The Rains Have Come

That gentle ozone smell of moistened earth

Delights the wearied mind of dried-up man

Eking the last few drops of water's dearth.

Up on the roof he combs the leaking thatch;

Then out tomorrow with his team to plough,

To till the clay, his treasure store now bare,

But soon to blossom riches, he'll avow.

The children, drenched, just sing and dance with glee:

'The rains have come, will come, will come again,

And we shall eat, and eat, and eat again.'

Excitedly they join the frantic fun

Collecting termites dropped from love's last flight,

Braving the slobbery slosh of a muddy run.

Then home for the fry and the village feast for all.


From hand to hand. From hand to mouth;

Pray God they will not starve again.




December 1968