During the year I spent following the monsoon in a dozen countries, Ilearned to seeit as a criticallyimportantevent,
and not the disaster it hadfirst seemed.
Farmers experience the monsoon as an almost
religious experienceas they watch their fields come back to life after being parched for half the year.
Fizzy, frothy, fickle rain
For months there is no rain, and then there is too much.
Half the world’s people survive at the whim of the monsoon.
Shirley Geok-lin Lim
The air is wet, soaks
into mattresses, and curls
In apparitions of smoke,
Like fat white slugs furled
Among the timber
Or silver fish tunnelling
The damp linen covers
Of schoolbooks, or walking
Quietly like centipedes,
The air walking everywhere
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