In this place rain has fallen like this forever – a mist, the monsoon downpour and white noise. Then the forest, the edge of a forest where blackbirds call meekly and woodpigeons shelter on the curved branch.
Lightning cracks through everything in vanishingly small moments. And thunder unites.
Spaced along the eternal border are houses, backing on to the woods and in each, the back door is open and swings slowly since the wind is slow. Raindrops fleck the glass, and wet the mat.
In the centre of each garden, one of the risen stands, staring into the swaying woods which moves with the shifting intensity of the rain. It is warm, and their clothes are wet. They never look away. They want nothing except to continue to look. This they are granted.
The lord’s prayer dances on their lips, but it changes nothing, and means nothing. Still they call it, whisper it, softly. Its sound is completely lost in the rain.
They seem still, and at peace. And they might be
The peculiar tale of the discovery and ordering of this manuscript will be told at a more convenient time. The peculiarities of its form of recording deserve their own discussion – suffice it to say that the text is a gloss of a Hittite or eastern ancient Mediterranean language unknown until the ‘Vrontin’ carving was found in the cave in mountainous central Anatolia. It is perhaps the stub of an alternative development of a primitive religion, although the inclusion of unparsable terms makes its translation very difficult. To aid in comprehension, we have entered the most likely English counterparts, although it should be remembered that, for example, the goose noted in 15  is probably not any species of goose that the reader will be familiar with, although similar behaviours have been found to exist in aggregate over many populations of goose across the world. The most difficult term to translate was found in carving 3.1, where a term for emotional brain capacity was found wanting. We have used the vastly unsatisfactory ‘limbic system’ as a stand in, waiting for a time when a translator with the right powers of sight can offer up a more fitting word.
Rain! Rain! On the river! Falling!
Oh my world! Heavying my hair!
‘Til it drips down my face! Oh rain!
Cupping my jawline exactly!
Rain! Dampening my clothes! Cooling
my shoulders and neck! hanging out
on the windscreen! Little deltas!
Dancing on the mud! just dancing!
Always a pleasure! Falling out
of the sky! or so they tell me!
I believe rain is liquid air!
That gets so bored sometimes it melts!
I believe rain is a sea spore!
Ready to grow a little sea!
Wherever it drops! It could be
anywhere! Like in your ear-hole!
The audiologist would gawp!
At the little ships, their foghorns!
And the sea mist forming cloudlines
which pour down your neck and caress!
I would spend days alone with it!
Which roars on the roof at night! So
passionate and so sensuous!
Each drop its own exclamation!
Stand on the lip of the world
vast ceramic ranges wing
me side to side – mountains smooth
with the snow of ancient fires
ring a bowl, slow-descending
where clouds surface from the deep
thunder’s undulate pulsing.
8, 3×8, Storm 6
Then, I heard the thunder would come
but mouths murmured, the top end cut
so I never really got it
Their predictions had none or less
crunch or grind to my mouth, my eyes
now the thunder here, behind woods
does the scrape that only skies do
dumps all the folds in the stratos
rattling the bin of history.
I love it so much I could end
arms outstretched with one last static
shock to end all shocks, to end storms.
But you still tend orchids outside
as the rain tends all other plants
then sit close and we wait breath tensed
baited with small sounds to draw out
deeper ones. Each new paradigm
storm sound to teach all others how
2, 3×6, Storm 5
Thunder comes once when I
am stood among poetry
among the old books, new –
Only once, but enough
to set a featureless
day in stone memory.
There was a storm, the other night
as I paced in a cold sweat
There was a storm which was persistent like a headache
Out the window I gazed, feverish
and the jittering fields gazed back
Paddock and field, the horses huddled in a corner
The thunder didn’t roll so much as it tumbled
and their black eyes in the darkness became grey in their wordless staring
moment by moment, grey, with the surging light
I was ill, I closed the curtains
And the thunder was my lullaby
a grating lullaby to jolt me awake, from time to time
Til lost among the collage of dreams
There was a storm, the other night
it loosed the dirt to carry it down the hill
an endless task, for the hills tend to rise again
I lied, fizzling out
My aches generating small pockets of consciousness
storms on the face of the earth.