You Can’t Outrun a Rain Storm

You Can’t Outrun Squally Rain

Outside a fisherman ties his dingy to the dock.
He runs for shelter below a lean-to sheet of plastic,
as if a person can outrun squally rain. Nothing
compares, being chased by a tropical maelstrom.

I’ve sheltered in a cafe with plastic chairs and tables.
I glance up at the waitress who sets a sweating bottle
of beer on the table. She asks if I’m ready to order.
Salt and pepper shrimp, a vegetable. M’ goi, I say.

The rain beats against the awning and pours down
on to the wooden dock below. The fisherman waits.
No rush – this is Lana Island. None are in a hurry here.
Time keeps its own speed in China.

When I was young, and my soul was still half empty,
I let the world fill me. The world was my home.
Wherever I went, whatever I saw, each place left a bit
of itself in my soul. And I left a bit of myself behind, too.
A kindness for kindness. Memories for memories.

Like the heat of Singapore as I walked across the old
iron bridge. Dazed, I thought I heard footfall behind me.
A curse, equatorial heat. It scorched my neck, my arms.
No fan would cool me, no cold drink resolved my thirst.

I once stood at the base of a glacier. Listened to its
white ancient mass groan and snap, it shattered the air
with a landslide. I remember my feet begging me to run –
but my legs refused. I learnt what it meant to freeze.

I suppose I left my unwilling legs at that glacier.
Left that scorching sting on my arms in Singapore.
I smile at the thought, pour glacial cold beer into a glass –
and peeled the shell from another shrimp.

The rain poured down for another few hours. It kept
the fisherman sat under the plastic tarpaulin, his legs
tucked and folded beneath him, and I continued to peel
shrimp and suck the sauce off the shells that piled up
high and statuesque on the plate.

I once thought that the world was my home.
It’s not though; the world is a museum.

 

 

for Visual Verse Vol 6 Chapter 12 ©️ Misky 2019
also shared with dVerse OpenLinkNight

23 responses to “You Can’t Outrun a Rain Storm”

  1. Evocative imagery, and memories incorporated as both analogy and metaphor. That’s what I found after moving beyond the purile pun-ish (the pain of tying one’s dingy to the dock!) and the Pavlovian response to “cold glacial beer” (Though I’ve yet to have my morning coffee, perhaps this evening . . .) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ”I once thought that the world was my home.
    It’s not though; the world is a museum.” – brilliant. Old hat, all of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think we learn growing older that it’s ok to live in a museum actually…
    so it might be your home after all.

    Like

    1. As I said to Toni, I am a spectator so the world’s always been a museum for me. A long walk as an observer.

      Like

  4. A wonderful, colorful, exotic tale. For those of us that are not world travelers, we can rely on you (and others) to paint and people the scene, to provide vicarious thrills, sights, and smells; thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With pleasure, Glenn.

      Like

  5. I can relate. But a museum is still a groovy place to walk around and discover new things.

    Like

    1. As a life-long spectator and observer, the world has always been a museum in my eyes.

      Like

  6. I love the small adventure your words took me on. The world is a museum; great closure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much

      Like

  7. This is an exceptional poem Misky! Great sense of place and occasion. Very visceral yet gentle. i loved this! 🙂

    Like

    1. Thank you so very much!

      Like

  8. Dept. of Things I Wish I’d Written:

    “When I was young, and my soul was still half empty,
    I let the world fill me.”

    Wow

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh gosh this is simply stunning, Misky! ❤️ I especially resonate with; “When I was young, and my soul was still half empty, I let the world fill me.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love the travels and memories of visiting in those cities. I supposed you pick up or leave behind a piece of yourself in that place. This is my favorite part:

    Wherever I went, whatever I saw, each place left a bit
    of itself in my soul. And I left a bit of myself behind, too.
    A kindness for kindness. Memories for memories.

    Like

  11. Oh, the wisdom of age your reveal here. When the rain is on our heals it is best to head for shelter and peal shrimp! I like that!!

    Like

  12. I love the scene in the café, Misky, the description of the rain in the third stanza and the scorching Singapore heat. The flashback to youth and empty soul is so well handled, and when I think about it, I also though of the world as my home when I was younger, collected bit sand pieces of it and leaving bits of myself behind. It’s a sobering thought, all those people we’ve met and never seen again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kim. I’m glad you enjoyed reading it.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Reverie in the place of forced inaction–we so seldom visit that place these days. Pull out the phone and tap away. But there is no other way to access this deep reservoir of memory–all that contributes to who we are. I fear few today are present enough in their lives to even form memories like these. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

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