One God glares at another, with a dreadful frown;

They charge, ripping the clouds, the rain falls down;

Their barbaric battle cries, rent the thick, heavy night air;

Lightning bolts, brilliant streaks, through the night skies tear;

An African thunderstorm is a violent and ferocious fight;

The water floods, as if the drought’s effects, in one great effort, to right;

Howling winds shake the trees, quickly devoiding them of leaves;

Hail hammers down, stripping petals from flowers like thoughtless thieves.


The next morning, the clouds hang low, promising more rain;

Such a relief from the heat and dust that could drive you insane;

The earth smells damp and musky, with water swollen and fat;

Despite the hails devastation, for the rain we roll out the welcome mat;

One solitary white arum lily peeps out from beneath an eave;

A single drop, like a tear of gratitude, for the water we did receive,

rests right at its tip, a poignant reminder of what drought leaves in its wake;

Shrivelled vegetation, dead livestock and communities that the land forsake.


By Robbie Cheadle