The yellow ochre walls are turned to gold;
A swimming spout makes silver overflow;
The grey hills gather cloud smocks fold on fold,
And changed is every landmark that we know
On sunny days. The shallow, shingled roof
Is charcoal grey. With tight-closed lips
The pink snap-dragons hold themselves aloof
From wild, wet kisses. Where the brick wall drips
The rain is dancing, splashing on the stone;
The stiff umbrella-tree begins to sway;
The hard, dull leaves of zinnias alone
Burn a red fire of blossom through the grey.
The banners of the storm drive east and south,
And on the waters trail like skeins of wool;
A seagull, driven from the river's mouth,
Screams like a ghost that haunts a fatal pool.
We in the city streets, who smile and pass,
Call to each other that the drought is done,
Dreaming a world made wonderful with grass,
And waves of wheat that shimmer in the sun.
First published in The Sydney Mail, 5 January 1927