Two Blackbirds

Two blackbirds hopping on the grass
Take little notice when I pass.
They know if I don’t stray too near
That they have little need of fear.
I’m the one who throws the crumbs
When the winter weather comes,
I listen when they stop to sing
And watch them when they take to wing.

But when my cat comes in to view
Then they make a great to-do.
A chink, chink, chinking they commence
And quickly fly up on the fence.
My cat comes nearer paw by paw
And to the treetops they withdraw,
Chink-chinking still till cat has passed,
Returning then to hop on grass.

Elizabeth Leaper
(from ‘Barking at Nothing’)

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Cat Flap

Cat flap
flip-flap.

Clean bowl.

Who’s that
stray cat?

That’s not
my cat.

Scat cat!

Flip-flap
cat flap.

Elizabeth Leaper
(from ‘Collecting Cobwebs, Gathering Brambles’)

Creature of the Night (Triolet)

All along the fence she’s prowling,
Feline creature of the night.
Listen to her softly growling.
All along the fence she’s prowling,
The volume now increased to yowling,
Putting trespassers to flight.
All along the fence she’s prowling —
Feline. Creature of the night.

____
Elizabeth Leaper
(from ‘Barking At Nothing’)

Uncle Tommy

Those buttons
are all that I remember of the man.

Mushroom-domed,
conker-brown and made of leather,
woven like a turks-head knot.

I call them ‘Uncle Tommy’ buttons.
The real thing they were,
not these tawdry plastic imitations.

They held his jacket together,
most likely tweed I think, although
of this too I have no recollection.

His face, his shape, his voice —
all that was him has left no trace.
I was far too young to remember.

So this is all there is,
this haunting shadow-memory
of a man I don’t recall.

Just those buttons and a name —
associated forever.

____
Elizabeth Leaper
(from ‘Collecting Cobwebs, Gathering Brambles’)

Pink Bird

A strange bird,
lifted on wings of wind,
hopped upon the trellis fence,

flew into the waiting arms
of the ash tree,

paused
only for a new breath, then
swooped down across the lawn
to rest by the shrubbery.

A pink plastic bag.

____
Elizabeth Leaper
(from ‘Collecting Cobwebs, Gathering Brambles’)

Travels

I’m off on my travels again this weekend, in our Motorhome and we will be away for a couple of months. As we have often done before we will be travelling through France and into Spain to visit our daughter. We try to go via a different route each time so that we see more of the two countries which is always fun. Our youngest son, who lives at home, will be in charge in our absence.

One of the problems we have when travelling in the Motorhome is unreliable access to the Internet (we tend to stay in small villages rather than large towns with plenty of WiFi Cafes) so this means I will for the most part be off-line until we return in late May and therefore unable to post anything here. If I can I will.

Aware that I rarely, if ever, post any of my what I call my ‘proper’ poems I hope to share some of these with you while I am away, starting with one this coming Monday. All of these are poems that have previously been published elsewhere. I have also challenged myself to write at least one poem a week while we are away – but I will not be sharing these as they will need time to settle and receive several sessions of tweaking! Maybe some other time.

I look forward to seeing you back here again on my return.

Spring

Spring
gets in the swing of things;
flowers and blossoms bloom,
birds sing
and trees gradually re-green.

Sparrowhawk

Sparrowhawk perched in the tree
watching me watching him
as I pass through the woods.

Cherry Tree

Pigeon
pair in
the cherry tree
draw my attention to
buds.

Thorny Problem

Briar branch still bearing rose-hips
permanently wind-bent over the garden wall
and across the pavement at body height.
We cut it off, its lethal thorns
cling to my clothes like a traumatized child.

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