Monday 3 October 2022

The Drumming of Distant Rain.

Once again the forest smells of forest.

For months, only drought and dust - but it rained the night and the night before; hesitant at first as if it had forgotten how to, and then with abandon.

The heady scent of pine surged forth to greet the heavens as they opened, mushrooms long forgotten started to twist and turn in anticipation.

And Max stood under the coppering beach watching every drop as it fell.

He had no coat, he hadn’t worn one since late April. 

There had been no need.

He watched as the water percolated through the cracked earth.

He listened as the ground seemed to bubble.

And then he felt the first chill of autumn, just a hint as the rain fell on the back of his neck. And he turned and started to climb the hill.

Distracted, he didn’t notice the bone at first, but when he stopped to look back down into the valley he saw it.

White, shining and clear in the grass.

He would have turned away, but then he saw a second.

And once he saw two he saw many.

An animal?


A person.

Not here.

Not now.


But everyone knew that someone was missing, even Max who lived so far from the valley.

He had to go back down.

He had to tell them.

A bearer of bad news in the first rains of autumn.

Just as everyone was celebrating the return of life to the arid soil.

He would confirm a death.

It was too much and he started to cry.

Tears and rain fell on his face.

Hope left him and he fell to his knees.

Why, he cried.

Why, oh why, do you forsake us?

There was no answer.

Only the sound of the rain hitting the hard ground.

Like a drum.





Anne Hodgson said...

Thank you.
I hope you are finding the blades of grass.

popps said...

Hi Anne - the blades of grass and indeed leaf of clover are coming back...

But why the thank you?

I just re-read what i wrote and it's a bit down -no?

Anne Hodgson said...

I just really like it. Down is fine, we can't always be up. But the sun and the grass always come back.

popps said...

Ah, a nice optimistic note - there were moments this summer when it looked like we would never see grass ever again !