This poem follows from my earlier work "Wet", set in the city of Cairns, Far North Queensland. Having reached the place, the next challenge is to figure out how to survive in the prevailing weather conditions: 100 percent humidity and massive daily rainfall. Air conditioning helps, somewhat.
Summer was the waiting for the Wet:
On Water Street, old Queenslanders
creaked and eased in dry crackling sways, leaning;
sniffling the coral cay north-easters,
and battle lines of white sky galleons
that steamed and curled and died.
On Water Street the palms frissoned and sighed
like small falling rock streams,
singing the Trades to nurture, renew,
to laugh, cry, give birth, rejoice and grow.
On Water Street anticipation flowed
like the creeks and lanes, the wooden mildewed stairs
that rise to sanctuary and ceiling fans
when the Wet appears. Dark on horizons,
eyes flashing, railing at forest peaks,
shouting the valleys, ruling Earth's affairs;
and chromium bullet rains
hurl pounding hologram sheets that bruise
and shred the slivered leaves
of the palms on Water Street,
erect and shaking in the dripping gloom,
while the lower slopes hang
like theatre backdrops from roiling,
tumbling open-armed valleys to dank
greens and browns barely coloured,
the way ahead not clear.
On Water Street the traffic moving slowly.