Tag Archives: rain

And the Heavens Opened

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Pools of water collect on the driveway, then run onto the grass by the maize field. Gaining momentum, the water changes direction and flows west into the back paddock.


When I arose this morning, the rain that had been coming down steadily all night was like a bead curtain, each string of droplets falling vertically from the leaden grey sky.

Troubled Sleep

Last night had to have been the worst night I’ve experienced this summer, humidity-wise. As I lay on my bed, the covers pushed off onto the floor, I struggled to find a cool patch in the damp mugginess. My hair clung to my head and a patina of moisture coated every patch of exposed skin (in other words, my whole body was dripping).  Around 3.30 am, a loud crash roused me from a weird dream about insects. I’d been half aware, earlier, of a few flashes of brightness through my tightly-closed eyelids as I’d tossed and turned, but I’d put that down to my Apple Watch’s display turning on when I moved my arm. For the next hour, an impressive thunder storm rattled the windows and cast brilliant white light into the room. At 4.15 am I detached myself from the damp bed to check the data on our newly-acquired weather station. The results were no surprise: Outside: 22.3 C / 100 % humidity; Inside: 27.6 C / 93% humidity.

I switched on RNZ’s All Night Programme, hungry for an update on how Tonga was faring under the onslaught of Cyclone Gita. The broadcast was broken by static and I imagined having to endure the rain without shelter. In the darkness of a stormy night. With young children or elderly parents. With ferocious winds and terrifying noises. How frightening that would be.

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A lake of water on the grass

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!

When I looked out from the back porch and saw that glistening curtain of rain, I felt an overwhelming urge to shower outside. So I grabbed soap and shampoo and found a position behind the garage (very private there, especially on such a day) and washed and rinsed myself off out there with only the sparrows and one stray hen for company. A large gush of water was overflowing from the corner of the roof, the guttering unable to cope with the torrent, so I stood directly beneath it to rinse off my hair. It felt good to be out there in the wetness. The water was barely cooler than the air temperature.

Taking Stock

71 mm of rain has fallen in the last 24 hours, and of this, 22.5 mm fell in the hour I chose for my outdoor shower. Now it’s getting on for 8.00 pm and the rain has mostly stopped; water is sinking into the grass and draining away.  Outside, the cicadas and crickets are once again making a racket. Let’s hope it’s sunny tomorrow.

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Tan water flows by
bearing the earth in its grasp
Cows munch undisturbed

Jane Percival, February 2018



February Precipitation


Two days of constant rain after weeks of no rain at all.

Looking out at the dripping garden
reminds me of other rainy days.

Cold, driving, childhood rain…
the water dripping down my bare legs
and into my gumboots.

Rain feeding the Hutt River…
I lean over the edge of Moonshine Bridge,
and watch branches swirling in the swollen waters.

Peering through the greasy window of an airport bus…
the tracks of rain matching the ones on my cheeks.

Today in Christchurch they thirst for rain…
And yesterday, I welcomed it, too.

But not today.

Jane Percival, 16 February 2017




The windows rattle.

Outside, the lawn is mottled with smashed leaves
from the cottonwood.
Flax pods heavy with rain thud against each other.
A tui clings for dear life, and is whisked away.

The Northeasterly is not kind to my garden.
Branches snap, flowers shred,
hens scatter.

It passes through the mosquito mesh.
Invisible fingers lift the tapa cloth off the wall
then let if fall.
I’m reminded of Nalauaki.

Torrential rain is its companion.
Waves break against the stainless steel flue.
A million tiny coral flecks rattling with shells.

It’s been so long since it’s been windy.
I’d almost forgotten.

Jane Percival, March 2016


After the Rain


First Day of Spring

Three days of rain have drenched the land
forming rippling mirrors in the grass
and a flock of dishevelled, wet hens.

A river of caramel water
runs at the edge of the gravel road
then ducks beneath the concrete pipe
at the end of our driveway.

Bright green leaves are freshly washed.
A song thrush calls from high up in the silver poplar
and Molly is perched on a chunk of concrete,
keeping her paws dry.

This morning I stomped around in my gumboots
hoping to capture memories of the water
but the thirsty earth had already swallowed
most of them.

The land at South Head imitates a sponge.
Formed from ancient dunes
it doesn’t allow water to rest here for long.

Jane Percival, 01 September 2015

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