A forgotten Bicycle Lives Again
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 the breeze,
like gusting leaves across manicured lawns,
chasing away the dreariness of seasonal depression.
Birds sing full-throated, their daffodil chorus
echoing round the orchard garden where
hedgehogs wake and snuffle 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
Wheels carry them to Seven Oak Wood, where youngsters
once dismounted to drink from the spring – then on to
where honking geese splashed in the chattering brook.
What memories come flooding back as the bicycle revels
in magical flight through moonlit woods and meadows!
Released from years of hurtful neglect, it lives to serve again.
*First published in my collection ‘Where Flora Sings’
Death of a Crassula
The last houseplant
to be killed
was the succulent –
a jade, or money tree,
I’m not sure which.
I knocked it onto the carpet
when I carried my duvet
through to the lounge
to change the sheets
on my bed.
Past its best,
maybe dying anyway,
I picked it up,
fed it with more compost.
Its leaves fell off
of a cancer victim
As I dropped it in the dustbin
like snuffing a candle
or switching off a light
I thought, maybe it’s kinder
to end its misery
as we put down a cat or a dog,
than let it die a long slow death.
It’s remembered by the cutting I took, now
growing in the copper pot on the sideboard,
nestled between a geranium, an ivy.
-Peter J. Donnelly
Bios And Links
-Peter J Donnelly
lives in York where he works as a hospital secretary. He has a degree in English Literature and a MA in Creative Writing from the University of Wales Lampeter. He has been published in various magazines and anthologies including Dreich and Writer’s Egg, where some of these poems have previously appeared. Last year he won second prize in the Ripon Poetry Festival competition.
has six books of poetry published. She has appeared widely in print, in webzines and poetry anthologies. She has won or been short-listed in several competitions and her collection ‘Where Flora Sings’, published by Hedgehog Press, was nominated for the Laurel Prize in 2021. Her latest collection, ‘Immersed in Blue’ was published in January 2022 by Impspired Press. She leads a women’s poetry group in Nottinghamshire and takes part in open mic sessions online and in person. She is currently working on a third poetry collection.
Website: https://margaretroyall.com/ Twitter:@RoyallMargaret