A to Z Challenge – R is for Rivers of Life

April 21, 2015 at 12:05 am | Posted in A-Z Blogging Challenge 2015, Australia, Poetry, The Wet | 3 Comments
Tags: , ,

A2Z-BADGE [2015] - Life is Good

There is always something special about the first rains of the Wet Season in Central Australia.

Rivers of Life

As the first raindrops fall,

the red desert earth releases

the sharp, clean smell of ozone.

I lift my face to taste

the heaven-sent drops;

to receive their cleansing baptism,

their cool anointing

on my thirsty, sun-dried skin.

The long-awaited build-up,

the sultry grey-black promise

of summer storm-clouds,

is finally, thunderously, fulfilled

in the unrelenting barrage

of a season-breaking downpour;

a cascade that quenches

the sky’s glowing furnace.

At once I am drenched.

Coolness trickles from head to toe;

washing away the summer dust.

My feet are lost in red-brown mud,

as tiny rivulets unite, to form

streams that expand into

shallow, brush-dotted lakes,

through which I splash.

Earthy waters, fed by heaven’s bounty,

surge along winter-dried river-beds

that Rainbow Snake their way

through sandy, spinifex plains

and the rocky, spirit-haunted gorges

of Australia’s red-ochred heart.

These surging, foaming torrents

irrigate a vast desert land,

carrying with them a sacrament,

the annual rebirth of the land.

At season’s end the rivers pass away,

buried beneath those thirsty sands.

Then, almost as I watch,

multitudes of waiting seeds,

aroused by the redeeming waters,

erupt into life, and carpet the red soil

in white and mauve and gold.

In weeks, they too will fade away,

until the next rainy season brings once more

the ozone smell of nature’s baptism.

(c)  Linda Visman

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