#52weeksofnaturepoetry, Poetry

#52weeksofnaturepoetry Week 17 – First Sighting

My cheeks are pink; the wind delights in pinching them as we push against it, determined to reach the quayside. Overhead, spilled milk decorates the sky. No heavy rain clouds in sight, yet droplets defiantly needle through the air, fine prickles at first, then heavier.

We huddle under the bridge, watching black-headed gulls (wearing their winter plumage, aside from a few brave individuals) circle and dive as a family attempts to offer the ducks afternoon treats. The ducks barely get a look in and the pigeons, ever wisely, stay well away until the screech retreats and they can pick at the crumbs.

Something large torpedoes along the river, leaving its shadow dancing on the surface. Charcoal wings outstretched and neck long, beak kissed with hints of orange; this pinch of midnight is magnificent against the gulls’ luminous whites and soft greys. A mirage, I wonder? A trick of the eye?

Later, I consult my bird guidebook: a cormorant, it says. Warm sparks ignite in my chest at the discovery – to my knowledge, it’s the first I’ve seen. Pulling the memory close, I clutch it like treasure and mount the scene lovingly in my mind-album, there to look back on whenever I need to.

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, sport-style 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!

Poetry

Peach Stone

1.

Inside, it’s cold. The density

causes ice to vomit from my mouth,

fingernails blue up to the cuticles.

If I were to examine my chest,

open my flesh and push apart my ribs,

would I see a ball of obsidian

or a fleshy, ripe peach?

 

2.

With you, the limbs of the tree are always

bent with fruit

no matter if the middle of winter

grasps at its bark. Soft, plump, nourishing.

I can always pick how much I want,

cook it up and make sweet crumble

to warm our bellies.

 

 

Poetry

Flower Power

I’m looking at a patch of bluebells,

and all I can think is

how much I want to hear them ring.

I imagine they have a soft tinkle,

rather than a bright peal.

No commanding tones here.

Just laughter. Gentle, shy.

The daffodils next to them,

hanging around far

longer than they should have,

have nothing delicate about them at all.

Each one crows at the drooping bluebells,

and blasts out like a trumpet instead.

Jazzy combinations of mockery.

Not just at the bluebells,

but at me,

for daring to think I can hear them.

 

Poetry

Bright eyes and lies

A rabbit with eyes wide and bright

with the light from the car’s full beam

scampers off just as the wheels screech.

Halt.

Daffodils rise up at the pound of its paws,

followed by crocuses, tulips, hyacinths, nerines,

budding and dying just as quick. A few

fading petals and a dusting of pollen

the only trace.

Examine.

Heavy boots race up the path the rabbit has taken,

no flowers rise. No flowers bloom. No flowers die.

And the rabbit is gone, buried beneath the snow

to stay warm, away from the sprinklers

that spread summer’s mirage.

Above ground is cold, just as it always is.

Just as winter is.

Poetry

Sense

I take a day and pop it, pill-like, into my mouth.

At first, it’s sour. Scrunched-face sour.

Then the coating dissolves in the rain.

My tongues finds sugar in the flower petals,

bright flags ready to be folded with the first frosts.

Catching, strong coffee finds me. I don’t

like the taste of coffee. I don’t drink it.

I absorb the bold, smokey bean smell

and take energy just from that. Cut grass,

dew-wet, on walking  boots. Spikes

that fall to people, instead of people

falling to spikes. Tea to wash it down.

Poetry

A painting of Venus

Opening up like a cracked

walnut shell

yearning to peek at the world,

you see a flash of blue satin

dance across the sky.

Tides rise high

and crash

with soft flecks

against your cheek,

staining your skin

with rainbows.

Under your feet

the earth shifts

to accommodate your scent.

It has known you

always,

but now

you have changed.

It must know you again.

Poetry

Leaf Litter (draft)

Leaves drift across the way,

sweeping up the memories of

evening walks, lazy afternoon strolls and

those crisp morning jogs to catch the train.

 

Swirling up into a tight ball,

they cascade around my body

to fall at my feet.

I absorb them, as if they are a

soft mulch begging to fertilize.

 

A hundred rays of winter sun

swarm down to dance in my hair,

as the warm, soft rain

of spring drips onto my nose,

showering me with growth.

 

The rush of euphoria rides up my spine,

causing a clucking laughter to escape

my lips, jostling about on the humid breeze

to mingle with dawn’s robust chorus.