Millpoint throaty guzzler, wishful
choker as dust films throat, to measure up,
squalls with hooks and introversions, bale-hooks,
moebius comeback though sharp and sliced
from the same stretch, to hang up or catch skin
to ripen blood-eating earth, so sharp needles
of rain crosscut, score soil and tease seeds,
to calibrate the empty out and add up,
it says enough but penetration’s not there
and lateral spread, its absorption
which is not a formula of depth, width, impact,
even with the resistance, the failure of soil
to wet, taken into consideration. What factor
has us check the gauge when the crops are in,
when growth is simply about moisture,
to engage the rainmaker, the seeder of air
when airseeders have percolated hectare
after hectare of earth, to balance the equation,
the antimatter or parallel universe of planting
and growth, the balanced equation of faith
that adds up so each seed sprouting
spites and despites the raingauge
as if miracles can blossom from the negative?
They can’t, and even moisture from the sea
won’t reconcile tropes and impositions,
and the miracle of rain we might not even see
will be seen in crops and wild grasses,
good foliage on even hardy resistant trees,
less salt in low damp spots – an adjustment
in contradictions, apparent laws
we apparently live by, bothering the gauge
after sleep’s deliberations, blanks and deletions.

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences