The First Rain

Year: 1928

by Victor Kennedy   

Out across the bending cane
Slowly after seven moons
Falls the soaking tropic rain
Kindly to the parched ratoons1.

And I wander down the track
Past the shallow billabong
Hearing every fissured crack
Drinking noisily and long.

Can it be, where seasons fall
Drooped with Heaven's dreary tears,
Wilted fields from famine call
Ere the long slack disappears?

Then I slip along the world,
Solemn in her cloistered ways,
Dreaming, living, backward hurled
Down my careless yesterdays.

Mournful little showers blow
Past the luscious green of Lorne;
But the golden afterglow
Floods the season with her scorn.

Deep the frosts of Bendigo,
Biting warm their morning kiss;
Still I would remain to know
All the sturdy strength of this.

                                     Victor Kennedy (1928)

 1: a ratoon is the cane which grows from the stubble of freshly cut cane.