When I came to write of it there was no rain,
just the last of its ectoplasm shivering
in a pool on the terrace’s lowest slate.

No sky winks in the left-behind liquid,
only the garden table’s black metal underside –
all is prediction, absence, an oracle’s glum vigil –

whilst the air, hyperactive, holds more weather:
weather folded in weather, the rest of the day
remains to be dealt like a deck of wet cards.

Town rain splits and skids but this land accepts
what is given. Foliage moves against foliage;
water drains down the conifers’ inner ladders.

Something thirsts for each substance spilled
so this liquid is neighbourly, a local’s drink.
Outside Ambleside’s tourist shops, dog-bowls

brim with downpour. Here the last shower
hangs about too, old drops slung like bats
from the bird-feeder and the patio chairs.2014

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