. Spring Shower How beautiful the rain– The cool and cleansing rain! I watch as tiny rivulets Run down my window pane And countless glad and golden drops Renew the earth again. How tender is the rain! With what maternal grace It nourishes the passive earth And wipes its soiled face, As any mother feeds and cleans The child in her embrace. How sweet the sound of rain, Cascading all around! It gurgles in the gutters, And it splashes on the ground And patters gently on the roof– Oh, what a pleasant sound! How rapidly the rain Drains off in spinning streams And gathers into darkened pools That catch elusive beams. Each time the bashful sun appears, The shattered mirror gleams! . . Winter Landscape How softly fall the flakes of snow To earth without a sound! Like dust from angels’ wings, they glow While gliding to the ground. From heaven above they freely flow, Cascading all around, To settle on the hills below, With winter’s whiteness crowned. They float across the frozen lake Upon a frigid breeze And rest like icing on a cake On all the leafless trees. They gather thickly in the brake And bury to their knees The hungry deer, who meekly quake In silence as they freeze. Throughout the day, the drifting piles Turn all the landscape white; The whiteness stretches miles and miles, With nothing green in sight. As people turn with peaceful smiles To snuff the candlelight, Outside their cozy domiciles, The snow falls through the night. At daylight, people open wide Their shutters and they see A dazzling winter countryside That stretches endlessly; Its seamless beauty draws outside The children, who run free And play throughout the morningtide Until it’s time for tea. Through glass, they watch the sunlight gleam Upon the hoary hay And drink their cocoa, while they dream Of games they want to play; But beauty’s briefer than it seems, And soon this perfect day Must disappear in flowing streams As snowflakes melt away. . . Martin Rizley grew up in Oklahoma and in Texas, and has served in pastoral ministry both in the United States and in Europe. He is currently serving as the pastor of a small evangelical church in the city of Málaga on the southern coast of Spain, where he lives with his wife and daughter. Martin has enjoyed writing and reading poetry as a hobby since his early youth.