6. After Rain – Peak

Like May’s poem this one, oddly, also came from an exhibition.

‘The Tulse Luper Suitcases’ was a collection of suitcases

assembled by artist and film-maker Peter Greenaway. The odd and

varied contents told the story of Luper’s imagined life – one

contained childhood games, another fish, another maps and so on.

This poem, beginning from a suitcase full of water, seemed also to

describe the incredibly wet spring/ summer which is saturating the

Peak at the moment.

After Rain

I have packed my suitcase

with the sound that comes

just after heavy rainfall stops:

when rain that fell, and fell,

that sucked the cottage gutters,

washed the rooves and heart,

quietly loses pace, and in its place

a punctuated silence drops.

An absent-minded wetness on the land;

a dawdling of water in the eaves,

a clearing runnel in the streams.

There’s room for birdsong,

thick and innocent as seaweed.

Each note placed like a word,

a thrill of wet throats singing

of the tragedies too deep to speak or touch.

Slow droplets speckle through the moss,

cleansing stone and field alike.

Water makes its way.

Air takes stock, and waits.

A single day, quite far off, lights up randomly;

perhaps in my life, perhaps in yours.