Rain - Birdoswald  

I stand under a leafless tree 
more still, in this mouse-pattering 
thrum of rain, 
than cattle shifting in the field. 
It is more dark than light. 
A Chinese painter's brush of deepening grey 
moves in a subtle tide. 

The beasts are darker islands now. 
Wet-stained and silvered by the rain 
they suffer night, 
marooned as still as stone or tree. 
We sense each other's quiet. 

Almost, death could come 
inevitable, unstrange 
as is this dusk and rain, 
and I should be no more 
myself, than raindrops 
glimmering in last light 
on black ash buds 

or night beasts in a winter field. 

images: becca voelcker          text: frances horovitz (1938-83)