Quiet rain

This quiet rain wets

the swollen skin of the earth

and now everything shines.

North of here, the rain


sheets down, frogs the roads,

pulls rivers to the sea.

You lived arms outstretched

against the clock face blending in;


every wet hour that came and

could not dislodge you –

the mad, flooded streets,

the obvious sun, the hemp-wear –


now this quiet rain has teased you out

with sediment and the smell of wild grasses

and long-legged water birds

who dip their beaks


searching as I have done

in the wet granules for a taste of you.


11 thoughts on “Quiet rain

  1. Not sure how the rain could “frog the road” but that is perfect and I can feel it. I love it when I come across a piece of language that makes me feel as though I don’t quite understand but yet I do. This makes me feel that. There is memory oozing out of the earth here.

    1. Thanks for the kind words … I was thinking about cane country in northern NSW, cane toads, rain that comes down so heavy it leaps off the road when it hits. Sometimes words have connotations that suit the idea you’re grappling with even if their use in a certain context is ungrammatical or illogical … and I try to listen to what wants saying (as opposed to what I think I’m writing about.)

      1. Haha! Yes, perfect. As I said, I felt that. But grammatically–“sensibly” is another story. One perhaps for a work of fiction or non-fiction, but not a poem….

        Sometimes it is best to describe things obliquely. If one tries too hard for hard description one risks losing the feel of the thing.

      2. A number of times I have had the experience of writing something–some word or phrase–and knowing that it is not “grammatically correct” or that it doesn’t “make sense” in the traditional sense of “sense” and yet I have known also that what I was writing was “right.” This has usually coincided with the feeling that I was “on to something.”

        I too, “try to listen to what wants saying (as opposed to what I think I’m writing about.)”

  2. My favorite thing to do – use a noun as verb as a way to show . . . both powerful and evocative. Reminds me of a wonderful story by Jay O’Callahan, master storyteller, about a little boy late to school b/c he picked up the earthworms on the sidewalk after rain. Frog is a far better verb here but obviously extremely effective. Just beautiful, truly. Thank you.

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