When the rain is no longer a friend

Remember the days when the sturdy rain
fell on corrugated roof, and made you slumber
as a baby in the womb, comforting heartbeat
brushstrokes washing dirt away and closing
eyelids secure in the familiarity of a friend.

Now clatter of heavy rain reverberates
into stomach cavity, tightening chest and skull,
returning to those days, when the black water
slid into the house – uninvited serpentine
intruder with rain as his willing comrade.


Note: There has been some more flooding in Queensland in recent weeks, thankfully not around here, but in Western and South Western Queensland and othe parts. There is also severe flooding in parts of NSW  as we’ speak’.  My thoughts are with everyone in flood affected areas of Australia, particularly those who have been flooded more than once. I can’t imagine how depressing that would be.


20 thoughts on “When the rain is no longer a friend

  1. As you so eloquently express, there is nothing anywhere as uncertain as Australian weather but here there is one thing we can ge sure of; Tony Abbott will find a way to blame Julia Gillard for it.
    PS: You might like to write a poem about fire too…. then agian, you almost certainly have!

    1. haha – he certainly will! I haven’t written a fire poem but funnily enough I started one a couple of months back when the SES were doing burn-offs around here – then it started raining. I was going to write a novel about fire – but I put it on the backburner 😉 I will do some work on the fire poem.

  2. oh no not again! this is such a beautifully written piece, the images perfectly sculpted
    with delicacy while carrying the weight of primal feelings that have changed as the once calming becomes the now frightening. the impact of the words parallels the reality of the ‘natural disaster’ so amazingly too

  3. I saw the news about the flooding and thought of you. Hope it is not as bad as last time, Gabe. Your poem is so descriptive and I could feel what you do and found it very scary.

    1. It is very bad in some rural areas down south – they were evacuating thousands of people last night – but it wont be like last time for our State of Queensland where major cities were inundated and the whole State was nearly flooded. It is fine where we are now after some very heavy rain last week and we nearly got cut off, but it moved down south so we were lucky.

  4. Thanks for this, Gabe.

    What I love about this post is that it reveals how wonderful blogging can (still) be: a big event happens and causes issues for lots of people, so we write and publish poetry about it.


  5. “uninvited serpentine intruder” amazing description of floodwaters. My husband and I lived in a riverside apartment just near the Story Bridge for a few years while he oversaw a project in Brisbane. He died suddenly in 2009. From my Melbourne home I wept as I watched a section of Riverwalk pathway break away and float down the river. The floods of life do indeed slither uninvited, and we move on with altered perception. Your poem captures this beautifully.

    I live in Melbourne and heard about your blog from a blogger in New Mexico, that’s just one of the things I love about the internet. I will be an avid follower of your wonderful words.

    1. Thanks very much triciabertram. I’ve stayed near the Story Bridge and like that area – it was surreal to see all the stuff going down the river on the news (I don’t live in Brisbane anymore but still visit a lot). The blogosphere is an amazing place, for sure 😉

  6. Yes, it did use to be “a comforting heartbeat” – beautiful. The contrast between the first and second stanza echoes so well what a young chap said on TV the other night: “I used to love the sound of rain, but not anymore.”

  7. My heart goes out to the people who have lost family members. It must be devastating. This line is particularly chilling -‘ returning to those days, when the black water
    slid into the house’ – Black water is not something anyone wants to see. You have captured the feeling of dread so well, Gabe.

    1. Thanks Selma 🙂 It is hard to believe this is happening again in parts of Queensland – some people had just finished renovating from last years flood and they;’ve been flooded again – it would do my head in!

  8. dear gabrielle,

    my prayers for you…. i just hope that you learn to befriend the weather, no matter how bad it gets… but i commend you for this poem as it effectively express a different angle on a weather disturbance… all the best to you

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