Peter Cash: MAGICIAN IN THE RAIN (1983)

Out of Print

In 1972, Peter Cash, wrote his B.A. dissertation on the poetry of Laurie Lee (1914-1996). Written in Lee’s style, these ten lyrics imply a synaesthetic association between an appreciation of the rural world and an enjoyment of sexual experience, suggesting that the two can be simultaneous and equally sensuous.

Originally commissioned by Gallery Five as a series of poem-cards, they record adolescent discoveries and celebrate adolescent satisfactions, but then say goodbye to them. Accordingly, the collection is notable for its vivid imagery, but also for its rueful tone … The poet exults in the sensations of his first embraces, but ultimately rues the transitoriness of these tactile thrills. He is ‘a magician in the rain’ in that he can transform a girl by his touch, but then find himself desolate without her.


Flies snooze
on the kitchen sill
and the harvesters in the back field
    lunch still.
    I chew
fat stalks from the green-flowing lawn 
and contemplate the country beauty of you.

Sparrows speed
out of the bushes
and plane across the crackling stubble;
    and thrushes
    that flare 
through the white smoke of the afternoon
drop dry poppy-seeds upon your barley hair.

Drones sip
the hot honeysuckle
and young rabbits spurt into the stooks.
      You chuckle 
      and your breasts rise
as I tickle your throat with a soft stem
and watch the wild notes chime in your eyes.

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