(a poem with a hat tipped to The Rain in Portugal by Billy Collins)
The Rain in Cushendall,
pot plump, runs as if fleeing a entice. Racket mongering
in language stone auld; cheek chiseling—
somebody as soon as kissed it with their eyes,
went blind. Stout pearls
prang onto every protruding tongue
daft sufficient to style it, pores and skin bearers left reeling:
tongue cannae bruise—cin it?
Full steel jacket rain, porridging the soil,
missiling into Cottage Wooden’s darkest fissure.
Rain to rattle the rhododendron
out its floral hubris, slake the thirst
of each tentacle, gush the sycamore’s nest
of knots. An Irish hare
with two lifeless legs limps past its capturing vary.
A direct hit will wreck a chip, six
will flood an open supper; pothole to a puddle in ten
savage seconds. But by no means
has it blasted fierce sufficient to cease Kearney’s Fleshers
slicing rashers or Johnny Joe’s filling pints, in order
—heat bellied squelch socked—native seers
may moot the load in it:
whether or not it warbles, carries grit,
whether or not the graves are listening
Michael Pedersen is a Robert Louis Stevenson Award winner, a John Mathers Belief Rising Star of Literature, a Canongate Future 40 and a Callum McDonald Memorial Award finalist. He has two chapbooks below his belt and two collections, printed by Polygon books – his most up-to-date illustrated by Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit. Michael co-founded the prize-winning literary collective Neu! Reekie!