a little rain, a little more by Ron Czerwien

a little rain, a little more by Ron Czerwien. Bent Paddle Press, 2018

Reviewed by Gabriel Mundo

A little rain, a little more is a short collection of personal poetry by Ron Czerwien, who draws mundane images from his life and repaints them with delicate, meaningful precision. There is a common theme of the power of nature throughout the collection that ties his poems together tightly. The reader is shown the type of poet Czerwien is in his opening poem, “October,” that has lines such as:

A squirrel in his winter coat,
Both of us touched by gray,
Goes about making ready in the evening light.
There’s something buried beneath this cottonwood
We’ll both get back to.

There is also a beauty in the aging of nature at center stage in a variety of his poems. I find Czerwien to be a person who has seen the simplicity of nature and understands it as something eternal. An image as simple as a squirrel with grey fur is something that he can appreciate. The title of the book alludes to the main recurring theme of water. From droplets of rain to the great lakes, a poem with water is never far off. While adding to the nature theme of this collection, the inclusion of water also reflects the type of person Czerwien is. Being Midwestern born and bred means he has lived his life surrounded by nature, making his poems the kind that Midwesterners can have a greater appreciation towards. I find that the final poem of the collection, “Revival,” is a great example of this:

How else do you explain
Oak leaf shake and shimmer,

Tambourines and hallelujahs
In a late September gust,

Or the evening’s theme song:
A little rain, a little more…

There are no complex metaphors or complicated language but instead, a simple line that reads, “A little rain, a little more.” The line without context means nothing, but once you understand the themes that Czerwien is touching upon in his collection, it has a subtle gravity to it. Every Midwesterner knows the feeling when the rain doesn’t seem like it will ever stop. Even people not from the Midwest can appreciate the line in the context of the collection. No matter who or where you are, nature will always find a way.

A little rain, a little more is a calming read, as if Czerwein is retelling a story to an old friend. His poems are personal but soft. Czerwien knows who he is and in this collection, it shows that he spends his time appreciating the beauty of the world. There are multiple poems with the title, “Helpful Glimpses Into The Future.” These poems share the author’s calmness but are written in a slightly different tone. “The 9th Glimpse” has a final stanza that reads: “Now all you need for your journey is a hat / fashioned out of fish bones and laughter.” I believe this line shows the general feeling these glimpses into the future evoke. The future not being outright good or bad but more as a journey that one should make the best of. I believe that is what Ron Czerwien has been doing and will continue to do. A little rain, a little more is a warming account of the life a man has lived and the beauty he’s experienced.

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