stirling street rainbow
Rain Charm for Stirling Street
by Gaia Holmes

Oh, the itch and nag of it —
this rainless month
when sapless slugs
fruit our yards like prunes
and the lawns
in the salubrious parts of town
are brown whispers.

Even inside
red roses yellow
and spill their petals
before they’ve had time to bloom.
Hard green mangoes
rot before they’ve ripened
and in the fridge
milk thickens and clots
in the necks of bottles,
the cheese gets louder and louder
until it roars.

And lately, we have had
restless nights too hot to touch,
deserts between us in our beds,
Sirocco winds blistering our dreams,
our waking bodies
black with fruit flies.

All you sun-junkies,
you lovers of deck chairs
and Ambre Solaire, forgive me.
I am taking action.
I am standing behind the kitchen door
wobbling a crosshatch saw
to make the sound of thunder.
I am cooking lightning
in the microwave.
I am pouring rice on to a saucer
to make the sound of rain.
I am summoning a storm.

Previously published in Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual, 2015.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I love all kinds of weather, especially sunshine but also rain. I live on Stirling Street and when the sun shines on Stirling Street its residents get bolshy & tetchy. Arguments start. People get angry about parking spaces and traffic cones start appearing on the kerbs. Cats wail all night and it seems that a good dose of rain balms the tension. I love the sound of it on the skylight window in my attic. It makes me feel safe and creative. I love the smell of it, the petrichor, the world after rain—wet grass and tarmac, the scent of shimmer.

PHOTOGRAPH: “Stirling Street Rainbow” (Halifax, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom) by Gaia Holmes.


 ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gaia Holmes lives in Halifax, West Yorkshire, UK. She is a freelance writer and creative writing tutor who works with schools, libraries, and other community groups throughout the West Yorkshire region. She runs “Igniting The Spark,” a weekly writing workshop at Dean Clough, Halifax. In her spare time, Gaia is a DJ for Phoenix FM, Calderdale’s community radio station. She plays accordion with the band Crow Hill Stompers. She has had two full length poetry collections published by Comma Press: Dr James Graham’s Celestial Bed (2006) and Lifting The Piano With One Hand (2013). Gaia is currently writing about sink holes, working on her third collection, and dabbling in fiction.