#52weeksofnaturepoetry, Poetry

#52weeksofnaturepoetry Week 14 – Winged Meetings

The field is a mix of green and grey-white;

the sign of gulls holding parliament

in their silent, watching way –

aside, of course, from latecomers

who announce themselves without shame,

wanting the whole neighbourhood to know

they’ve finally arrived.

These hardy birds don’t turn a feather

at the drizzle, droplets running down their wings and backs

just like the ones hitting our umbrella and bouncing off to soak

into the already sodden, boggish ground.

We speculate over their intent,

curious to see if they’ll partake in five-a-side,

or if the goalposts they’re huddling round

serve some other purpose.

Safe beneath a patch of leafless shrubbery,

three pigeons look on –

a stereotype of grandmothers cooing

about the sullen youth of today.

Above, the lone crow taking a moment’s rest

suddenly finds his peace disrupted

by a flood of hyperactive starlings.

Looping and twisting, the effortless mimics settle

 on his very tree, and the one next to it,

clouding the area with constant chatter.

Grudgingly, he mooches away,

only to receive backup seconds later

from a quartet of jackdaws,

ready to bounce the riff-raff along.

Below, the gulls’ meeting remains at a standstill.

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.

#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

The smallest touch

The air rushes past and I can see

the silhouette I’ve left in the gust.

Arms spread, in flight (if it were possible I could muster it)

reaching for the ripples that play about my fingers

as if I might grasp them and pull them in close

to feel their warmth and smell the journey they’ve taken

to get here.

After, I wonder

if they have met me before and that is why

the wind comforts me so.

Poetry

Robin Redbreast

The robin, whose beak

wild berry juice does adorn,

flits about merrily on this morn.

 

His curious bright eyes,

black as obsidian,

observe all life in the garden.

 

Stray too close and he won’t stay.

Up, up, but not far away.

 

His sweet chirps still will sound;

watch for his vibrant red breast

as he dances merrily around.

Poetry

Silken

A strand shines white,

a glimmer on the darkened street.

The moonlight has touched it,

but its fellows remain that rich brown

hanging down to your shoulders.

Each one a piece of your thoughts,

a ribbon tied fast to the building blocks

that make you.

Old strands gift their being to others,

and then leave.

Fresh beginnings grow in their stead.

Poetry

And now they are joining me for yoga

I saw you in that traditional place –

the bathtub –

small and crawling,

trying ever more feverishly to cling to the sides.

But every eight steps saw you slip and fall;

I could bear to watch it no more.

 

With shaking hands I picked you up,

placed you on the windowsill

and said farewell.

 

I thought no more of you

until a cousin

hitched a ride on my leg.

It was hot and the ground warm,

so I suppose I was the logical choice.

 

Transportation in a breeze.

 

And more recently, another friend

of yours

joined in with my morning yoga;

my back arched in cobra position

and they splayed out fully.

I wondered who would win.

 

Sensing my surprise, they scurried away.

 

I thought that was the end of the visits,

but in writing this,

approval had to be met,

so on the wind came another

ready

to notate the ink

with swift legs.

Poetry

Name games

Thanks, sweetheart. Thanks, angel. Thanks, love. Thanks, sugar. Thanks, pet. Thanks, darling. Thanks, treasure. Thanks, precious.

Words of endearment stream from people’s mouths so easily now,

I begin to wonder if they’ve lost their meaning.

Complete strangers calling me more names than my family,

my friends, even my spouse.

 

I never hear them call the boys ‘love’ or ‘darling’.

I wonder why that is.

I hear ‘mate’, if any at all.

Thanks, mate. Good job, mate. Nice to see you, mate. Well done, mate.

 

Sometimes, everyone seems to be a star.

But why?

We’re just doing what’s been asked of us, what we’ve been trained to do.

I suppose that’s it.

You’re just responding in a way you think you’re being asked, in the way you’ve been trained.

Where a boy cannot be a treasure, and a girl cannot be a mate.

You might not think that anymore,

but the words remain from when you did.

Poetry

Observation game

Pedestals can be wondrous things.

Placing something high enough to be gazed at from every angle,

observing the symmetry, or lack of.

Sowing seeds

to sprout discussions, positioning light

perfect for an artist’s sketch.

But what of people?

If we put them up there too often, who is the first

to forget they are real,

and can be warm and loved and upset and abused,

capable of trust and betrayal,

and equal – yes, equal – to everyone else?

Them

or

us?