Thursday Poem

The Rain

Rain, and driving thoughts of rain, miles
and hours of it, inches and yards of light
and dark rain, where seamless cloud has been
stitched and gathered into a great undoing
of itself, in wind that brings its freeplaying ride
through a highland plateau down into the hair-
pinned, run-off green below Mount Arrowsmith
or Frenchman’s Cap, whose faces have gone
to a full-blown curtain of angled rain
and its bright companions, ice and snow,
to make, under the button grass, a blackwater
seepage from a thaw that will come within days,
or less, here and there at rain-mined overhangs
flowering with spillage, and in Queenstown,
where a conveyor belt sounds like a mongrel
dragging its chain against the rim of an over-
turned drum, it is raining still, at the tail end
of a mining era, on the open-cut towns of Linda
and Gormanston, diminishing under seasons
of rain-blurred windows and the shells of cars
in yards overgrown with absence, on lakes
where the rings of rising trout are one
with the surface-pelting blanket of the rain,
clear and clean as the spittle of a local
weather-telling prophet who grinds lens glass
and peers at the sky from a roof, rain-hammered
and domed above streets awash with longing,
and further afield, near a moored houseboat
on Macquarie Harbour, an old woodcutter
is remembering rain as an all-night, fly-sheet-
testing wall of black proportions, and day
as much the same, with sunlight no more
than a rumour, with running silver on the chip-
flecked sleeves of his oilskin, and now, inland,
with no change to the long-range forecast,
at Cemetery Creek and Laughing Jack Lagoon,
it is raining, and the rivers are full, their dark
mirrors bubbling, and even the mountain-fed
torrent between two hydro-electric plants
– its peaks and lines like whitewashed milestones
tumbling end over end – is driving the blood-
made turbines with its own internal rain.

by Anthony Lawrence
from The Sleep of a Learning Man
publisher: Giramondo, Artamon