Treasure Trove: ‘Rain’ by Hone Tuwhare

It rained here recently, heavy summer storms which provided welcome relief for drought-stricken farmers and threatened to cause flooding in many areas. There’s nothing quite like heavy rain after a spell of hot weather, and at such times I am always reminded of one of my favourite poems, by New Zealand poet Hone Tuwhare (1922-2008), simply titled ‘Rain’.

I can hear you making
small holes in the silence

If I were deaf
the pores of my skin
would open to you
and shut

And I should know you
by the lick of you
if I were blind:

the steady drum-roll
sound you make
when the wind drops

the something
special smell of you
when the sun cakes
the ground

but if I should not
smell or feel or see you

you would still
define me
disperse me
wash over me