Drought and flooding rain

Australia is a harsh land. 70% is classified as desert or semi-desert whatever that means. In the south where the rain falls the grass grows well but then dries out in the summer and feeds bush fires. It is a harsh land.

Drought is common, extensive and unforgiving. But drought always breaks – in the end.

I wrote the following many years ago and I just found it amongst some old papers. I was younger then.

The breaking of the drought.

In the morning we all awoke and looked,

As we had done

These last long years with little hope

And even littler faith

Into the west, 

To see some sign of rain some cloud perhaps.

A stirring in the wind.


The cattle were all gone, the sheep dead long ago.

The dog drank from the water we’d brought

Those fifty miles from Jackson’s still wet bore,

Then slunk under the shed.


And there!

There was a moving in the sky

As if the usual sharpness –

Where the dead straight distant sky

Was wont to meet the ground –

Had been roughed up

And merged instead of met.

And Jimmy saw it first and yelled into the house

“Dad come and see it Dad!

Come Dad. Come on it’s come.

The rain. It’s come. A cloud out there

out by the ten mile well

come on Dad it’s come

The rain

It’s gunna bloody rain.”


And Mum not wanting to be overcome

And not to cry in front of all us kids

Just looked at Jim and told him not to swear.


And then we ran around and closed up all the doors

And shut the windows in the tractor shed

And sat and waited for the rain.

And we waited all the while

Just looking at the clouds build up

And waiting for the wind

to rise and bring the rain our way.


And then it rained.

A drop only. At first!

Jimmy did his raindance all again

And got ticked off for swearing once again.


And then it poured!

It rained for three long days

And when it stopped the flat was three feet deep

And on the rise the green began to show

And all the time Dad didn’t say a word –

Just stood there all the day

And looked off miles away.

And when I went to to tell him lunch was on

He laid his hand 

and roughed it on my head and said,

“Thanks son.

Tell Mum I’m on my way.”


15 thoughts on “Drought and flooding rain

  1. That’s excellent. Do you follow Lakshmi Bhat on “Mukhamani
    My Reflections and Expressions” ? She lives in southern India and always makes the approach of the monsoon really exciting.

    Liked by 1 person

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