Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Two West Coast Rain Poems

Bloody Hell its wet!!

It rained and rained and rained 
The average fall was well maintained 
And when the tracks were simple bogs 
It started raining cats and dogs. 
After a drought of half an hour 
We had a most refreshing shower 
And then most curious thing of all 
A gentle rain began to fall. 
Next day but one was fairly dry 
Save for one deluge from the sky 
Which wetted the party to the skin 
And then at last the Rain set in! 

Rain come down, it all comes down to rain:
the great rain, the dark rain, the Rain Father

pissing his worst in the headwaters, Mother-
of-all-Rains squatting, showering blood, mud

rain ricochets back off the clay, the heavens
polluted, the hills collapse, slip rain, sod rain,

the fat tears of God rain, rain so thick and vast
it can drown the prayers of believers from

you back to Jesus! Fear rain, awe rain, rain no
beggared philosopher washed downstream on a

trunk of rata could ever explain: dog rain, cat and
rat rain, the rain that drowns ambition, swallows

towns and smashes bridges, train-eating, brain-
beating, roof-drumming over & over & over. Rain.

Source: Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, The late great Blackball bridge sonnets. Wellington: Steele Roberts, 2004, p. 40


  1. I have been searching the web for that first poem, vaguely remembered -- one of the most expressive ever. Now at last you have given it to me! Thank you.

  2. Me too. I first came upon the Poem (the first one) back in 1986 in the visitors book at Holly Hut on Mt Taranaki. It was just so appropriate for the weather we had experienced on our way up

  3. Loved being able to find this poem
    My Grandfather and mother often said it. I am 73 and was annoyed that the book that my mother put it in had gone missing now being able to read it again was a thrill