First Rain

I decided to kick start this blog with the first poem I wrote on my degree course. It was also the first poem I ever shared with anyone – in this case a creative writing class at university. It has been edited and re-edited since then and is now what I’d term ‘the current final version’.
‘First Rain’ tries to capture the feeling of excitement and anticipation that accompanies the arrival of the first rains of the wet season in Cambodia. The hot dry season seems to ache on and on until you begin to feel as if you are losing yourself and then the rains finally come and bring great relief with them as they cool the sizzling earth and soothe heat-fractured minds.
The noise of the rain coming down (and especially on the tin roofs) was absolutely phenomenal – so loud as to almost deafen – and often obliterated all other sounds such as music or television, even passing traffic. The only sensible thing to do was to completely surrender yourself to the experience if at all possible.
The rain could also obliterate the whole city as it poured down; unlike anything I’d ever really experienced in Britain. It has a tremendous power and was usually greeted with great excitement at the beginning of the season.
The rain is such a massive force and it really does regenerate the parched land. Living in Phnom Penh in the nineties I heard guns being fired as the rains began as if in salute. This, and the concept of the rain taking over the city, informs much of the imagery in the latter part of the poem whereas the earlier sections deal with the waiting and anticipation.
First Rain