River is the Plural of Rain

My first collection, River is the Plural of Rain,  was published by Oversteps Books in 2009.
Probably OP.

But it was featured on:

Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre

River is the plural of rain

Each of us is water    Carole Satyamurti

From a mouth of soil among sedge and willow
water calls out on its journey
to all its other selves: follow

follow us from the shallows into the deep. Below
the surface currents strain their sinews
spilling white foam over stones to follow

the earth vein where it flows,
furling and ravelling together
as stream follows after stream.

Its pulse is the undertow,
its pores are the rain,
and every drop is dreaming of sky.

by Rebecca Gethin

‘River is the Plural of Rain’ is copyright © Rebecca Gethin, 2009. It is reprinted from River is the Plural of Rain by permission of Oversteps Books.

And  a couple more from that book:


Who has heard of it or uses it now?  Italo Calvino (La Fiera Litteraria)

An unfamiliar bird call throbs in the gloaming:
a single note, at regular intervals.
Sylvano, who takes a stroll every evening,

tells me the dialect word.  I nod, repeat it;
feeling the name in my mouth makes me understand
the colours of feathers, eye, and beak-shape.

He knows the verb for the badger-faced chamoix
always turning back to look at you as it flees;
the noun for the sway of the grass, the rustling

of dried stalks when a green lizard is disturbed,
then hides under leaves, its eyes motionless.
And chintagna was once the gap between bed and wall,

as well as the space behind a house built on a hillside.
Some words exist on such fragile margins-
only a syllable away from being extinct.

Studio portrait – 1952

I am older than my mother
had the chance to be:
my bones bending to the shape
of my own existence –

without the blueprint of her life
I don’t have clues to the extremes
I will need to arrive at,
nor the limits of my body.

My face’s lines may be my own
but what I can’t know is
how much of her expression
lies deeper down.

In hiding

We don’t enjoy a simple, elementary law: to live as men, humanly…Carlo Rosselli (1937)

Above the road, lamp-light from his window
frays the darkness.  Insects bombard the pane.

His middle finger throbs from gripping
the pen, nib scratching fibrous paper.

In the pallid light his eyes ache
peering at type-writer keys, deciphering codes.

A tinkle signalling the end of each line reminds
him of the sacrament bell:  he longs to hear

soft foot-steps on the stairs
without fear rising in his throat,

to sense the sleep-breath of his children
under this roof.   Restive moon-shadows

revolve in the orchard, a sheep coughs.
The window stays closed.

He won’t open it lest he show his face,
works on till the moths sleep.

(Carlo Rosselli, who was one of the leaders of the Italian Resistance to Mussolini, was assassinated by a Fascist gun-man in France in 1938)