That effing rain


Rain at fifty-three
It rains in February.

Over number fifty-three
indenta single spitting shower from on-high
indentindentdampens the air-con intake fan on the rooftop that
indentstalled at 43c.

indentindentThe drops are not an army.

Neighbours out their fronts — legs splayed, too far gone to sweat —
indenthave gone a week too long.
indentindent Eff this sun. Effen night. Call that effing rain.

Each promised drop gives the roof
indenta temporary rash which
indentindentfades before the next gob hits.
indentThe water does not rain as a team.

The inhabitants of fifty-three are inside and right-off.
indentTheir sauna-ed lounge is darkened,
indentindentheated underfoot by upholstery and vinyl. The effs reach them sporadically.

The objects — knives and forks, stairway banisters, door handles —
indentrising towards
internal combustion are awake to the change.

The bread, sliced for toast, locked in a plastic sheaf with condensation, feels lucky.
indentWalls hold their ancient drips through layer on layer of paint, and quiver.
indentindentOn the sill, plastic detergent bottles, warm as baby formula, go soft.
indentindentindent Shower frames, bath tubs, and their calcium stains,
hear the outside falls with hope of a cool scrub. None
indentknow the difference between big rain and

From outside the scent of bitumen is released.
indentReleased are blistering rubber car brakes after a long downhill run.
Released is the dehydrated dog pee on the backyard slab.

Those who cannot move sit just where placed, still as salt shakers, baked from inside out, radiating, and wait, indentindentserfs to a demigod,
to be set free.

indentHung-over drops shirk their duties. The rain is thirsty and self-absorbed — it neither cools nor brings life. The roof creaks under renewed sun strike.
indentThe air-con refuses to restart.

indentindentThe liberator is not this army.

The art of finding
The art of finding is easy to master.
A five cent piece from the gutter,
Roads heading out of town,
A window seat on a Boeing 747,
An extra breath in my jumper.

Finding myself
In a city on my own,
A sweet lover,
A sour one.

Finding friends with
Easy conversation,
Discovering joints, politics,
Knowing more than I thought.

Finding myself in
A house of God,
Without Him in it.

I've found beach houses,
Hand written directions,
Hard rubbish furniture as near as new,
Squashed jewellery,
Expired bus tickets,
My own mother at a fair
But things I lost —

I found peace in crazy times,
Good in everyone.

I found out for myself
What no one wants to know.

I found a gold charm bracelet
On the footpath,
And took it home.
Someone else's flattened memories
Along the path
Towards the stray cats,
Car seat, fire trap house of
My lost property life.

Margaret McCarthyMargaret McCarthy is a writer, editor and teacher based in Seddon, Victoria.

Topic tags: new australian poems, Margaret McCarthy, Rain at fifty-three, The art of finding



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Existing comments

Go Margaret! Keep saying it for us - we who can't find the Golden Rod of verse. Great meeting you properly at Vic Uni the other night. Congrats.

Joy Barton | 04 August 2009  

That effing rain is very evocative! Hope the drought has broken for good! x Justine

Justine | 05 August 2009  

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