#Batfest 28th August – 31st September. Fifth Day: 1st. Giant Golden-crowned Flying Fox / General Bat Poems/Artwork/Photos. First drafts always welcome. Please join Susannah Violette, Marion Oxley 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

Fifth Day – Giant Golden-crowned Flying Fox

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Photo by James Wainscoat on Unsplash

By the street light

A million thirsty-throated mosquitoes
crowd the street lights.

bats loose themselves
from their topsy-turvey day roosts,
stir the limpid heat.

Purple flowers
open their lightning-boom petals
for the gibbous moon.
Call the myriad mouths
of these night witches close.

They are my darling dreams.

Passing the day in shadow,
rising with the moon,
then, when their feasting is done,
slip upside down
into the leather purse of their
wings, like the richest body.

Black-winged-terrible
spell-casting, all the while.
I watch the street-light
like a moth, to see them dance.

-Susannah Violette

Echolocation

For many nights now I have stood on the threshold
listening.
Watching the sky turn from candle lemon to pink-flecked grey.
Soon you will come
falling from bridges, slipping from roofs.
Escaping the cracks, shoulders pushing through crevices
skin-breathing the valley
the scent of petrichor rolled between your fingers.
You are just a flicker at first
hand-wings like shadow puppets shape shifting
across a newly painted, magnolia bedroom wall.

These days we carry our lives folded like wings.
Carry our friends,
families from room to room. Hug them to us.
Tuck them under our arms.
Place them against our warm cheeks.
Press an ear against the machine.
In solitude, we tap, touch, stroke, click.
Try to navigate distance, obstacles. We hang in rows
amongst bookcases, posters, potted plants, bedside lamps.
Muted and framed in dark caves. We hover over the surface
of our being entombed beneath a surface gloss.

When I opened the door you were there
clinging to the door frame.
The weight of your small body wrapped in the nights’ skin.
Hands outstretched
fingers still clinging on. How long had you been there?
Had you crawled on elbows and knees to watch
as I stood night after night beyond the corridor of trees,
the light from the kitchen shining out into the dark,
the space between your world and mine.
Unable to hear when the dusk loosened your voice,
the clicking of tongues as you passed by.

-Marion Oxley (runner up in the Trim Poetry Competition 2021 judged by Jean O’Brien )

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