Given the weather conditions as I write, I’m not entirely sure what led me to write a poem about rain in the summer. We’re in the middle of a bit of a heatwave here in the UK, so maybe it was wishful thinking.
It’s felt like a while since I’ve written anything poetic, so it was a relief when a few lines popped into my head one evening after work recently. I scribbled them down on to a scrap bit of paper and did my level best not to lose it over the next week or so. Mainly this involved stuffing said paper into either my work bag or my laptop case and hoping that it wouldn’t escape when I was taking something else out.
Having only written – and saved – an initial 6 lines, I was pleased when I was able to complete it all with a few revisions one night last week. As is quite usual for me, this came over the course of a couple of nights where I couldn’t get to sleep.
Summer Rain The sudden splodge and spite of furtive rain sees the summer masterpiece give way, pushed aside it would seem, by the fingers of a toddler daubing the contents of their imagination across a canvas and transforming this little piece of paradise into something unrecognisable from what we looked out on seconds before. Bright colours are dulled as clouds close curtains on the blue sky, pavements and patios darkened by the rain, as leaves on trees and shrubs shudder with each almighty drop. Suburban streets are temporarily transformed into Venetian canals as the shower bounces off the parched earth and you find yourself rapt by the shift that you've witnessed a thousand times before. "It's like a river!" you hear yourself say, before you can help it and when it stops, like someone gradually teasing off the tap, the sun will return, almost before you had realised it was gone, steam will rise from the tarmac, and for a brief few moments the grass and the plants will glisten until the heat takes away the very last of the summer rain
There’s always a sense of relief, I find, when the heat of the summer is broken by rain. We do get heat in Summer in the UK, by the way and right now, in the middle of the hottest spell of weather we’ve encountered for a long time, we could really do with a burst of rain.
At any other time, I’m not a fan of rain. In the Autumn and the Winter I really don’t like it at all as I know that not only is is going to soak me to the skin, but it’s going to make me feel even colder too. However, in the midst of a heatwave, it can be a godsend.
I wrote about it, as I said, because some of the lines for the poem simply popped into my head, but also because of the spectacle of that kind of unexpected rain that we regularly seem to get in the UK on what should just be a sunny day. It often seems to come without any real hint that it would be there and then all of a sudden there are black clouds splurging water all over the place and changing the look of the landscape. The lines about rain flooding the roads are there purely for my benefit and they make me smile. I seem to gravitate towards our front window when this type of rain happens, often grabbing the kids when they were younger so they too could view the spectacle. I don’t know why it fascinates me so much…I mean, things getting wet because it’s raining is about right, isn’t it?
I hope you enjoyed reading and that maybe the poem evoked some memories or feelings for you. It can’t just be me that still gets excited by a summer rain storm!