In the rain

Rain, rolling up eastward from Bristol, hurried
After the train. Travelling towards you…

Alan Ross ~ A Following Rain

Anticipation burns a hole
in patience. The measured miles
of line stretch ahead, all along the length
of hours. My back to the engine, I’m backtracking
on intent, a reverse pull when I came this way,
before, leaving you behind. Attention drifts

To the window, to a myriad sparkling polka-dots
late afternoon rain with the sun warming, lighting,
drying- but still more fall, larger drops than before
a playful tug-of-weather-war and I’m tugged
further back to a song of youth’s heyday:
I want to know
Have you ever seen the rain
Comin’ down on a sunny day
?”*

We pass a field of sunflowers, not a hippie vision
but a kind of triffid agricrop lifting burnished
thirsty heads. For now nimbus clouds have triumphed
strafing the sky, they gather momentum, puff
a greyscale palette over quick-change landscapes.
Through bleary illuminations, I see towns slip past
the carriage windows running with rivulets
sideways, upwards even. Gravity’s defied

in this high-speed rush. Across my reflection
thoughts flicker, doubts stir, questions arise
about our meeting after all. I’m left wondering too
if it’s wise, if old habits do persist
so that at the long-awaited station
you’ll have kept me waiting, yet again
in the rain.

[*Credence Clearwater Revival – Have you ever seen the rain ~ 1970]

After a record-breaking warm dry May, it's refreshing to join Sarah's Poetics prompt: Rain 

39 Comments on “In the rain

  1. Oh, yes. I love the movement in this – an outer and an inner voyage – and the rain reflecting the movement, and acting as a memory key, and a metaphor for confusion. There’s so much here. And it sounds so good.

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  2. This is just an amazing post….I most especially love the entire third stanza from the details of the sunflowers, to watching the rain run on the carriage windows. Just amazing description….and then the resigned disappointment that “you’ll” keep me waiting, in the rain, again.

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  3. I agree with Sarah about the outer and inner voyage, with the rain reflecting the movement, Laura, and the anticipation being stretched in the ‘measured miles of line’. I imagine being on a train, back to the engine, with the ‘carriage windows running with rivulets’. I especially love the ‘myriad sparkling polka-dots / late afternoon rain / with the sun warming, lighting’ and the Credence Clearwater song – I remember that one well. The ending is a familiar scenario. Thank you for reminding me how much I love train journeys, even in the rain.

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    • I often go inner voyaging on trains though until yours and Sarah’s comment had never really been aware of it
      (been singing CCR since I wrote this poem – feel almost young again!)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I like the play of “reflection” in the last stanza, both yours in the window and the thoughts in your mind.

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  5. Such exquisite writing! The dual nature of the poem is skilfully done.
    My favorite part:
    “Through bleary illuminations, I see towns slip past
    the carriage windows running with rivulets
    sideways, upwards even. Gravity’s defied”

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  6. There’s something about being alone in a car in the rain that tends to make one’s min drift. I never played the radio in my car when I traveled for business, and referred to it as my “think tank time”. Your lovely poem reminded me of those trips.

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  7. I’m so impressed by your poetry. Can’t think of useful things to say about it but want you to know how much I enjoy it.

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    • its not just ego that really appreciates your comment Lucy but writing poetry we want to connect to someone somewhere like sending out message in a bottle. So pleased to still be able to connect to you after all our mutual years of blogging through thick and thin!

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  8. Lovely imagery of the sideways/upwards rain. I took a photograph like that once. We have rain today in North Wales – heavy rain – I can hear the garden drinking it all in.

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  9. Emotions as changeable as the weather…those summer rainstorms, especially. (K)

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  10. A great story of a train ride in the rain, grayscale skies, and rethinking one’s choices. Well done Laura.

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  11. I thoroughly enjoyed this … ‘playful tug-of-weather-war and I’m tugged
    further back to a song of youth’s heyday’ tugged at my heartstrings. Cheers.

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  12. Love this poem, Laura!

    “We pass a field of sunflowers, not a hippie vision
    but a kind of triffid agricrop lifting burnished
    thirsty heads. ”

    great language in this

    Like

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