Each step brings acrobats
hopping from their low, thin tightropes:
a dazzlement of light-green bodies
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,
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.]