Rain in the Forest; How it is

Rain in the Forest

Every single spotted gum marks

one corner of a slightly-out-

of-kilter cubicle. In threes

and fours the surrounding trees

bind all sorts of places, some small

(tight as a telephone box)

but others sprawling, crowded

with debris, spiky cycad fronds,

dead, fallen trees. Think it through:

these enclosed spaces streaming out

in front, on every side of you,

over this hill and the one beyond

compose an infinite mansion,

every chamber held in tension.

Now they feel a sweet release

most earthbound creatures never knew.

You will not see it when it comes,

soaking you. A mighty noise

shakes the crowded canopies

and the roots. A dark, roaring voice

shouts its instructions into

thousands of corridors and rooms.

How it is

Poetry’s not a young man’s game.

I thought it was once: that shout

in the head as the words fell out,

when it was over I was hooked.

Let it not be said I mistook

my purpose, that I had control,

I knew I was lucky to hold

the pen. It is still the same,

this is all I’ve ever known:

some poems are like magic spells,

unwrap them slowly when you write

lest their power evaporate.

Tease out each word, set them down

and leave them. Because you know

they were made by someone else

from another place, long ago.

Leon Trainor

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