I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')


These poems are works in progress, and may be subject to revision without notice. Completed versions appear in my books. Nevertheless copyright applies to all texts found here.

8 June 2009

“Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day.”

Prompt: an adage remembered from your childhood.

Only 9.30 and the rain begins.

Market day, and I forgot
to do weather magic. Luckily
got the inkling anyway,
brought the gear at least,
now drag my tarpaulin
up over the roof of my stall,
and pull my table into the centre.
The client doesn’t want to wait
while I put up the clear plastic walls.

I tell her again, as I do twice a month,
what she already knows. She,
as always, tells me she knows.
“So what do you need with me?” I ask.
“You make me feel soothed,” she says.
I fold and reshuffle the cards.
As soon as she leaves
the shower turns downpour,
I put up the walls. Then I sit cosy
with coffee, waiting it out.

Some stallholders pack up and leave.
Most stay, grinning at each other
from under the sheltering tarps.
Sammy, who sells the crystals,
comes past, smiling. “Look,” she says,
pointing to light in a corner of sky,
"It’s going to be sunny again.”
And soon it is. Someone – was it her? –
has remembered some weather magic.
(We hear already of hail at Byron Bay.)

Here, someone must have chanted
the rhyme all children learn
to use like a charm when very young.
Wise magic the parents impart,
not understanding they do,
from generations and centuries
of folk who lived close with the earth.
We need rain, mustn’t send it away
forever, just till another day.

4 comments:

  1. It took me a second read to "get" it, but when I did, I enjoyed it. Nicely done. I particularly liked the second and last stanzas.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for reading it a second time! What was it, do you think, that had you not get it the first time?

    Is it perhaps two poems trying to be one? The crux of it's the last verse of course, but I really wanted to tell about my day at the market too.

    I'd really like to know your thoughts about this, if you don't mind.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I felt the cool rain the disappointment- the exchange
    Your words carried me through the day at the market and into a world of intangible lessons. Everyone complains about the rain but only appreciation can change it. I think the idea of "two poems trying to be one" maybe be suggesting a second draft not a separation.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, Danielle, I appreciate your comments.

    ReplyDelete