Wish granted

Wish granted

dry dust and bone brown
with its mouths and ears
of mouse holes
and cricket holes
round ‘o’s of wonderment
for the stalk-rattle
pounding of hooves
grass stalks lolling
the far-away ocean
tang of rain.



Last night we finally had proper, heavy rain. Not for long, but enough to raise the spirits of the vegetation that wasn’t already dead. It’s warm now, gentle, and the tension has dropped.
We walked out in it, the first shower, and watched the toads climb out of the ditches, and the carpet of snails sprung from nowhere. There are even tiny toadlets, though I have no idea how they survived the trek up the baking desert of the meadow. Nature is resilient. I hope, resilient enough.


There was rain and the smell of earth-sigh,
the patter or water and a trickle
running along the dry stream bed.

There were snails and toads
and owl choruses, and our feet
tripped along the lane beneath a pale moon,

as we listened to the wind from the ocean,
running its fingers through the hair of the trees,
whispering, Here is rain.

After when

After when

when the fierce
when the inferno sinks muttering

when peat closes around the embers
the fierce flames covering

when felled trees smoulder
hacked and towed away
to clear the fierce

after the rain
that pattered here evaporated there
where the heat was too fierce

after when the green
timid courageous
the small yellow faces of cats ear

appear in morning shade
where only cinders
crunched crisp underfoot

when the fierce
subsides we breath
for a while.

Rain and sunflowers

Rain and sunflowers

In all the fields that stretch about,
sunflowers raise their heads and shout,
The summer’s called us, look, we’re here!

The light that quivers on the pelt
of running dogs, the morning felt,
the gaze of distant watching deer.

In all the skies above, beyond,
the light is blue with feathers donned,
a silent heron on the mere.

And I awake to hear the rain,
rattling on the window pane,
and know this earth so rich, so near.

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.