Drop in by Peter A

Nigel Kent - Poet

Today I have great pleasure in inviting Peter A to talk about a poem from his moving Art ofInsomnia (Hedgehog Press, 2021)

My debut chapbook Art of Insomnia is personal in a way that is not very typical of my poetry to date. That said, in much of my previous and ongoing work I have tried to deliver an emotional punch where it is justified by the subject matter or theme of the poem.

Art of Insomnia comprises 22 poems written in the nine month period following the unexpected death of my wife; in it I attempt to express the impact of incomprehensible loss and signal the potential for a bearable way forward. The chapbook is divided into four sections and the poem I have selected is the second poem of the third section. Following the second section, which describes a temporary escape from familiar surroundings and people, this…

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#30DaysWild 1st-30th June. Day Twelve. Create A Wildlife Map Of Your Garden, Or Local Park. 30 Days Wild is The Wildlife Trusts’ annual nature challenge where they ask the nation to do one ‘wild’ thing a day every day throughout June. Your daily Random Acts of Wildness can be anything you like – litter-picking, birdwatching, puddle-splashing, you name it! I would love to feature your published/unpublished photos/artworks/writing on your random acts. Please contact me.

Day Twelve.

Make A Map Of Local Wildlife 30 Days Wild

Moura

Wild flowers in my late father’s garden

by Elizabeth Moura

To Each Their Own

The gardener looked at the flower
Thinking how pretty it would look next to her roses

The mathematician looked at the flower
Noticing its unique symmetry

The Christian looked at the flower
Observing God in it

The environmentalist looked at the flower
Concerned for its future

The teacher looked at the flower
And devised a lesson for her class

The businessman looked at the flower
Calculating how much money he could sell it for

The criminal looked at the flower
While plotting to steal it

The archaeologist looked at the flower
Longing to dig it up to see what was in the earth beneath

The artist looked at the flower
As she painted a beautiful picture of it

The romantic looked at the flower
Wanting to pick it for his beloved

The poet looked at the flower
And wrote this

-Neal Zetter

Mapping the garden, June

Two blackbirds seek their latest fledglings.
Orange beak perches on highest viewpoint eucalyptus.
His calls pierce while brown mother quarters broadbean
rows, (both calm enough, no cats about) clucks
as she goes. Two dunnocks flit from hedge to feeder.
They’re tending a new nest, have trilled one brood
to flying. Snails cluster under damp rims of plantpots
I’d forgotten. Dimly overgrown until I spot spikes
of purple, three common orchids –how they settled
there, a mystery. A jackdaw glides in, flight feathers
flittering, attacks the fat balls hanging near bride-month
philadelphus, clings on, sways as suet sprays. Round
the corner by the trellis, bees infiltrate mottled foxgloves,
buzz overpowered by next door’s Stihl saw. Mice stay
hidden, newts submerged. There are rats under the shed.

-Ann Cuthbert

wren by Dave Green

-Wren by Dave Green

 

On The Wildlife of My Garden

“Not ready for you.” I tell the moles
in my garden.
Say nay to the white ants labouring
over a piping of their tortuous tunnel.

So much I can tell the grasshopper
and pretend,
my sanity is lost midst our lingua franca.
I shake my head instead.

The growth of wild verdancy
where our family’
adopted vacancy bares the summer’s teeth –
uneven, sweaty, sappy, sharp shiny denture.

Here, one hedgehog pursues
the mystery of the obscure millipedes.
The black-naped orioles
sing the ballads of unknown winged mates.

I ignore all these,
map the landscape of death
in the atlas of my reverie.
The roadkills roam there. I drive my sighs
on blind rage over the truths again, again.

-Kushal Poddar

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red poinsettias
leaning on my window
now in the moonlight

~ Christina Chin
Meguro International Haiku

 

Wildlife Map

Flying ants birthed out backyard concrete cracks,
Abandoned wasp homes hang on thinning thread
in our garage rafters. Slugs silver tracks
sticky gleams glint polished chrome, lead

solder awaits coloured glass, to be carved,
follow shape of these sacred slug windows
lifted into place dictate colour chart
of beams stride over thresholds, bright glows.

Fledglings step or are pushed over the brink,
by anxious mams wanting an empty nest.
Fall into soft jaws of cats as gifts, hint
live and warm compliment of the highest

brought into the home for the owners screams
to register a culture shock of extremes.

-Paul Brookes

Bios and Links

-Ann Cuthbert

writes and performs, usually with the Tees Women Poets Collective. Her work has been widely published online and in print, most recently in Dreich anthologies, Amethyst Review, Green Ink Poetry and the anthology Hard Times Happen (Black Pear Press.) She was Highly Commended in the 2021 YorkMix Poems for Children competition and her poem video, Dracula’s Café, was shown on BBC Upload Festival 2021. Her poetry chapbook Watching a Heron with Davey is published by Black Light Engine Room Press.

-Dave Green

lives and works in Sheffield.  For 30 years he worked in education with vulnerable and neurodiverse children before belatedly discovering that recent governments may not be prioritizing the marginalized in society.  Now he trains people in positive mental health and how to recover from the pandemic.  He writes poems, paints, chops logs, cycles everywhere and shops local.

Ring of Fire – A Sonnet

The world according to RedCat

©RedCat


When dusk comes in the middle of the day
The sun reduced to a pale ring of fire
What were the ancient learned wise ones to say
When scared superstitious people inquire

That their actions attracted the Gods ire
And now they have to pay the bloody price
To avoid consequences most dire
The most precious they must sacrifice

Or the world will turn to cold barren ice
Devoid of all the Sun’s life giving warmth
No longer this Aegean paradise
But eternal night as in the far north

As the sacrifice bled and died they did say
Now the sun will rise again day after day

©RedCat


Written for The Wombwell Rainbow’s Eclipse feature yesterday.

The first picture is one I took on the reflection in our basic pinhole projector, just two papers, one with a pinhole in it.


Read other poems written for The Wombwell Rainbow here

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#30DaysWild 1st-30th June. Day Eleven. Follow A Bee On Its Journey. 30 Days Wild is The Wildlife Trusts’ annual nature challenge where they ask the nation to do one ‘wild’ thing a day every day throughout June. Your daily Random Acts of Wildness can be anything you like – litter-picking, birdwatching, puddle-splashing, you name it! I would love to feature your published/unpublished photos/artworks/writing on your random acts. Please contact me.

Day Eleven

Follow a bee 30daysWild

Christin miner bee

a yellow jacket miner emerges

the secrets

-Christina Chin

(A haiga in the inaugural issue of Bleached Butterfly Magazine)

-Wold Track by Dave Green

Bumble Bee Summer

The alder-buckthorn tree is singing
with the sound
of working bees;

I watch their plump black trundle
flower-to-flower
among the leaves.

The carder and the meadow bee
squeeze
up the monkshood’s deep blue sleeves

The carpenter and garden bees,
the masonry, the solitary,
probe the hoods of lamium.

The red-tailed
and the buff-tailed bees
cling to the saucer face of dark geranium.

Long hot summer, good summer,
loud with
the industry of bumble bees.

-Gill McEvoy

The Brooding Queen

I was a single, simple, yellow, cell,
who grew a grubbing appetite for gold,
an appetite they fed, fed, fed
until it made me large and strange,
and sealed me from my sisters
while I dreamed of change.

I was a naked sleeper in a changing room,
who dreamed of fur and woke enrobed.
I ate, ate, ate until I burst
the white walls of my prison cell
and dared one flight in air before
returning to my jailers and their citadel,

my sisters and our white and yellow womb.

(First published in my pamphlet, ‘Speaking parts’, Half Moon Books)

May Bee

No snow. White heat
as blossom beckons:
lilac fingers, rowan palms,
May’s mouths now
summoning my tongue.

(Unpublished)

-both by Linda Goulden

Thief

I always thought you honest,
your focus on integrity.
After all, didn’t Manchester choose you
to symbolise their ethic of hard work?
Didn’t you become an emblem of the city
as a hive of activity and industry?

How strange then to watch you
moving between the vivid blooms
of aquilegia, like a pickpocket
through a crowd of sight-seers,
your hungry proboscis probing
the ornate sacs of nectar
without the courtesy of pollination.

-Angi Holden

Im A Bee by Neal Zetter

ees by Neal Zetter

-Both by Neal Zetter

Bees in Winter Ivy

At the shank of the year,
when the gloaming kicks in at four o’clock,
globes of fat rain plother
on hairy footed bumblebees
clustering, weary under shiny green,
smothering a dusky-pink brick wall.

No clover, dandelion, foxglove,
no drinking cup of nectar,
no hope of a crowned Dionysus,
but there’s one human hand,
offering a sugar snack in a bottle cap,
reviving ambrosia.

-Maggie Mackay

Sweet Pollen

Bigger wing beat gusts me from sweet pollen
billows, I must stick to its surface amid
buffet and blast. Now heavier, taken,
away from scented trail back home I skid.

Track my trail through vibration pulses, map
I will dance when home is reached to tell all
where sweet pollen will be found, waggle tap
the route after unloading my food haul.

As light fades our head sensors flop, my legs
wrap around others, I rehearse my days
forage, retrace my flight, my complex steps
mark vibration changes that radiate.

Bright warmth lifts our heads from sleep to again,
find our memory way, avoid harsh rain.

-Paul Brookes (from The Insect Sonnets)

Bios and Links

-Maggie Mackay’s

pamphlet ‘The Heart of the Run’, 2018 is published by Picaroon Poetry and her full collection ‘A West Coast Psalter’, Kelsay Books, is available now. In 2020 she was awarded a place in the Poetry Archive’s WordView permanent collection. She reviews poetry pamphlets at https://sphinxreview.co.uk (Happenstance Press) . Twitter:@Bonniedreamer

-Christina Chin

-Dave Green

lives and works in Sheffield.  For 30 years he worked in education with vulnerable and neurodiverse children before belatedly discovering that recent governments may not be prioritizing the marginalized in society.  Now he trains people in positive mental health and how to recover from the pandemic.  He writes poems, paints, chops logs, cycles everywhere and shops local.

#Eclipse2021 Have you written poems and/or made artworks about eclipses? I will feature you on this blog post.

CASTING SHADOWS

The day greys and yellows around us
stops the birds singing.
We feel the tightness of this new silence
as the air cools rapidly.
We know not to stare
so I am holding a colander to the sun
casting shadows on the ground.
So many tiny solar bodies eclipsing, emerging.

A photograph to capture the day
to remember we were alive
we saw it.


I fear it will be too small
but when you show me
I am holding that eclipse in the palm of my hand.

-Soo Finch

Ring of Fire – A Sonnet

When dusk comes in the middle of the day
The sun reduced to a pale ring of fire
What were the ancient learned wise ones to say
When scared superstitious people inquire

That their actions attracted the Gods ire
And now they have to pay the bloody price
To avoid consequences most dire
The most precious they must sacrifice

Or the world will turn to cold barren ice
Devoid of all the Sun’s life giving warmth
No longer this Aegean paradise
But eternal night as in the far north

As the sacrifice bled and died they did say
Now the sun will rise again day after day

-©RedCat

Eclipse
(with a nod to The Bard)

Earth pulls its curtain
across the moon tonight,
like a play ending as actors
take their bows.
All the world’s a stage
and we, players;
lives eclipsed by tragedy or comedy.
Stars moan, a Greek chorus
accompanying our anxiety.
Candescent crimson,
the moon pulses like blood
behind a gauzy scrim,
assuring us we’re alive,
though the world
shuts down around us.

Lonely moon, wrapped
in earth’s shroud:
death will not win out,
anymore than fallen actors
in Hamlet or some other play
will not rise again to play their parts.

In misfortune, we take our bows,
utter lines once more:
words given us to speak,
parts entrusted to us to play.
The curtain rises and falls,
the show goes on. The moon
does not keep silent
in the hush of mist and veil.
Already, a sliver of light slashes
down, shouting the Prologue.

–Gayle J. Greenlea

Ode to a Blood Moon

Shy moon,
resisting your call to grandeur;
this rising a rare blush
from your repertoire.
Red hush stills the tops of trees
whose leaves camouflage
your restless climb,
a “bodas de sangre”
arranged before the clash of stars.
Unwilling Icarus, you fly,
set aflame in darkness.
Murderous moon, red
with dread and blood,
vertiginous beauty
sailing high above the trees,
deceiving death.

* “Bodas de Sangre” (“Blood Wedding” is the title of a play by Federico Garcia Lorca

– Gayle J. Greenlea

Eclipse

In this pale gold heat
and silence of birdsong
of wind in the long grass

would we ever know
that a shadow effaces
a tiny piece of the sun?

Chaffinch chirrups
the oriole asks
the same questions as always

and the redstart dips
in and out of the barn
feeding hungry mouths.

Here and now
only these moments of pain or joy
touch the deep chords
sounding the conch shell
of the heart.
-Jane Dougherty

Coincidence

400 is the magic figure
where size and distance cancel out
moon fits into sun like a child’s puzzle
as if we’d ever been in doubt
of why we all play planetary ring o’ roses
as the neighboring rock we tow
cosies up to daddy
sending us shivering in her shadow

dark column racing towards us
silence, birds fled to the trees, knowing
the fear of our forebears,
last spark extinguished,
blank woe

until the diamond glows
brilliant again, the sun a perfect sphere
and, the paraphernalia of pin-hole cards
and colanders consigned
to cupboards, search the calendar to find
another opportunity to peer
to heaven and chance upon
the mathematics some intelligence designed

-Kathryn Southworth

Kathryn
March 20th 2015

A Window by Priyanka

Bios and Links

-Priyanka Sacheti
is a writer and poet based in Bangalore, India. She grew up in the Sultanate of Oman and previously lived in the United Kingdom and United States. She has been published in many publications with a special focus on art, gender, diaspora, and identity. Her literary work has appeared in numerous literary journals such as Barren, Terse, The Cabinet of Heed, Popshot, The Lunchticket, and Jaggery Lit as well as various anthologies. She’s currently working on a poetry and short story collection. She can be found as @atlasofallthatisee on Instagram and @priyankasacheti on Twitter.

#30DaysWild 1st-30th June. Day Ten. Logpile. 30 Days Wild is The Wildlife Trusts’ annual nature challenge where they ask the nation to do one ‘wild’ thing a day every day throughout June. Your daily Random Acts of Wildness can be anything you like – litter-picking, birdwatching, puddle-splashing, you name it! I would love to feature your published/unpublished photos/artworks/writing on your random acts. Please contact me.

Day 10 Logpile

These are the day themes for the next ten days:

11. Follow a bumblebee

12. Make a map of local wildlife

13. Record what you see in your garden or at a park

14. Set up your own moth trap with a sheet and torch

15. Help create a hedgehog highway

16. Watch a wild webcam Wildlifetrusts.org/webcam

17. Go on a bughunt

18. Visit your local park at dusk and look for bats

19. Set up camp in or outdoors

20. Watch the sunrise or sunset

A FORGOTTEN BICYCLE

It leans against the old summerhouse,
rusty wheel spokes a nod to its former
glory days as champion of forays into nature.

Wilted bouquets overhang the woven basket:
Withered lilac still murmuring lines from
summer sonnets, sweet pea symphonies with their

spectral arpeggios, rising and falling in cadences,
like gusting leaves across manicured lawns,
chasing away all traces of seasonal depression.

Birds sing full-throated, their daffodil chorus
echoing round the orchard garden,
hedgehogs wake snuffling in the musty woodpile.

At full moon new life throbs through the crippled frame,
sounding the bell in time with the hooting owls,
beckoning fairy folk to mount the saddle, take a ride.

They fly down in the bells of virgin snowdrops,
Filling the basket with crocus and lesser celandine
speeding to the woods in search of early narcissi.

What stories come to mind as they revel in magical
flight through moonlit meadows and glades.
Released from years of neglect, the old girl lives again.

-Margaret Royall (From her collection “When Flora Sings”

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gleaning

the harvest fields 

golden sunset 

~ Christina Chin 

Fireflies’s Light 

Ruin on Lewis by Dave Green

Ruin on Lewis by Dave Green

Bios and Links

-Christina Chin

-Dave Green

lives and works in Sheffield.  For 30 years he worked in education with vulnerable and neurodiverse children before belatedly discovering that recent governments may not be prioritizing the marginalized in society.  Now he trains people in positive mental health and how to recover from the pandemic.  He writes poems, paints, chops logs, cycles everywhere and shops local.

#30DaysWild 1st-30th June. Day Nine. Birdsong. 30 Days Wild is The Wildlife Trusts’ annual nature challenge where they ask the nation to do one ‘wild’ thing a day every day throughout June. Your daily Random Acts of Wildness can be anything you like – litter-picking, birdwatching, puddle-splashing, you name it! I would love to feature your published/unpublished photos/artworks/writing on your random acts. Please contact me.

Day Nine

gardern junk

Garden Junk by Dave Green

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morning voices 

first the sunbirds 

then the bees 

~ Christina Chin 

Fireflies’s Light 

Sunrise Concertante – Patricia M Osborne
Burnt golden rays break
the night-time sky,
beating on the Ouse’s slow crawl.

Air-warmed sweet-grasses
fan fragrance into the wind:
marsh marigolds shine.

A blackbird’s
chromatic glissando sweeps

towards the riverbank.

Swanking his red tuxedo, a robin
trills to join the recital

as elm silhouettes dance,
watching their mirror image.

The mistle thrush flaunts
his speckled belly. He takes his turn
to chant – introduces

hedge sparrows who chatter,
boast brown suits.

A cadenza call governs the concerto–
plump skylark makes his solo in the skies.

Shades of light peep,
geese chevron across the blue,
noses down, necks stretched, wings

spread wide. Honking their signal sound,
they climb the horizon and sky-fall
on to daylight’s iridescent waves.

-Patricia M. Osborne

 

Bios And Links

-Patricia M Osborne

Sarasvati Magazine (Indigo Dreams) Published 2017
Taxus Baccata (Hedgehog Poetry Press) Published 2020
Ingénue Magazine Published 2020

-Christina Chin

-Dave Green

lives and works in Sheffield.  For 30 years he worked in education with vulnerable and neurodiverse children before belatedly discovering that recent governments may not be prioritizing the marginalized in society.  Now he trains people in positive mental health and how to recover from the pandemic.  He writes poems, paints, chops logs, cycles everywhere and shops local.

Wood Circle by John Wilkinson (The Last Books)

Tears in the Fence

This is a book, I might say, that is both challenging and highly accomplished. Wilkinson gives few concessions to the wavering reader without compromise. To take the opening poem, ‘Download’, this starts out,-

Unruffled by the breeze, water holds steady state.

It must soon be shook, which mind is

shattering from black, white and brown,

into a leaf-fall flurry, green, red and gold:

yes, in time, understood(‘Download’ p9)

Plainly, syntactically and semantically there is a lot going on here, and the phrasing is edifyingly rich even where it might be elusive. The first person is missing, we have the ‘it’ of water, but also the veiled omission of a prospective third person who will ‘shake the water’, presumably. The ‘mind’ mentioned initially plainly retains to the water also, but can be picked up. The understood in time notation seems quite apt, this is the kind of writing that…

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Poem: Strange Birds II

Andrea Skevington

Last time, I shared a poem with you written in response to a day’s walking in Norfolk, close to Wild Ken Hill. More especially, it was about the birds we encountered. It was so uplifting to hear, and to see, so many creatures that were unknown to us, and most especially to hear songs we had never heard before. It’s an awe-inspiring, hopeful place. I’m not suprised that Springwatch chose it as their base this year.
You can read the poem, and find links to interesting stuff, here.

That night, as I drifted off to sleep, I heard more. This is a falling-asleep snippet as I drifted off to the sound of more strange birds. I hear owls at home, from time to time, but a nightjar was beautiful and new to me. I’d found out about them while we were doing another walk, nearer home. The Sandlings walk takes…

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