#52weeksofnaturepoetry, Poetry

A Stroll Around Castle Grounds – Week 36 #52weeksofnaturepoetry (Fundraising for RSPB)

Each step brings acrobats

hopping from their low, thin tightropes:

a dazzlement of light-green bodies

shifting soundlessly

into the unplanned arrangement of wildflowers

at the edge of the castle’s grassy moat.

Meadow browns and gatekeepers

rest on knapweed, thistles, oxeye daisies;

invisible from atop the battlements,

mesmerising at ground level.

Pausing for shade, sun having summoned

salt droplets from our skin,

a casual glance at nettles lining the path

reveals white and milk chocolate swirls

clinging all over the leafy stingers;

slimy occupants taking no chances

at being seen.

Further into the surrounding woodland,

jackdaws cackle,

while bronze feathers streak through the sky,

too fast and too distant to identify.

Amongst the branches of a full tree,

this mystery lands, watching –

for threat or prey?

The direction of its gaze is impossible to determine.

Nevertheless, we feel its keenness.

This poem is part of a project I’m doing to raise money for the RSPB, a UK wildlife conservation and protection charity. If you’d like to help, please share this poem to encourage others to take joy in nature, and if you have the time and means to donate, you can do so here. Let’s help keep our wildlife wild!

[Apologies for how these poems are formatted. I do write them in stanzas, but WordPress rarely decides to keep them, no matter how much I argue with it.]

Poetry

Vertigo x Sinusitis x Anxiety

I often think of running.

Of scampering through wilderness

and climbing trees.

Squirrel-ish.

And so many times I’ve hiked

to those places where it’s possible,

where if I just wished,

surely I’d blossom with reddish fur

and bottle-brush tail,

dart across leaf, branch and vine–

but

my body and mind dislike playing together.

Instead, their constant battling

cause my legs to sway, heart stampeding somewhere else;

those dreamt delights hissing as they sputter out,

rolling off balance,

decaying

among the rich leaves

hugging my feet.

Poetry

Sinew

The tin plate is tacked over my mouth before I can even get the words out.

This body is mine, I breathed into it,

I gave it nutrition, trained it, nurtured it

until it grew enough to have my mind accept it.

Now I’m being told it’s only fit to be measured by eyes and instruments

that clinically access its worth.

To me it is lifeblood,

to them it is meat.

Poetry

Hooping

I step inside the circle,

raise it above my head

feeling the muscles of my shoulders and upper

arms. I can turn

clockwise

or anticlockwise,

connect it with my hips,

my back, my legs, my chest.

My heart. And

my mind.

It stops a moment after I stop,

lingering for just that fraction longer

as if posing the question ‘Shall I

go on?’

Poetry

Hardback

I ease into the spine,

careful not to rip or tear,

hearing that new page sound;

a spreading of toes

preparing to feel the ground

in case it tries to slip away

from me.

A deep inhale

before setting the fingers to work,

elegantly stretching from right

to left

as eyes blur left

to right.

Strength flows up my arms

congealing in my head.

The saliva on my tongue

tastes

of salt;

bittersweet meetings,

conversations left unsaid

where

there was so much to say.

I arch upwards,

clearing away the tide

that fills my lungs,

exhaling

the raw.

I step back to mountain;

the cover shuts.

My body tingles

with satisfaction.

My mind

is famished.