By Seamus Heaney.
Up-end the rain stick and what happens next
Is a music that you never would have known
To listen for. In a cactus stalk
Downpour, sluice-rash, spillage and backwash
Come flowing through. You stand there like a pipe
Being played by water, you shake it again lightly
And diminuendo runs through all its scales
Like a gutter stopping trickling. And now here comes
a sprinkle of drops out of the freshened leaves,
Then subtle little wets off grass and daisies;
Then glitter-drizzle, almost-breaths of air.
Up-end the stick again. What happens next
Is undiminished for having happened once,
Twice, ten, a thousand time before.
Who care if all the music that transpires
Is the fall of grit or dry seeds through a cactus?
You are like a rich man entering heaven
Through the ear of a raindrop. Listen now again.
For those wishing a more literal interpretation, here is what YouTube can teach you about the rain stick.