Tag Archives: nature

Cat and the Butterfly

Cat and the Butterfly

My present interest in nostalgia
I take as a good sign.
It means I have not lost my memory
and like to keep my roots in line.
The music I liked best in my youth
has stood the test of time.
You cannot beat a good tune
welded to a decent rhyme.

As I look out my kitchen window,
I see clouds shift and pass,
sparrows pecking at sunflower seeds,
and a black cat sat on the grass.
I watch it glare at a butterfly
that flutters by the shed.
Like a winged twig it rises
above the black cat’s head.

That cat will never catch that butterfly
but that cat does not know that.

If you live near a volcano
you hope it won’t erupt
in an avalanche of lava,
sparks and smoke, lethal and abrupt.
It would chase away the tourists,
scar the land and choke the air.
You don’t want to feel a shudder
when you’re climbing up a stair.

But one thing is certain,
that cat will never catch that butterfly
but that cat does not know that.
No, that cat does not know that.

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Iceberg

Iceberg

Iceberg, twice as big as Luxembourg,
has broken free from Antarctica,
it says on the news.
Impressed my mind, lifted me,
the birth of an icy island,
now adrift on the Weddell Sea.

Iceberg cleaving slow through cold ocean
will disturb the fish, the whales and seals.
Hard to believe it is real.
Stupendous sight,
to its own majesty nature kneels.

It belongs to you and to me
as much as to the arctic hare
and the polar bear.
Land is still yours and mine,
even if we are not there.

Uninhabitable, only for scientists to study.
Some of them say it is not linked to climate change,
such events happen all the time.
That may be so, but it still looks strange.

Iceberg, twice as big as Luxembourg,
has broken free of Antarctica.

We Know Who We Were

We Know Who We Were

We know who we were,
as for now, do we know who we are?
We ask the right questions,
the few answers we find,
we mull over, debate.
Wish I could waken from sleep,
find words to crust a tune.
Sail out in a boat on the ocean
to slay the kraken with my light rod,
my radiant harpoon.
Away from the civilized confusion,
the traffic hoot and hum.
Attend to the silence only passing winds disturb.
Back to wood, stone and water,
to bird song in the green wood I come.
We know how we were,
as for now, do we know how we are?
I move my hand over the uncultivated land,
the unharvested ocean.
Wish I could breathe in deep like a whale,
pipe out high like a dolphin,
swim free of shackle, no fortune to fail.

Nocturnal Neighbour

Nocturnal Neighbour

Come on, hedgehog, spiky urchin,
sniff your way from the bush shelter,
onto the lawn, fore paw the grass,
try to jerk back a blade,
as you did yesterday.
Watched you through the window,
took me by surprise.
Now sat on my wood seat,
here in my garden,
my hope is to see you again.
With enough patience
to sit on with a torch in the dark,
I know I may not see you.
You may not pay me a visit.
And why should you?
You are a small wild animal, not a pet.
If ever you do, you will show when you want to.
From garden to garden, you like to go.
“Thrice and once the hedge pig whined.”
A witch from Macbeth I quote.
Good that Shakespeare mentioned you
in a line he wrote.
But you belong not in a tragedy,
maybe a history, that scene with the gardener
in Henry V1. Perhaps a comedy,
a mention by a lover in a greenwood.
Here in the twenty first century,
you are free of folk lore,
free of Elizabethan witchery.
Yesterday, I smiled to watch you
crawl over the water hose tangle by the shed wall,
near the drain pipe and grid,
your long, thin snout, I studied,
your almost absent chin,
your tiny, black eyes, good as blind,
for I hear you rely on smell not sight.
I can see all that you did.
Would like to see you again, that is all.
Nocturnal neighbour, quieter than twigs,
grass and leaves you sniff by in the night.

Hedgehog In My Garden

Hedgehog In My Garden

Hedgehog in my garden,
so slow and sleepy,
allowed me to take five photographs of him.
Hibernation still in memory,
evening bringing another day to a close,
a saucer of water I laid down by his nose
did not interest him,
just wanted to curl up in his brown spiky coat,
and nestle into the blank black
of small omnivorous mammal repose.
I managed to scoop him up on a shovel
with the sweep of a brush,
to lay him down and cover him with twigs for safety,
among the roots of a bush.
That is the second time I have seen him.
Happy to have a hedgehog in my garden.
For such a sight to give me pleasure,
as it would a child, I know my heart will never harden.

Green Woodpecker

Green Woodpecker

To paint with restraint,
not to be artificial, falsely quaint,
but to draw the line divine, like an angel,
with care and patience, fine as a saint,
such was his wish,
be his subject beast, bird or fish.
On a bare canvas, fresh colours, he splashed,
the result to look perfect,
not haphazardly dashed.
Green Woodpecker, his new work he named,
revealed his love of nature untamed,
for which he was famed.
Green woodpecker, what a thing to do, he mused,
to clamp yourself to a tree,
to hammer with your beak at its bark,
to disturb insects to eat,
to such a bird,  the equivalent of meat,
and to stamp around the forest floor,
to disturb the business of an ant hill,
to feed on more than one ant.
No, he would rather be a sparrow or a lark.
Green woodpecker, what a thing to be,
yet glorious to see,
inspired his new painting, spied it on his walk,
its concentration full on an ant, half way up a tree.

An Obervation

An Observation

To begin.
An observation.
Landscape painting and nature poetry.
They have this in common,
an absence of humans.
In that way they are kin.
Birds and animals
are naturally present in both,
but to hint at contradiction,
if humans are there on the canvas,
it seems only to suggest space,
distance, emphasise
the height of a tree,
the farness of a hill,
and if there on the page,
maybe some movement
when all else is still,
a farm boy idles by a hay cart,
an old villager performs some rural task.
Away from the city,
life is seen with no shelter,
its face with no mask.
But to live the painting
needs an observer,
the poem a reader.
To end.
Nature is what it is.
Unlike humans,
it is direct, honest,
can never pretend.