Start with a kiln-dry summer day,
when the earth cracks with longing,
and sweat makes tracks between your breasts.

The air’s so still you hear a beetle scuttle
on the screen, the sun dims in a sullen sky,
and crickets stop chirping. Maybe they know
what’s coming, or they’re tired of asking.

Then it starts – the first lazy drops –
and when the wooden porch step’s dappled,
you go out and lift your face to the embrace
and breathe in the mix of dust and rain
like a lover’s musk.

– Sarah Russell
First published in The Houseboat
Painting by  Rafaelll90 Digital Art

58 thoughts on “Petrichor

    1. Thanks so much, Kanzen. I remembered when you used it in the quadrille. You are in a time of personal watershed and change. I think these 2 last poems of yours reflect that. Thinking of you. It’s a hard passage.


    1. One of my favorite scents too. Thanks for stopping by, Bjorn. I’ve been traveling today, so was late getting my poem in and in reading them. I’m starting at the end and moving forward. Stay tuned. I’ll get to yours!


  1. I love this…waiting for the rain that has to come…I am a human barometer… my fingers swell like sausages and the pain is unbearable until those fat drops of rain hit the ground…love that you have captured this.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This poem could be seen as a lovely imagist poem – a capture of a dry summer day finally breaking with the exquisite chill of a cold front bring big splats of rain pouring down the plains with sand blowing in front of it. But it is also an effective metaphor for any number of situations when the break to monotony, or the inability to write, or create in other way is broken by inspiration, by a breakthrough, by a storm of creativity. I think this poem works very well on all those levels. Fine work!


    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Gay. I hadn’t seen the poem as a metaphor, but that’s exactly how inspiration happens, isn’t it. I love it when readers see more than I did. Makes me think I’m doing something right. High praise indeed!


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