National Poetry Day

Today in Britain it is National Poetry Day, and this year’s theme is a quote from Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner: “Water, water everywhere…”

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And since it is pouring in the UK, I thought I’d post a rainy-day poem written while  I was in Kenya. It was originally published in Cicada Magazine  March/April 2000, along with the picture above for which there was no attribution.

Long Rains

Rain days in Africa – roads run

rivers, mud blood red; and careless,

grey-dog skies shake out

their fill on ill-clad souls who

shuffle close in supermarket doors,

and moon-eyed in the drip and drip,

the backslap seep in thin-soled shoes,

no longer see the draggled flocks

of street boys perched in car park trees,

all glue-pot fused, nor show surprise

when sleek Mercedes cruise

the roads-turned-lakes and ditch their wake

on citizens whose only keep is

listless hope: that sometime soon –

the rains will stop…

*

And for all those interested in good reading and writing Cicada Magazine is part of the Cricket group of magazines published by Carus in the US. Each of their magazines – Babybug, Ladybug, Spider, Cricket and Cicada caters for a specific age group, from babes to teens and up. The house-style is literary rather than comic book, and with a strong multicultural element. Every story, poem or article in every edition is accompanied by specially commissioned artwork. The publishers accept submissions from both new and established writers and artists, but the emphasis is on quality.

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© 2013 Tish Farrell

6 thoughts on “National Poetry Day

  1. ‘Careless grey dog skies’ A lovely line. Tropical rain has no equal for its careless attitude towards plants animals and humans, scattering all before it. The ‘pause’ button halts any and all activity – all the world can do is wait it out; thank goodness it’s not endless.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Tony. Yes, tropical rain, and the smell of the soil afterwards. When I wrote this we were having an El Nino phenomenon in Kenya. It really did seem as if it would never stop raining. Some Kenyans were even wondering if it was the end of the world; even I was wondering…

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