#52weeksofnaturepoetry, Poetry

#52weeksofnaturepoetry Week 13 – Underfoot

Soil has often stained my hands and feet.

But unlike the residue left after holding sticky buns

or picking up used teabags after they’ve rolled off the spoon

and splatted to the floor,

it doesn’t make them feel unclean.

Yet repeatedly, I hear it called dirt.

Or mud.

Such a dull, heavy sound.

Undesirable, wash it off quick.

Barely a thought for what it actually is, or does, or harbours:

Miners. Millers. Munchers.

Decomposition prize-winners, aeration champions, turnover challengers never beaten.

And the fruit of these creatures’ toils

is that this common, brown mix –

yes, this loamy, bouncy, often fudge-like earth –

can refuel itself and chug along

supporting life.

Not lightly does soil

wear the crown of Natural Carbon Sink,

gulping down each course with

the tantrums of rivers

so everything can be still, held in place, secured.

Yet lately its hunger has soured,

its minute workers fatigued and growing scarce.

Hit with pesticides, bad land management and neglect,

every day a sliver more

of its vitality blows away in the breeze.

But we can drip feed it, nurture it,

with innovation and determination

so that maybe, perhaps, possibly,

it’ll rebuild its underground cities and again burst

with diversity and good health.

This poem is part of my #52weeksofnaturepoetry project to raise money for the RSPB . To find out more about the project and how to donate, please visit my Just Giving page here.

Sharing is also much appreciated, as I’m trying to raise as much awareness of our local wildlife as possible. The more people who appreciate nature, the more likely it can be successfully protected.

The RSPB is also running the Big Garden Birdwatch at the end of this month, which you can also do in parks if you don’t have a garden. The aim is to collect data on garden birds to analyse their numbers to see if particular species have declined or recovered since last year’s survey. It only takes an hour, so if you have chance, please do check out the details here.

Poetry

Cursed ground

It’s just a patch of grass, as

green as that around it, yet

yellow and black tape cordons it off.

Why? What is so different, so dangerous, so other

about this patch?

Is something buried underneath,

alive still, twitching, itching to reach out,

grab ankles, uproot itself using umbrella mushrooms?

Maybe the other grass blades

simply decided they didn’t like that little patch,

that tiny section, that huddle of earth and sprouted seed.

Perhaps they can see something I can’t,

trapped in the details, their canvas of perfection rattled

because of the few individuals declared

broken who refuse to wilt under their gazes.

Or perhaps those cordoned blades

decided to erect a barrier themselves,

electric anger spiking

at being stepped on one too many times.

Poetry

Lightning Source

Where does it come from? teapot swirling with crackling anger

while its brother gargles out ideas and hurls them to the ground

just to analyse the way the leaves smoke and blacken after the impact.

 

The teacup is held to catch the droplets and cool them,

before watering the dry

and collecting the glass trees from the sand.

 

Ghostly, the surface shines to mirror,

its seed long carried away like beads

on a collapsing table.

Poetry

Picture perfect

A lot of ground can be covered in a moment,

ink staining the cells with vibrant pigment;

imprints of days that will never fade

and smiles that will always bring joy to my heart.

You’ve watched me unfold and wash away

the paint that has sunk deep into my pores.

I’m stepping up into who I am,

not hiding away any longer.

There are parts that are blunt, insensitive and uninvolved.

There are parts that are curious, creative and full of love.

Intrigue, sass, laughter, empathy.

Or a void.

You take it all, see it all,

hold it all

because you’re holding me.

At the same time, I’m holding you,

so no matter how we step across the board,

we’re perfectly balanced,

perfectly in place to checkmate

everything that the future might throw at us.

Together. In time.

A dance we take until

the day we vanish.

Until the day we give our final kiss,

if anything about us

and the love that grips us

can even be final.