Dust devils rose in summer’s heat,
wispy brown dervishes spiralled,
and, danced across deserted streets,
we watched, someone said “salt!
if you threw salt into the whirlwind,
you would see the devil,”
“none of us had salt!”
Summer holidays ennui,
we watched dark clouds gather,
we needed to be heading home,
but, we hung out, waiting for the wind,
which preceded a monsoon thunderstorm,
in the distance, peacocks cried to each other,
and, danced with feathers unfurled.
Then it came, thunder claps and lightning,
large raindrops hit, raising dust,
and then the warm petrichor,
of enveloping damp, earthy smell arose,
and forever etched itself in our memories.
We all stood soaking in the rain,
cooling in its embrace,
and, then we began to dance,
some flapped hands like cranes,
others strutted like storks,
still others began puddle hopping,
rivulets of water ran,
and turned the lateritic dust,
into terracotta streams.
We watched as waters rose,
and took shelter from rain,
under eaves of roofs.
Someone grabbed a notebook,
from the previous school year,
tore a page,
and passed old history homework,
to make historic paper boats,
kids taught each other,
and soon boats floated,
our regattas in flowing rivulets.
Then one by one the calls came,
concerned mothers calling,
“come home child, come home,
dry up soon, silly children, or you will get sick.”
Now, when I smell petrichor,
I hear my mother’s distant calls,
“Charlie! Charlie! Come out of the rain,
Son, Come Home! Before you get sick!”
and I hear unfettered laughter,
and feel the freedom of times gone by,
my feet grow light,
and my heart grows wings,
I sing and dance in my mind,
as I walk city streets,
the silver asphalt reflecting me,
I walk home slowly, pondering,
the nostalgia I feel when it rains.
Charlie Bottle's passion is poetry. He has lived on three continents, speaks five languages and loves different cultures, people, music and food. He believes that "Poetry uses the economy of words to express the essence of our humanity." It is this magical use of brevity to express the profound that drew him to poetry. While his professional and personal life has pulled him in different directions, He continues in his discipleship of the craft and writes whenever the muse moves him. While English is his second language it is the language in which he lives, breathes, thinks and writes poetry.