It’s Been Raining

Drum comes in; steady and

Lacota-Sioux, ghost- beat strong.

She’s standing, tall and proud

Behind silk scarfed microphone

In seen-better-days snakeskin boots;

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Hearing Music.

Blond panther in beggar-black rain

Is pacing beautiful blue-silver

Dapple paths that stretch

From then to beyond

On velvet-whisper pads.

Unseen by even the cat,

Man, still-sitting on

Drum Back mountain stack

Watches it all unfold once again;

Hearing music in the

Tiny perfect silences,

Feeling tears drawn out

Of history’s eyes.




Heavy rain:

Drip for the garden,

Drop for the lawn:

Drum roll for the garden,

Refreshing frogpaddle pond,

Falling future for

 Sun-parched ground.

I’m remembering a

Storm-hammered, crowded,

Noisy, light blue bus

Leaving a street market

In Yesterday’s-Gone,

No-Promise country;

A lover’s farewell:

“The skies cry,”

Biting back youngblood tears,

Biting passion-bruised lips,

“When good friends part.”

Drip for the past,

Drop for the present,

Drum-roll for the memory,

Reviving yesterday’s dancers,

Refreshing history’s dreams.




Suit in the corner,
 Tie loosened off some,
 Folding his papers,
 Turns around, announces:
“Looks like it’s
 Going to rain.”
 Cowboy boots,
 Balanced on the
 Edge of a bar-stool
 Looks into his
 Amber glass.
“Ain’t likely
 This time o’ year.”
Slow, drink-studied drawl.
 Seen-better blonde,
 Behind the counter,
 Been wipin’ the same
 Shot-glass for thirty minutes
 Is thinking -but quietly –
“In my neighbourhood, boys,
 It’s been raining for years.”

Of Us All

Unseen, but somewhere

Between sky and earth

The sound of a blind, heavy plane –

Born of one,

Belonging to neither –

Grumbles at both.


Trucks, like dull coloured ants,

Traipse across the floors

Of the sky.

Last night’s rain

Has made slow machines

Of us all.


When he Looks Back

He notices that there is absolutely no wind. Like something is going to happen; like the world is holding its breath. The spider that had been spinning a late web in the top right corner of the downstairs window was stock still, so were the fibres of the web.
The garden is lit by dark light, if such a thing is possible: surreal. The sky immediately above the house is packed with cloud. A single grey mother-ship of malice. It feeds upon itself. Grey consuming grey, the colour and texture, he imagines of Miss Faversham’s wedding dress. And cake… there was a cake wasn’t there?
The twisted insides of a snake’s belly, writhing and seething.
Below, he feels both hot and cold – at the same time. The short hairs on the back of his neck begin to curl and raise: defence, bluff and flight instincts scream behind his conscious thought. The wind vanished suddenly, before he noticed its absence the orange autumn berries on the ornamental tree that had been raided by thrushes during the morning are now bright statues, too make-up bright against the battleship grey skies and tension building, building, building.
On other days, usually later in the year than this there is thunder, great sobbing storms that stamp, parade and shout heaven’s glory at the small mortal world, but they are moved on by winds and the landscape is refreshed. Not today.
The deep-belly rumbles of static roll through the pillars of cloud, the big classic anvil shape suspended above his house. They are long and sustained, felt in the gut as well as heard in the ears. Seriously low. There is no sign of lightning. It must be contained in the cloud, leaping from one improperly charged centre to another, ricocheting like a poorly aimed rifle volley in a rocky valley.
More and more. Directly overhead. No release of rain. Just thunder bringing a sense of queasiness and electricity. The smell of burned paper. Feral folk memory, rising unbidden.
Then, at last … the savage flicker of rapid lightning, the path of a spark burned on the eyeball. One. Two. But still no wind. The sun, pale coward is close to the horizon and impossibly beams light up the first huge balls of rain. Immense drops.
And they fall directly, simply vertically. Becoming stair rods that smash and bounce back upwards – exactly the way they came. They bounce high too, from the roof of his small blue car. The sound slamming against and through the double glazing. The roof of the car shines like a beacon.
Puddles grow quickly, join together, wood chips forced from the garden dance and spin, surrounded and impelled by the ripples of the rapid fire rain.
When he looks back, the spider has gone. He is not sure whether it has been washed out or taken refuge.