick Hill is a freelance writer, naturalist, and teacher living in Portland, Oregon. He is a blogger at Fringe Magazine and Travel Oregon. His poems appear or are forthcoming in Exquisite Corpse, elimae, Alba, diode, Willow Springs, RealPoetik, The Pedestal Magazine, The Battered Suitcase, Unlikely 2.0, The Foliate Oak, Sawbuck, Word Riot and Quarter After Eight. His blog site is