'The wild rains'
Hamish Reid (2006)
Big black splashes stain the argillite,
and with the stains a smell, a taste in the
roof of my mouth of the earth, flavours
of quartz, feldspar and mica put into the
summer mountain air by the dash of falling water.
The tussocks seem to speak of thirst, to define
thirst, they wave about in sand coloured agony
at the taunts of lush ranunculus and ourisia.

The stains continue to paint the rock a darker,
sinister shade, mirroring the slate grey cloaks
that seem to stream from the running shoulders
of the storm. The wind touches my cheek with an
infinitely soft breath - laden with unspoken threat, the
sky's great bellows gently toying with a mote of dust.

So precarious do I feel, balanced on this high ridge,
looking west into the narrow and intent eyes of
charging fate, that to stay here a moment longer
seems foolishness. But stay I do, just a second longer,
hypnotised by this power, the inevitability of the forces
that will soon smash through these alps, screaming and
plucking at the rocks with strength that could bodily
destroy me.

I turn my back to the rain, the water stains on the
rocks have all merged, the tussock's gentle waves have
become a trembling bow to leeward in anticipation of
the wild rains; the bellows, tiring of their games, have
begun to blow in earnest.

HR