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Rainy Season

June 13, 2008

Malawi 1991

how the water so often failed
in the rains

we rushed out in swimsuits
to shower in the deluge
laughing as we shared soap and shampoo
our simmering enmity
almost forgotten

water flowed in rivulets
down our breasts and thighs

the warm scent of rain drenched soil

the fish eagle’s cry.

by Juliet Wilson

Read by Beth Adams — Download the MP3

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  1. June 14, 2008 at 4:29 am

    Really enjoyed this Juliet, very well done.

  2. Jill
    June 14, 2008 at 8:10 am

    That is strange–that the plumbing failed in the rain?
    Yes very lovely Juliet. I like the stanza, “water flowed in rivulets..”
    and the eagle’s cry is a terrific, summative sound of passion.

  3. June 14, 2008 at 8:59 am

    I enjoyed this, the first few lines and the last have an almost Haiku quality about them.

  4. June 14, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    I love the Hemmant-style story-encapsulated-in-one-glancing-phrase here (“simmering enmity”) — one gets to supply one’s own intolerable expat experience & extrapolate :->

  5. June 15, 2008 at 9:45 am

    Yes it reminds me of the 4 o’clock downpour in Ghana. A lovely piece.

  6. June 15, 2008 at 10:37 am

    Thanks everyone! Yes Jill it was weird how often the plumbing failed when it rained, there was a proper explanation but i forget what it was now….

  7. June 15, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    wow, so well captured…

  8. June 15, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    what an amazing verse… so simple so intimate,,, just like i was there with you,, i can feel and smell the rain,, and the excitement… i really loved this.

  9. June 15, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    Reminds me of being a girl playing in the rain; such a beautiful memorie. Thanks for envoking such wonderful thoughts. Peace, Light and Love and raindrops with rainbows entrenched in the translucent water and light – to you my happy green friend. CordieB.

  10. pat
    June 16, 2008 at 9:03 am

    How wonderful. I know that rain… at least in my imagination. It’s warm and good. Thank you.

  11. June 18, 2008 at 1:10 am

    Magnificent, Juliet. A tight poem through and through, with not one word wasted.

    I want to ask: Do you sometimes visit Malawi? Your image of it is still so fresh…

  12. Fiona Dunn
    June 18, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    Evocative, simple imagery. I really like the line “the fish eagle’s cry” as it conjured natural, free-plunging waterfalls; wildlife left to flourish; Japan …

  13. June 19, 2008 at 5:45 am

    Thanks for all the comments folks!

    Rethabile – I’ve not been back to Malawi since I lived there 15 years ago, but its still all very vivid in my mind….

  14. June 19, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Mysterious and evocative.

  15. July 12, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    Beautiful water poem, simmering enmity in the middle really adds depth and a time line, perfectly crafted as ever, Juliet.

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