Rainfall Baptism


Distorted proportions: the falling rain –
its soft flush and sibilance in the leaves;
water spreading and pooling in the street
where we two stood, agape in moonstruck awe,
transported to a drug-induced elsewhere.

It was as if we had wandered wide-eyed
into the bright glade of perception
for there, on the sloped shoulder of the hill,
where the rain hissed and fell like spitting sparks,
a lamplight glowed through the heart of a tree
lighting a passage through the beaded boughs,
an amber, bone-bright tracery of twigs
dripping with jewellery.
Whirlpool of colour,
that prickled the rods and cones of the eye
and there the rain, flecked and riddled with light,
guttered and flashed through every grain and pore
of the bark, where the lamp, the leaves and the earth
were all dancing in intricate detail.

Everything seemed so pearled and delicate.
The tree’s architecture, the rosette
facets of rainfall, the bright spiral core
fulfilling its promise of renewal.

Through those jewelled and glinting raindrops we glimpsed
a prism of truths, an absolute light
permeating and refracting,
for in the black and sparkle of the tree
we had a sense of new reality,
of penetration and epiphany.

It was just a lamp, a tree in rainfall,
but we knew it was a haven lit with souls!

Fluent trickle and hissance in the leaves
and the whole dark world washed pallid and pure
in the rain diminishing.

Now sometimes,
if I close my eyes, that memory comes back
to me in all its iridescent pearls,
the warm magnetic glow and lamplit beads
that clung like the beads of a rosary.
What happened to us back there? What do you
remember? I remember the rinsing
speech of rain, your voice of astonishment,
the leafy labyrinth like a starry cosmos,
the whole tree spangled with glints and splashes,
our minds lost to the soft, slow seep of rain.