#Batfest 28th August – 31st September. Third Day: 30th. Mexican Free-tailed Bat / General Bat Poems/Artwork/Photos. First drafts always welcome. Please join Angela Topping, Palma McKeown and myself in celebrating bats. I will feature your bat poems, artwork photography, and setting myself the challenge of writing a bat sonnet a day. Anybody written bat poems they would love me to feature on my blog? Please include an up to date, short, third person bio with your contribution. Here are the first eleven day themes: 28th Bats And Coronavirus/General Bat Poems/Artwork/Photos, 29th Alcathoe bat / General Bat Poems/Artwork/Photos, 30th. Mexican Free-tailed Bat (fastest mammal)/ General Bat Poems/Artwork/Photos, 31. Barbastelle bat / General Bat Poems/Artwork/Photos,1. Giant Golden-crowned Flying Fox (The Largest)/ General Bat Poems/Artwork/Photos, 2. Bechstein’s bat / General Bat Poems/Artwork/Photos,3. Honduran White Bat (The Tent Maker)/ General Bat Poems/Artwork/Photos, 4. Brandt’s bat / General Bat Poems/Artwork/Photos, 5. Ghost Bat (False Vampire)/ General Bat Poems/Artwork/Photos 6. Brown long-eared bat / General Bat Poems/Artwork/Photos, 7. Common pipistrelle bat / General Bat Poems/Artwork/Photos

Third Day 30th. Mexican Free-tailed Bat/ General Bat Poems/Artwork/Photos,

Bat by Palma

-Palma McKeown.

Bat in the House

How it got in we will never know
but getting it safe outside again
was not easy. Bats don’t fly,
they swoop, with such pure grace.

It first appeared in the kitchen
describing arcs. We opened the skylights,
turned off lights, closed doors
to help it find its way back to air

And thought we’d done it. Next night
it appeared again, perhaps slept
in daylight on the dresser top.
The pipistrelle glided into the hall

and skimmed its way upstairs
in a few wing beats. Hastily closing doors
I followed it to close doors up there,
turn off the lights, open landing window.

I had not gone out. It lay exhausted
on the carpet, until my husband
tenderly picked it up, placed it
outside on the extension roof.

We knew bats could not take off
from the ground, like other winged things.
Next morning it was no longer there.
It must have been hungry, exhausted.

Important not to invest human emotions
in an innocent creature. It didn’t visit us
nor convey any blessings. It was simply
in the wrong place to survive.

-Angela Topping

On Mexican Free-Tailed 1/3 Mating

To feed my baby I hunt from Lightdark
to Darklight. I remember its making.
He slowly, comes on grabs Her at the start
always by ear, the jaw, or neck, pulling

Her out of our crowd, moves onto Her back
biting scruff of Her neck. Holds Her. She yanks
away , He chirps faintly. She squeaks. Now back
with us Her face wounds bleed. She is pregnant.

He moves slowly onto my back, His ears
held low and eyes closed.. No neck-biting or
calls. I do not resist; I groom myself, my ears,
or sleep. Cold Time comes so we fly to Warm.

I give birth clinging upside down to stark
Dark thumbs and feet grasp. It wont fall to Dark.

-Paul Brookes

Mexican Free-Tailed 2/3 Suckling

My baby is born naked, eyes open.
I carefully clean and nurse it. New-born
attached to me by thread. It’ll be eaten
if it falls Below by hard scuttlers brawn.

I won’t rescue it. We learn each other’s
scent and voice before we separate. I
pull away to dislodge Bloodsac, unmother.
When dried it falls off child.Tenacious, my

young use large feet and thumbs to hold on to
Hard. It’s tiny sharp teeth cling to mothers
or others. I put it among young, who
squeak, jostle, and crawl over each other.

After Hunt, find its call, muzzle top of it’s head,
sniff, talk, raise my folded wing. It’s breastfed.
-Paul Brookes

A Mexican Free-Tailed 3/3 First Flight

I avoid several mid-air crashes
a breath. Rely on my untested guide
senses. Break my wings, get Belowed bashes
I’ll be swarmed, stripped to bone in a breath’s Wide.

First time I flew outside with our swarm, told
to watch for feathered claws that lie in wait
I found my first winged hard case, snatched by bold
one who jammed my echo. Learnt my mistake.

When Cold Time arrives we will fly to Warm.
Gather outside entry to our Dark Home.
We will rise upwards, our gust makers form
shapes in air in flight to our second Home.

We must rest and hang the journey, refresh.
Mother says new home’s food is tasty, fresh.

-Paul Brookes

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