Towny Owl

Summer’s heat, unnatural to Norwich

lingers, holds the city in a blanket,

slowly smothers dreams of sleep we long for,

laid out breathless, adrift on airless beds,

praying for the day’s end, “Please, let us be.”

~

Kissing the window, backlit by street lamps,

leaves of birch resemble ukiyo-e,

nature frozen in delicate block print.

~

The hillside wood across the way breathes out,

its cool canopy shelters waking life,

silent flitting of bats and cautious mice,

timid nocturnal snuffling of the shrew,

fearful of false movement now she has heard

the mournful call of night’s hunting bird

~

n.b. I was delighted to hear a tawny owl’s call in the August heat of the city, where the night is silent by comparison to the heath of Salthouse and the shifting shingle of the North Sea coast.

~

CLP  24th August, 2020

Wick’s End

We lit the candle together
Holding the splint, hand over hand
Flame flared, formed, flickered
Came to life

We laughed and blew out the taper
Followed its dissipating smoke into the dark
Turned our eyes to the fresh wax light
To sprites dancing on the walls

Laid enrapt until drowsy
In warmth formed bonds
Of breath and limbs
We fell to sleep sapped of strength

Frost crept across the pane
A spider spun its web
Hours slid together
As we un-knowing lolled apart

I awoke to shivering air
The unclosed door
Branches silhouetted against the sky
Shrivelled candle cold

.

Christopher Perry

3rd May, 2020