#52weeksofnaturepoetry, Poetry

Puffarazzi! Week 35 #52weeksofnaturepoetry – raising money for RSPB

Whipped by salt heavy winds,

the photographer pulls their coat collar tight

and crouches low,

becoming landscape;

an unimportant, moss-covered rock

with raw cheeks.

_______________________________________

Camera gripped in restless fingers,

eyes trained on the puffin colony

hard at fishing.

_______________________________________

Snap!

_______________________________________

Lens focused?

Timing right?

_______________________________________

Quick check:

Sizing great, subject clear – but

colourful bill obscured,

clumps of grass

urged into frame by blasts of ice.

_______________________________________

Which unlucky species

did this individual catch?  

What quantity?

_______________________________________

Speculation is fruitless,

mere guesswork never equals

accurate data.

_______________________________________

Back to the trusty tool of trade;

listen, wait.

_______________________________________

Incoming at two o’clock.

Ready for your close-up, eager one?

Steady. Steady. Click shutter…

now.

_______________________________________

Success!

Head perfectly centred,

silver dripping from its bill

in the shape of sand eels;

nutritious prey

for lively chicks.

_______________________________________

Another fine slice of research

ready for analysing.

Citizen science at its finest.

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!

The subject of this poem was inspired by Project Puffin, a citizen science project organised by the RSPB to gather data on what foods puffins feed their young and how these have changed over time, in order to determine whether lack of food is one of the reasons behind the steep decline in puffin numbers. Click here to find out more.

[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.]

#52weeksofnaturepoetry, Poetry

#52weeksofnaturepoetry Week 4 – Layers

On the surface, she looked healthy.

But a gentle prod revealed the bruises underneath.

It was time to peel back the layers,

time to aerate the spiralling thoughts within.

Scarf wrapped tight and fingers gloved,

she trekked out into the crisp, late autumn air

leaving breath-ghouls behind her.

Down to the river, taking the quieter fork:

stray buddleias, some woody giants, others only pups,

lined the roadside. Escapees from fenced houses nestled by the bank.

Ivies stretched out to take her hands, while

nettles lifted their serrated leaves

to reveal the delicate white blooms hugging their stems.

Robin, that friendly chap, popped up

once the path diverted to the trees.

He tolerated her pleasantries, then both

went upon their way.

The air was fresh in her lungs now,

its sweetness already working the rot away.

Her strides grew more confident

as the song overhead bloomed;

blue tits and blackbirds adorning bare branches in place of leaves.

Closer to the river, coots eyed her, as did moorhens –

the ducks would have too, had they been awake.

Attempting to walk the same path as before,

she found the tide had all but swallowed it.

Try a new adventure, the water lapped, don’t look back.

About turning, chance caught her:

a snow-white egret, ankle deep in a puddle,

pausing for fan photos

before taking to branch, displaying its golden feet.

Delicate green erupted from the seeds of wild

within her heart,

evoking a rare feeling. Calm.

Her thoughts had settled.

Yes, that was definitely it. Calm.

This poem is part of my #52weeksofnaturepoetry project to raise funds for UK wildlife charity RSPB and to encourage an appreciation for nature. If you enjoyed it, please consider sharing it and/or donating to the RSPB via my Just Giving page here.

Help keep wildlife wild.

Poetry

This winged emotion

The darkness swoops down, unfurls its wings and roars.

Chest heavy with the ache only grief can name,

it sets sap to everything, forcing the moment

to solidify: amber for the night, amber for the dawn.

Granted silence at last, it hunkers into itself,

waiting for the deep gashes in its scales to heal.

Poetry

Mandrake

On the surface it holds up clumps of happy green,

and underneath the ground

the roots curl up snug, content and safe from everything.

 

Yet soon people come with spades and forks

to disturb its peaceful slumber

and dig it up without any thought.

 

So the mandrake bawls

when all the soil is brushed away from its face,

wondering why it couldn’t be left alone

for the rest of its days.

 

But the people have heard its bulbous roots

are more than what they seem,

and seek to use it as an ingredient

for all the medicines that they need.

 

So many little mandrakes

have suffered the same fate

that now they have learnt to vanish

from gardens and allotments without a trace.

Poetry

Aloe Vera

I was a husk filled with things that weren’t me,

and all the problems I’d had

were squashed down so tight

I didn’t even know they were there.

 

Now the spell is broken and I’m returning to myself,

those crumpled seeds

are sprouting

and forcing me to re-live and re-live and re-live

in a never-ending loop.

 

Until I hear your voice.

Then, it all stops,

leaves dropping in the wind.

Your careful words are a salve

to these self-inflicted wounds.

They will not heal me completely, but they help.

They really do.

Poetry

Grove hands

It cloaks me sometimes, the dark particles of ether.

A life stream in reverse, doll eyes reflect the world but not within.

 

The trees whisper my name, leaves touching my fingertips

to call me back from where I am, the sun aiding them with warmth.

 

The clouds are bright.

I feel the air and hear the movement.

There is so much life around me.

 

It tinkles like a bell, and when it’s sweet enough,

I can stand.

 

Poetry

A bard’s touch

I took my heart out of its familiar cage and realised

the rose quartz it was carved from had turned clear.

I watered it with food dye and rose petals,

patience and strawberry jam.

It refused to change back.

 

You noticed this distilling and saw my distress,

examining its mineral structure to suggest

things that might return its colour.

 

It worked, but instead of becoming rose,

it morphed permanently from quartz

into the deepest ruby.

The same carat as your heart.

Poetry

Journeying

The train chugs by, rattling on the tracks

laid down by previous states of mind.

Past half-remembered dreams, a dozen nightmares

and rare wishes that just might have a chance to come true.

The passengers rise early, making their way

to the breakfast cart,

eager to see what’s on the menu:

a fresh glass of nostalgic tears,

a slice of bitter wisdom,

a bowl of aspirations

and a dusting of hope.

They tuck in, delighting

at the sky-blue pink of dawn outside.

Poetry

Times

You can lean

against many things in life.

The sturdy and immoving wall;

Ideas which stretch across lifetimes, continents, cultures;

Friends who were once strangers.

And then

there are those photographs

of diferent times,

times we took for granted

And times we thought

were hard before we knew

what that realĺy meant.