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Weather Report: 23 Oct 2022—Rain – Holly Friedlander Liddicoat

Holly Friedlander Liddicoat
Text (poem) - Bundanon, NSW, Australia, November, 2022

This poem was commissioned for Siteworks: From a deep valley, a family of projects that draws on climate research, critical thinking through contemporary art, creative digital spaces, and Indigenous knowledge and technologies.

Weather Report: 23 Oct 2022—Rain

good morning Canberra! it’s the 23rd of October & a balmystrange settles the BushCap at 18.4 degrees.

rains predicted throughout the day—but now, the sphere is holding.

73% humidity & later this afternoon, your shirt will cling to your belly.

along the east coast, a massive storm stretches 3,500 kms—from far North QLD to Victoria’s north west corner.

for residents of Echuca Moama, evacuation orders are in place, with more rain set to inundate the Murray River.

Shepparton & Mooroopna are on alert for repeat flooding, as recovery efforts are underway.

heavy rain lashes at Coffs.

here in Canberra, it’s touch & go cycle weather & you will think about the emotionality of rain. worms wriggle from the sodden earth to escape the drowning, only to fry out on the pavers in a snap of heat.

you will think of the Cairns tropic type, the deep, deep inhalation before the—. the blue-grey cotton thick above, the dense humidity around, they hold arms and hug with force until you gasp. the palms of your hands will sweat. your breathing will stay shallow. when it finally starts, it will spit & spit & spit, the temp bouncing down a notch & you will walk along the marina wet & smiling.

or longing for an oldnormal Sydney Southerly on a Saturday Arvo in Summer. always brought on by the sheerness of desire & anticipation. the sun-blistered babies living their hot girl summers, who roll around the rocks at Gordons or flatten Clovelly’s concrete. the g-stringed asses that praise the skies. the hungover, city-wide fugue & drinks with little umbrellas. a coming back to writing. beer o’clock balcony balmy. the smell that blankets. then the crack of gold that breaks the cloth-ceramic—once, twice, eighty times or more. light first, then the pour. we expand like jacarandas, muscles letting go like petals that paint the ‘burbs.

or in bed, fast asleep. anywhere now. a huge, unrelenting dump. the crash on corrugated iron that wakes you. you know the one. too loud to be romantic or wistful, you lie still, strangely alert. mindbody steady. a single cautious thought plays along in melody.

and then—morning. you wake to see the sky pale blue & new.

or the type of storm you rush home in, umbrella kinda useless, you kick off your sneakers & your socks & feet are wet. the perfect day to be heartbroken & alone in a new city. you pitch over onto the floor and you bawl. the dryness of the boards on yr knees. Highs! Epiphanies! Despairs! down on the rocks of Time. you howl in communion with the wind, you see the wind as cover, the cracking of the leaves & branches & breakages as you—as you too are a breakage. the boards hold your atheistic self in prayer & supplication. you are the ground, the mud & gunk, the river bank, the letting of the dam, the floodway & the flooded, the newborn shoot that capitulates, the rocks that shift the course, the flower withdrawn into green, the cow under the tree, the lily deep in muck, the windowpane that fogs, the single rain drop that leaks inside, the entire deluge, the clouds & sky & the 20,000 other darlings on their knees, the chests that heave, the storm that feels it’s endless.

until it stops. and you stop. the sky & eye pale blue & new. you make a cup of tea.

or the grey that lasts for weeks. a steady drizzle. you’re at home again. too bored for another movie you pick at yr toenails & listen to ABC. to the warnings & interviewees. the locals that own the shops & farm the lands. the mayors and councillors. the volunteers & SES.

while you are not safe I am not safe. we sit high in my third floor apartment & listen to the soft & steady din of rain on rain.

Lines: “Highs! Epiphanies! Despairs!”, “down on the rocks of Time” and “while you are not safe I am not safe” are from Allen Ginsberg’s poem Howl.

Bundanon’s annual presentation of environmental research projects and public programs has a decade-long history.  In 2022, Siteworks is presenting a family of projects that draw on climate research, critical thinking through contemporary art, creative digital spaces, and Indigenous knowledge and technologies.

The starting point for Siteworks 2022 is the concept of the weather report, borrowed to map both environmental and emotional spaces, and chronicle internal and external landscapes. This expansive program includes a new exhibition, outdoor installations, a laboratorium space for workshops and performances, as well as talks and events over weekends throughout the season. Siteworks 2022 posits the artist as a kind of weather balloon, capturing a collection of reports on our place and our time.

Holly Friedlander Liddicoat

Holly Friedlander Liddicoat is a poet, editor, dj and performer who has previously been published in Cordite, Overland, Rabbit, Southerly, The Lifted Brow and Voiceworks, among others. She’s edited poetry for Voiceworks and the UTS Writers’ Anthology and was shortlisted for the UTS Writers’ Anthology Prize. Rabbit Poetry published her first collection CRAVE, which was shortlisted for the 2019 Mary Gilmore Award. In 2022 she undertook a Bundanon residency as one half of spoken word/dance music outfit jobfit.


Commissioned by Bundanon; part of the weather station in Bundanon, NSW, Australia.


Bundanon acknowledges the people of the Dharawal and Dhurga language groups as the traditional owners of the land within our boundaries, and recognises their continuous connection to culture, community and Country.

In Dharawal the word Bundanon means deep valley.

This website contains names, images and voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.