#52weeksofnaturepoetry, Poetry

A Swift Tale – #52weeksofnaturepoetry Week 30

Grassland melts into rock, sand:

a cocktail of pollen and seaweed

churning with the waves.

Splitting the heady air, bullets

of sooty brown feathers

zoom overhead,

changing direction with speed and accuracy

like no other.

I have an inkling

of who these daredevils are,

with their scythe-shaped wings and forked tails,

yet it takes a second sighting,

snatching up as many details as I can

in the split second

it takes for them to pass by,

to be sure.

Swift in nature, not just name;

never lingering, rarely settling –

lives lived on the wing.

Eating, sleeping: all of it

performed while facing the wind.

Yet there is one thing

incompatible with flight,

and it is this

which called them from Africa

back to our blustery shores:

nest building season.

Days filled with locating safe sites,

or returning to spaces

already trusted and true:

eaves of old churches,

hole-riddled roofs, sea cliffs, and crags.

Then, time for building and spring cleaning;

no preparation too much

for new arrivals.

Developing quickly, the young

will become eager, itching

to make their first journey.

Like their parents before them,

off they’ll go days after fledging,

enjoying the company of peers.

Ready to spend months

south of the Sahara, chasing rains

that surge insect populations –

plenty of food

on which to grow strong.

[Swifts are at risk of losing valuable nesting sites due to refurbishments and modern building techniques. To help them, special nesting boxes can be placed up high – somewhere accessible from the wing, so not anywhere low to the ground. These nest boxes can be found on the RSPB website linked below]

This poem is part of a project I’m doing to raise money for the RSPB, a UK wildlife conservation and protection charity. Being autistic, nature is often my only place of solace, and I want to do all I can to protect it. As I’m not very comfortable around other people, most of the standard ways of helping out (volunteering, social fundraisers etc) were not a good fit for me, so I came up with #52weeksofnaturepoetry, where I have to post a nature poem here on this blog each week for an entire year without fail.

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!

(You can also become a member of the RSPB and support them month to month. Members receive Nature’s Home magazine and seasonal guides for what to look out for when out and about. Details are on their website.)

#52weeksofnaturepoetry, Poetry, Uncategorized

Hello, My Name Is Dandelion – #52weeksofnaturepoetry Week 29

Let me start

by saying I sprout anywhere

that needs my help,

and I leave only when my job is done.

Fight me all you want,

I’m a stubborn one.

You might consider

calling me ‘Magical Nanny’ of flowers,

for all I do to help others;

my head of closely-packed florets

is plenty big enough to take the title.

Not convinced I deserve it?

Well, take a peek at my résumé.

Item One:

My tough taproot easily pierces

compact soil, splitting it apart like a geode,

loosening clumps, aerating,

making space for weaker roots

to settle in.

Item Two:

I can survive with few minerals –

in fact, when my leaves wilt

as I snuggle close to the earth,

they leave a healthy stock behind

so new seedlings

won’t taste hunger.

Item Three:

Every spring, up I pop,

(even if your soil’s a touch acidic),

offering both pollen and nectar

to ravenous emerging insects.

I’m quite popular with them, you know.

Item Four:

Though my blooms may close on chilly days,

waft some warmth my way

and I’ll stretch, blink open my golden lashes.

There, aren’t I glorious?

Item Five:

Need to make a wish?

Blow on my seed head, observing how many

fluffy white parachutes break away,

and it’s sure to come true.

(Okay, that one might be a myth.

But you’ve got to admit,

it’s a cool myth.)

Now, have I stated my case enough

for you to let me grow in peace?

This poem is part of a project I’m doing to raise money for the RSPB, a UK wildlife conservation and protection charity. Being autistic, nature is often my only place of solace, and I want to do all I can to protect it. As I’m not very comfortable around other people, most of the standard ways of helping out (volunteering, social fundraisers etc) were not a good fit for me, so I came up with #52weeksofnaturepoetry, where I have to post a nature poem here on this blog each week for an entire year without fail.

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!

(You can also become a member of the RSPB and support them month to month. Members receive Nature’s Home magazine and seasonal guides for what to look out for when out and about. Details are on their website.)

[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

I wear sky blue ear defenders to dull the threatening hum of the world.

They’re not perfect. They might cork the sharpness,

but they cannot smooth it.

And the times when I need their comfort most,

when the weight of voices, bodies, auras

tries to crush me and all I want is silence,

they become invisible. Strangers direct questions my way

as if they’re not even there. Comments

that need responses I’m too weary,

too flattened, to give.

I can still hear every word, and each one ties me with the cord of obligation

to reach for my social mask,

the one I thought I’d shed months ago.

I wear sky blue ear defenders to dull the threatening hum of the world.

They’re armour to protect me, but even armour

cannot save me from arrows.

Poetry

Sparking joy

The sand sweeps across the pavement and over our trainers as we scan the beach and the laughing waves. You lean on the railing next to me, talking about how our heads never bumped in the years we’ve worked together and how it’s only now we finally see we had a friend there all along. Mr Crow stalks up behind you, eyeing the decorative chains on your trousers, captivated by the sun’s glint that has also clutched my attention. I point him out and we watch him strut, then make our own way back along the front. Those chains of yours clink together as we walk, side by side and in step, not knowing how close we are until our shoulders touch.

Poetry

Sand Castles

It’s the way you sit,

palms out with fingers stretching towards the horizon

and the crashing waves

dancing to the beat of your heart.

 

Your skin is weathered, cracked,

but every wrinkle holds

a lifetime of memories.

 

Flower picking at midnight under

a bright moon.

Breaths held as tales of ghostly galleons approaching the shore

are told.

Diving from the waterfall

into the lake below, ignoring mother’s warnings.

 

The clouds part at your exhale,

and you fold into the sand

as the tide pulls out.

Poetry

Path finder

You cradle the dragon against your chest,

shielding its sleeping form from the elements.

 

Walking proud

along sandy shores

that soak up your footprints

even as you make them.

 

Waves crash and swell,

music in its most natural fashion,

reaching

for the pull of your hand.

A friendly caress, an age old bond.

 

But it is not yet time to give in

and take its shelter,

Rocks must be overturned and mountains scaled.

 

The dragon already begins to stir

and it is still

far from home.

Poetry

Oracle of Ages

The trees always smiled when I entered the forest.

I bet you think that’s

odd.

Trees can’t smile.

But they can;

look closely.

 

With their slight shimmering

of branches,

they always asked why it was so long

between

 

visits.

 

I would reply the same way each time.

‘So I may never take this peace

and solace for granted.

It is easy for moments like this

to go unappreciated

until the time we can share them

no more.’

 

Now, trees are ageless,

pensive beings,

who see much loss in their lifetimes.

Yet no matter how they try,

the fleeting, finicky

minds of humans

are quite beyond them.

 

All the council they gave was, ‘Surely

the wonder of a moment

pales beside the wonder of an age?’