Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what’s on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
And rainbows have nothing to hide.
–Kermit the Frog (written by Paul Williams)
Why ARE there so many songs about rainbows?
Because they’re beautiful.
Because when their shimmeringly translucent septet of colors
makes its first hesitant appearance
–as a snail does on a sidewalk after rain,
sliding its hesitant eyes out from under the coiled shed of shell–
our hearts are called at once to tenderness and nurturing;
how could something so fragile exist in this world?
This is why the rainbows draw our songs.
Because in the end, they can’t last, and we know this,
and we mourn, even as we revel in their beauty,
expressed like a letter pledging love,
the majesty arcing over valleys, over mountains, over oceans,
or, like last night, over the city as it rests below my vineyard.
I know I shouldn’t, as I’m just about to take the wild descent down Monte Bello,
but the moment calls for more, and so I open up my trunk,
and pull a half-empty bottle from its worn cardboard case.
Tipped toward the rainbow, the cork is an arrow,
fired from the Cupid of my longings,
and once fired, then the liquid; just a bit upon my tongue,
there to be savored with a prayer,
that all the world might sample beauty,
sample fervor and devotion,
even just for one fine moment
of vision and illusion.