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