The Rain

We’ve never had so much rain here. It’s charging down the mountainsides and refreshing the parched soil.

We hope it may even put water in our well three years after it dried up completely. Everywhere new rivers are springing into being. Energised by the melt-water from the snow on the high mountains, they’re carving themselves paths through the trees, and cadging free rides down the mountain gulleys. On Sunday, with a gap in the clouds, a group of us went for a walk. I love to walk, but mostly I do it alone.  I’m used to walking being a time for contemplation, when I invite poetry to nudge at my thigh, or brush its wing against my face.

This walk was different. It was full of chatter and laughter. Not very surprisingly, given the noise level, there were no animals to be seen, and no poetry came to me either.

I didn’t mind at all. I revelled in the companionship and light-heartedness of the expedition. With each step water gurgled under the clay soil like the unsettled stomach of the earth. It gushed and trickled and fizzed its way between rocks. It laughed and chattered alongside us.

We’d gone with the intention to look for animal tracks. The ground is usually parched and cracking here, which invariably means a race to catch the prints before they blow away as dust. Not this time. The story of the previous 24 hours in the life of this mountain was stamped in the mud. Paths were etched across the land like the wrinkles on an ancient face.  Tracks were everywhere: criss-crossing, overlapping, accompanying each other, and wiping each other out too.  Deer, wild boar, badger, and fox, to name just a few.

This week’s writing prompt: Rain

Listen to the rain. Listen to how it sounds when you’re inside, on the windows, walls and roof. Go outside and listen to how it sounds when it strikes trees, rock and other surfaces. How does it sound under your feet, and on your head?

If the rain were a conversation, how would it be communicating? It might be shouting, or cackling, whispering, squealing or muttering. Perhaps how it feels is clear too. It might be calm, or angry, hopeless or joyful.

Write a poem or piece of prose about it. Write first from your own point of view as you listen to it, and then from the point of view of the rain itself.

This blog was first published on February 13th 2013