The wind and the rain

There was wind in the night,
in the attic, the chimney,
rattling the house and battering the roof tiles.
We check the leaks and hope for calm.

We are slipping into the dark again,
the water world, the shadow world,
no sky, no moon, no stars to see,
just the charcoal world of gathering cloud.

Folded in crow’s wings,
bare sticks of waiting trees
and the cold stealth of rain,
we are whip-lashed.

The ticking stove keeps the ghosts at bay,
the silence of wet meadows,
the hunger of fragile bones,
and beyond, a whole world watches.

Ears twitch and noses,
hedge drips as they wait
for our presence to fade,
and for our light to dim.

Rainsong and evensong

Double wayra. It’s raining again. Painting by Constable.

Rainsong and evensong

Counting raindrops drip-
dripping from the eaves into
water butts, brimming cloud-cold.
No sky in their mirror,
no birds disturb the steady count.

Who hears evensong
on rainy nights of flung drops
against the pane, shutter-creak
and wind in the chimney?
In the bird-hedge, it flutters, hushed.


Walking through green,
intense in the rain-light,
vibrant and singing
with its water-life
and hot-blooded blackbirds.

Every stalk,
cock’s-foot, fescue,
bows beneath its load
of crystal drops.

The damp talks
with the sucking sound of soles
in the mud of wormcasts;
twigs crack slowly, sullenly,

and the rain is full
of the fierce, shrill cry
of the sparrowhawk.

The earth rolls and rains and drips
from dawn to dusk,
and only we think life stops
in the wet weather.

Fungal waterways

For dverse.

House sits within its moat of rain water
where the salamander lives
and running grass green
and the cowshed where the toad
swims under the door
and the veil of raindrops dripping
from the eaves dripping in the attic
and inside the windows
and the places where it bubbles
up through the floor.

House sits full of the smell of water
cool and cold and we listen
to the patter on glass the rattle
down chimneys feel the stones slip
into some other world of water
and watery things.

Night is deep and well-dark
ditch-full of rain and the crow wind
and when the light returns
in the grass running down the green path
water-running will be the ragged
ghostly procession of white agaric
water-gorged and tasteless.

Rain horse


When there is no evening light,
no dusk-mote thickened air,
no gentle slide from gold to blackest night
and only falling grey and greyer, ware
the dark mouths mouthing darkest words,
water-sucking mud beneath the feet,
feathered ruffled roosting with the birds
pouring loud in ditch streams flowing fleet.
What is it takes the silver, grinds the dust
of stars and planets, scatters ashes wide?
In this sunless sea-gloom serpents must
uncoil in gutters where the pike fish hide,
as I drag fingers down the chilly pane,
stare dull-eyed through sky horse’s streaming mane.


I hear you rolling through the ocean sky
hissing like the incoming tide
through the poplars
boughs dancing like kelp in the current
and I hear you pass over
roar dwindled to pattering of drops
pebbles rolling in the backwash.

Silence follows
trawling clouds in the blue
as the season shifts changes gear
slipping into the cooling time
and the dimming of the light.
We sigh
in eternal dissatisfaction.