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

Silver

The harsh-sunned pool laid flat still

Mirror to the willows’ feathered limbs

A float-glass plate decorated with green

Fronds and strands held still beneath

No flow, no breath

I lean on the stone parapet

See my silhouette’s sharp outline

I am about to leave this scene

When a metallic flash, a flip, a soft splash

The surface cut from below by a butterfly kiss

Yes, she’s there, but not for long

But she’s there

I smile to myself and wander happily on

~

CLP 10/08/2020

On High

.

Gulls feast on ants’ flight

Wily crow, black spot of night

Blends into the light

~

n.b. On days as hot as these ants hatch and fly in millions, a boon to the scavangers of the coast and quick-witted corvids. How far they climb! How many are eaten? How many must be born and borne aloft to survive the insatiable gulls and crow?

CLP 17/07/2020

On High

Clouds form on warm air

Raptors spiralling upwards

Buzzards high as kites

.

n.b. A wonderful scene. Two red kites circling up from the recently mowed field on an updraft. Far above, just visible to the naked eye, three buzzards on a carousel of rising warm air, their random calls of “ke-whee” carrying across the Glaven valley.

The photograph catches the light, not the graceful flight paths of these big birds, nor indeed the birds, but they were there.

The day clouded over and rain came later.

.

CLP 15/07/2020