Storm came in a torrent
of orange light colour of clay
in a slick wet field.

Storm came in a flurry of rain
that cooled the torrid air
and brought out the toads

to blotch the lane
silent sentinels
waiting for the toad god.

Storm came and went
and the air is cool

like a pool mud-troubled
by frogs hunkering down
against calamity.

Storm birds

Storm birds

The storm has come again,
the same that girdles the earth
with serpent breath and bull-bellow voice;

the green is doused and dripping,
chaffinch-tongued by the house,
indefatigable warblers in the hedge.

Birds have little time for posturing;
not even the unchained ranting
of the sky will keep them quiet
while there are still songs to sing.


What do they hear in the storm
the birds in the swaying trees?
What tongue speaks to them from the clouds,
who watches, predator-patient in the light-flicker?
And what metaphor suggests itself to souls
that have never known a faulty fuse?

We watch the lashing boughs
bending and trembling, wind-whipped,
and worry about cables, damage, insurance,
the work of weeks among the plants wrecked.

House-boat creaks, timbers crack, rain seeps,
cats hide where the fearsome dark won’t find them,
but the child sleeps in her mother’s arms,

chicks too perhaps in their storm-tossed nests,
while soft-padded hunters prowl the rain shafts,
indifferent to the growling of the beast.

Haibun for midsummer storms

For the dverse prompt

Another night and day of storm and picking up the battered tomato plants. Another day of light that changes with lightning rapidity, booming with the drum roll of thunder. No fire this longest day and shortest night, the sky too charged. Who would tempt the force that draws up wind and tempest with our puny defiance?
an ocean of clouds
sails the sky all the shades
of the storm
and we watch and wait for the deluge, the rattle of rain and the detonation of thunder echoing in the attic, sending the cobwebs flying while
cats cower
no mice-dancing matters when
the sky is unchained
In the dog chamber, a sleeping hound, deaf to the bombardment, sleeps. Night is night is night, a time to let the bones rest and dream dreams of those young days of the wild hunt
the balm for old age
a moon sighs.

A thrush, the first bird


The restless, storm-tossed night was long,

dark filled with wave-hiss, snapping boughs,

a ship moored in a sea-rocked berth.


No stars, a heavy quilt of cloud

pressed down, oppressed the swaying trees,

the restless storm-tossed night was long.


When rage along the river swept,

storm carried north across the hills,

dark filled with wave-hiss, snapping boughs,


a thrush, the first bird, broke the calm,

a rush of song sailed through the dawn,

a ship rocked in a sheltered berth.

World is water


World is water falling splashing

lashing with steel whips

(drips) bough and stalk


the clouds cold wrath

frothing in over-spilling streams

gleams darkly


battleship grey they throng

songs of thunder in their hearts

(starts the drum roll)


From over-spilling eyes

skies pour an ocean to float the blue-buoyed earth

and still


birds trill and sing

fling all their hearts in open-beaked song

as long as there is a pulse to thrill the blood.

Gogyohka for a deluge

fire salamander

dim grey-green light

through water-grey blur

and the crooning of blackbirds

soothing the tedious drip

of broken guttering


by the pool of rainwater

murky brown with mud

a fire salamander gleams

exotic rainforest sprite

sharing the deluge with toads


awash the grass

the lane aflood

and hares race

oblivious to the downpour

the water veil of fading light

Head in the rain


Listening to the drip drip of rain on the migraine

and feeling the earth soak beneath boots, sinking


unstable and the air full of shimmering, I walk

beneath dripping trees, where birds watch for worms,


and the background noise shrinks to the song of

nightingales, tirelessly ignoring storm and downpour.


I walk a path between grasses shoulder high, bowed

by lead crystal drops, and the clamour soothes,


cooling the blood with rain drip dripping

from the pigeon-grey eaves of the sky.