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The Taste of Rain cover, front and back. The front cover features a photograph of a head of grass covered in dew drops.

The Taste of Rain
A Year on Cannock Chase

The Taste of Rain is my first full-length poetry collection. It was published by Offa's Press in 2023.

The Taste of Rain originated as my final year project for my MFA. Due to the amount of time I spent walking on Cannock Chase (a National Landscape in Staffordshire), I decided to write poems that tracked a full calendar year of observing these special and varied landscapes.

I wanted the collection to be very rooted in that specific place, so there are poems all about areas of Cannock Chase where people and nature have existed side-by-side. I also wanted to capture the feeling of ancient knowledge - a kind of  almanac - so there are poems about months, full moons, and pagan festivals. Finally, having seen a year which started with extreme prolonged snow and ended with a warm, damp winter, the impact of the changing climate makes itself obvious. So there are poems of warning, poems of mourning, and poems of change. 

I was very lucky to receive an endorsement from Helen Mort, who said:

"Gorgeous lyric poems in conversation with Cannock Chase, seen and unseen. Cherry Doyle's poems gift us a landscape, a mind-scape."

The Taste of Rain is perfect for poetry fans who are passionate about ecopoetry, Cannock Chase, or non-traditional forms. Get your copy from the Offa's Press shop or by contacting me directly.

Beautiful Cannock Chase

Bramble blackberry flower.
Close up of bracken showing green, yellow and brown.
Common blue butterfly on heather.

Prayer to the Forest

P

Father, mother - I found you 

deep in the creases of your own backs, 

in an open mouth of sky between your branches. 

 

I would bathe your roots in dew, 

kiss your hems of moss and ivy, 

if you’d only take me in your arms, 

 

run a twilight hour over my skin, 

lull me to sleep with whispers   

in the skitter of rain on my hood. 

 

Grant me a sprinkling of birdsong 

in the feather-tops of young birches, 

a sunrise of cowslips at my feet. 

 

Father, mother – teach me how 

to shelter; how you face the wind  

as it parts around you.  

 

Forgive me. I arrived today in clouds 

of diesel smoke. Buy single-use plastic, 

leave the TV on when I go out. 

 

How can I stand here, begging  

for your soft company? How can I  

look you in the face, with all this talk of salvation? 

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