Wednesday, 21 May 2014


“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky.” - Rabindranath Tagore

For this week’s prompt, Poetry Jam has suggested the theme of “Rain” – either a flood of it or a dearth of it. Here is my contribution – remembering that April in Australia is in the heart of Autumn…

All Fools’ Day

All hail the Fool!

April ushers him in
As rain cascades:
It’s raining mirror bits today,
And like drops of mercury
The raindrops fuse and coalesce
In puddles–mirrors
Reflecting the multicoloured garb
Worn by the Fool,
Reflections shattering into a million fragments
Each time he laughs and cries.

It started to rain this morning at about three o’ clock.  I got up at four and drank of the rain. Then back into my warm bed listening to the pitter-patter of the raindrops through my open window.  I could not sleep.

The rain,

The warmth–
The dark,
The wet.
The weakness
Of the flesh.
The rain,
The warmth
The dark desire
The wet flesh,
The rain.

I finally closed my eyes to wake minutes later, rising early, bleary-eyed and discontented.

Autumn has arrived,

Like an old friend
The cool, wet, sweet
Earthy smelling garden
Greets me in the morning.

It rained on and off all day long today.  And in the evening the dry spell really broke in the paroxysm of a cooling, wet, lambent, deafening coruscating, electrical storm.  With the heavens I felt my every nerve fibre discharging and was urged to throw off every stitch of my clothing and run naked into the raw energy of the rain, letting it perform my ablutions for me.  That morning I climbed the dark stairs to the fourth floor music room.

The familiar pattern of black against white

The feel of cool ivory and warm, living ebony.
A caress is followed by the gentlest sigh.
A piercing song of passionate intensity
Is communicated through throbbing fingertips
After the petulant striking blows
Are dealt with a calculated force.

Meanwhile the rain fell and fell and fell.  Outside, across the football ovals, two solitary figures, one at each end, under the shelter of the grandstand.  The college towers stab the grey skies.  The grass so freshly washed; green, green, green.  E minor, B diminished, A minor, G minor, E minor.
And the rain
                  and fell
                        and fell
                              and fell…

I walk back to work

Sheltering ever so carefully
Under my small umbrella,
Fearing lest a raindrop may touch my flesh
And like a sugar candy crystal
I might dissolve.

Maria made an April Fool of me this morning and then she laughed and in her mirth she cried:

“April Fool,
              April Fool!”

The rain.

The leaves.
Falling, wet, yellow.
Dark eddies
Of swiftly moving water
Carrying debris,
Flooding the gutters.

My shoe, my left shoe, has a hole in it!  I can feel the wetness permeating my foot.  The rot has begun, the decay has set in...

The rain.

My hair.
The rain wets my hair
It smells of sandalwood and violets.

March winds and April showers

Bring forth Spring flowers. of sulphur

...the last, belated, forlorn
...tenacious leaves
...hanging persistently
...on naked twigs
...beneath grey skies

I pay her back!  I send her on a Fool’s errand, my pride restored, my gullibility repaid in kind.

I am the Fool.

You are the Fool.
We are all Fools.

It is raining again.

I bite my red, red lips

Till drops of blood
Dye the sulphur flowers.
The rain performs my ablutions.
The red and sulphur flowers
Float away on dark eddies
Of water flowing into a drain.

Ah, Autumn!

The grey, cloudy sky.  The wet, rain-saturated atmosphere and the endless pitter-patter of the raindrops.  And yet in a tiny little nook of that vast expanse of heavy, dark grey, rain-saturated sky there is a patch of blue visible only for an instant and a tiny yellow, sunlit, playful little wisp of a cloud.  Much like the memory of your eyes, your summer-yellow, sunlit hair.

Just like two bits of blue glass

Sapphires-paired on golden crown,
Smalt shining pure
In the precious metal.

And I, the dark grey clouds, must hide the sun deep in my deepest depths. And rain, tears, brook, lake, river, sea and ocean must wash away even the memory.

Blood, sulphur, rain.

Blue glass, tears, gold.
Blunt, sharp, dark, wet.
Black clouds, grey memory,

Ah, Autumn!

And then the purest, prettiest, most innocent, bright little drops of liquid mirror fall to the ground.  And sullied, defiled, polluted coalesce into a dirty puddle or into the dark eddies carrying:

1. Sulphur flowers.

2. Fallen leaves.
3. Red painful memories.
4. Blue-golden days.
5. Summers gone.
6. Black, grey debris.
7. Wet desires;
And a little leaden soldier on one leg
Floating precariously in a paper boat.

A h,   A u t u m n …


  1. You have packed your lines with a great variety of experiences and feelings regarding rain.
    I have mixed feelings about autumn rains. They are necessary for the water tables but can also be very depressing and feel endless as the days shorten.

  2. Whew, I am water-logged after reading your poem, Nick. You have brought the autumn rainy-day experience to life with vivid sensory descriptions throughout. I especially liked the description of the electrical storm. I could see that. (We get those sometime too.) And the wet shoe with the hole in it? Oh, I can feel the cold chill. 'Ah Autumn' indeed!

  3. The rain.
    The leaves.
    Falling, wet, yellow.
    Dark eddies
    Of swiftly moving water
    Carrying debris,
    Flooding the gutters.

    ... that's my favorite, Nicholas!

  4. quite a downpour and wetness the way the purest drops fall on the ground...lovely

  5. Wow! There is so much in this, Nicholas... I had read and re-read it to take it all in. The theme of Autumn and rain seems to me to be an extended metaphor. I kept thinking of tears and sobs throughout it. The images are amazingly striking and even the musical references had me running to the piano to play the chord sequence, which had such a forlorn sound! The prose interspersed with the poetry only increased the poignancy of the latter. Complex and amazing piece!

  6. Wow!!! this is such a sumptuous rain sharing, yet i didn't want to stop reading

    much love...

  7. wow quite the collection nicolas...
    lov ehte smell of the earth after the rain...
    the pitter patter sounds as well lull me like music

  8. The image of the fool is quite striking… A fool in love weeping tears of rain?
    Great poem and the interjection of narrative makes it all the more interesting. I also liked the punctuation, text arrangement and font changes and the alliteration.

  9. Amazing! This is so sensual, but there is frustration and melancholy below the eroticism. Some wodnerful images, word-painting, similes and metaphors. I have to go back and re-read it!

  10. This is amazing ... and epic! Of all the sounds in my world, the sound of rain during the night is my favorite.

  11. What a striking cavalcade of images and emotions this poem presents! Autumn rains that descend like mercury drops and broken mirror bits is an image that will stay with me. A very rich offering, deserving of many a re-read.

  12. warm dark desire, a feast of images, words and pictures. This is quite stuning and powerful.

  13. What pictures you have painted with your wonderful word palette. "the multicoloured garb Worn by the Fool," - awesome.

  14. Lots of rain here in your autumn world. Love the photo as well.

  15. We are having a magnificent Autumn up here at the moment too...
    Shades of Fleurs du Mal...the sulphur flowers...perhaps Chopin from the chords? Pitter Patter go the raindrops ...memories of wealthy children playing this on their Bechstein grand pianos in the billiard room ...

    You...definitely not nude at the Conservatorium unless all those things they say about Victorians are true...and Maria? Mariiiiiaaaaa ...I've just met a girl called Maria...which is a minor 7th...This poem interspersed with snatches of prose and stream of consciousness is brilliant and completely insane....very Melbourne...and I'm very impressed. Chapeau and Chars !

  16. Did I say how much I enjoyed this! :)

  17. Oh your poem was pure music! love it, love it, and love it more!!! it has a Langston Hughes-vibe to it!!! I love the musicality of it and the rhythm in its lines. I'm a fan of yours!!!

  18. What an amazing piece! I loved the interweaving images, metaphors and contrast between poetry and prose.

  19. Epic write. There is a novel in there. I see it! Loved this piece too!

  20. Three am is the hour that can kill you with memory and thought - and haunt you through the day just as life haunts you through the years..i love the play with mirrors and rain..what do we see..what is real..this feels like a process. Perhaps there is no comfortable resolution but the end. A list. Feels like a kind of working out. And i was pleased there was an Ah, Autumn..we must take relief where we can..however fleeting and even if we know we will be woken again