Patrick Osada


Here's a selection of my poems for MAY.

I update this website at the start of each month with a fresh selection of my poetry.                   






Along the cliff edge —
too far to safely reach —
these white bells tantalised
with their strange scent :
a pungent odour on the breeze
their signature.

Later, in Roseland,
we saw them grown like weeds :
filling meadows, smothering hedgerow grass,
covering the roadside verge
like gentle drifts of snow.

And at St. Just, filling the churchyard there,
bluebells and ransoms like a haze
on every bank, round ancient graves.

And, through the palm
that grows where you now rest,
a solitary ransom flower had set.

Though far away in miles and time,
the smell of garlic takes me back —
transports me instantaneously
to that Spring day :
the tiny church, the muddy creek,
the ransom flowers and you.


Now, by a certain day in May
gardens and parks are all ablaze
with flowers blessed by Summer’s flame.
Chestnuts with carmine red or white
posies in candled pyramids,
tower above laburnums’ gold;
luminous yellow oil-seed
still dazzles from its far-off fields.
Orchards present in pink or white
and every lane, where hawthorn grows,
is white with blossom, Queen Anne’s lace…
and buttercups complete the show.


On Beltaine Day ( this first of May)
the air outside is filled with snow :
not like the cold of wintertime —

when flakes fall steadily to ground —
but this snow drifts, rises and falls
then thickens with the passing breeze.

Through every window, open door,
the snow flows as it would in dreams :
filling each ledge and entrance hall

with gossamer that floats away,
evading house-proud, tidying hands.
Outside it catches leaves of plants,

covering  cobwebs and mown grass —
a snow scene under springtime sun.
So  sallow willow sends its seeds

to ride the air like thistledown
until a longed for shower of rain
brings sweet relief and damps it down.   


In candy pink and bridal white
the orchards high on Winters Hill
stand proud against a cloudless sky –
define this fine St. George’s Day.

Close by the bridge, at Spencer’s church,
a red cross flutters in the breeze;
first swallows turn above the Thames
where swan flotilla glides downstream.

A solitary boat drifts on;
two walkers, with a map and dog,
seem set to walk on to Bourne End,
leaving behind a crow and me…

Perched on a rotting willow trunk,
nodding and bowing to the stream,
he seems to concentrate so hard
watching the water’s glassy sheen.

Then, suddenly, he takes to flight –
matching his wing beats to the breeze,
he seems to hover in the air
and touch the tops of waves mid-stream

to snatch from waters some small prey.
Retiring to the other bank,
he eats his meal in privacy
before returning to his tree.

Twice more this fishing crow performs
then flies off to a distant oak —
leaving in mind a miracle :
a memory, a puff of smoke.


I saw an albino blackbird once,
stock still behind a wall of glass —
but museum birds are not real life.

At busy spots in every town,
it’s said a rat’s six feet away
but they stay hidden in clear sight.

Yet, in the country, miles from towns,
the fields and hedgerows teem with life
that many of us just won’t see…

Good luck brought me to see a stoat
charging the road at Cabbage Hill —
an instant later he’d be gone!

My first stoat with her family,
I watched for seconds on a wall
at Brinklow as I passed by car.

Today, I saw The Weasel Dance
while walking near the River Cut.
This jiving stoat held birds transfixed,

ducking and diving, side to side,
but when he charged magpies took flight…
to goad him, landing yards away.

Each time he charged the birds gave ground
as if this was a game they played —
the stoat grew anxious for his meal

then seeing me, he just turned tail,
abruptly closing down his show
and, into balsam, disappeared.

Magpies chuckled as off they flew,
suddenly I was on my own...
dumbfounded by what I’d just seen.

The Weasel Dance refers to the strange movements
weasels and stoats perform to hypnotize their prey.


Rescued from abuse — we had to build your trust —
you sat and watched our other cat and learned.
So timid then, your instinct was to hide

and once, in terror, threw yourself down stairs.

We watched and saw your confidence return —
the garden and the sun became your friends

and everyday you’d make your way outside
or watched from windowsill on days of rain.

We gave kindness, food, shelter and a home

and in return you offered so much joy,
repaying us with closeness and your purr
and with a gentle love, so unreserved.

Now, as the days grow long, your life grew short
as age and illness wasted you away;
despite our care, the medicines and love

are useless now and can’t postpone this day.

You rested, feather-light in midday sun
on friendly lap, content with stroking hands…
and with a gentle breath you slipped away
like thistledown on wind… and pain was gone.


Rescued from our amiable cat,
the fledgling lay, cupped in your hands,
eyes closed and struggling for breath,
trembling with shock or close to death.

Out in the air, under blue skies —
the trees alive with song of birds —
it seemed to calm, stop trembling,
as fluttering, it looked around.

Then came that certain point in time :
it perched upon your fingertips —
we stood there willing it to go —
as it remembered how to fly.

Where do all those moments go
as present time becomes the past?
Who records those tears of joy,
remarks upon each new bird’s flight?

               (An Ode for Bill)

Leaving with heavy hearts
to make that long drive west,
we shared the same regret :
our chance to see you, missed.

Time lost when we could talk,
all gone in Winter’s storms.
Now, driving through late Spring,
we come to say, “So long…”

In the lee of high blue hill
we cross this marble town
with its hundred R.I.P.s,
two poets and a Rolling Stone.

The service you had planned —
an ingenious goodbye —
two big screens up on the wall
with a slide-show of your life.

Your music caused surprise —
not Elgar, Garland, Keating,
but two hymns by Henry Lyte —
an agnostic’s  choice?  — Revealing!

Yet best “A Few Last Words,”
your footnote all in verse,
with your humorous view
“through a crack in the door”
of life and the universe.

You ask to be remembered,
rest assured, you will be missed
as, passing through light’s rubicon,
you’ll find answers to why we exist.