#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

Set in

There are crystals in my heart. Each fractal

a different fiery star

that brightens every time its moment comes.

As I swim against the current,

submerged fully into the overwhelming waters

of reality, these bursts of light

are split into colours that hiss and spit their intensity

into every passion I have.

 

Poetry

Bellyache

The water cuts off suddenly; the spark died in an instant,

burnt out by the dragon’s unhurried burp.

He dams himself, lets it all build up around him

to cool the molten heat of his belly. Indigestion

from feasting on too many words of men,

paper crafted into delectable prey

that he swallowed too quickly, without taking

time to enjoy each morsel.

Poetry

Pebbles

The stones are cool against my skin as the tide draws away

to leave them raw. Skitter, the drag comes.

It tries to take me with it, but I am planted firm,

my hair rooting into the shore.

I am solid, I am grounded, breathing a concept

I no longer need. The salt in my tears

from eons of watching sunsets and rises

crystalises into my imprint. I’ll remain for eternity,

even if I join the sand.

Poetry

Tightrope walking

I take a cup of water and shake it up like dice on a gambling table,

throwing it out to watch it splash down on the invisible webs

plucking as my eyes, at my hands, at my will.

The droplets reveal them, more than I knew there were

(though I had suspicions), stretching far back into the past

where I thought it didn’t matter anymore.

But it seems that though the spiders have long since died,

their silk is as strong as it ever was, and has bound me

more tight than I can bear.

I have nothing that can cut them, so I must work to unravel them instead.

I don’t know how much time it will take. It doesn’t matter,

as long as I make sure to live along the way.

Poetry

Water Nymph

Sometimes I think I’m water.

Well, technically a substantial portion of me is,

but I’m talking about,

you know,

free flowing water.

The kind that freezes when it’s cold,

or pools in shallow dips when it rains,

hangs around in the air

to fluff up

that girl’s neatly straightened hair.

Except it isn’t my form that changes.

It’s my mood,

my entire attitude

to life.

I’m not complaining, just

observing really.

Once I thought it’d be good to be fire.

Then the wind caught my candle

and blew it out.

Poetry

Rain

We can walk together along the path

of browns and golds, an orange here and there,

we can chat about how things are –

home, jobs, family, hobbies –

we can look up at the darkening sky,

glee in our eyes,

and stick out our tongues

ready to catch those first drops

weeping down from the clouds.

 

Or we could laugh at the time you fell

in that shallow puddle,

which actually turned out to be quite deep.