After Rain

the blue arch of the wind
makes the catkins ripple.
One falls and stipples
across a puddle. Lead peels
like bark off a steeple
and evening flattens
on a park bench.
Everyone is under cover
huddled below eaves
and behind shutters.
A car pinks by
the exhaust stutters
a plume of smoke
thunder coloured.
To the west, a clearing
opens up to the silence
left behind. The street
swings into motion
black umbrellas gleam
against the ocean
of a whitening sky.

Nigel McLoughlin

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1A Chinese Woodcut

Books by Nigel McLoughlin