Here is a selection of my poetry for MAY
Germans, American Jews,
Wait for Schindler’s lift.
She is calling me back –
How blue skies and sea beguile –
Every here and there
Shrines : Our Lady of the Sea
Looks out for sailors.
Riding the airhorns
Sorrento to Amalfi –
Coach : the driver’s skin.
Busking gypsy girl
Plays squeezebox cacophony –
Who’ll pay her to stop?
Tourists watch stray dogs
Basking in the Pompeii sun
No room here for cats.
Swifts turn and call above the Alhambra :
tent like palaces with slim marble poles,
honeycombed ceilings charm all cameras –
reflected in water where tourists stroll.
Climbing burnished air, these dark scimitars
swoop the cooling fountains where Nasrids sipped;
led the Moors to Spain, out of Africa,
tracing burning skies with Arabic script.
Links to bygone age and Muslim conquests –
swifts still nest today on Sabika Hill.
A few led the way to England’s northwest,
a strange paradise where the air is chill…
There’s no palace here for modern pilgrims –
plastic minarets that a lone swift skims
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?
Along the cliff edge -
Too far to safely reach -
These white bells tantalised
With their strange scent :
A pungent odour on the breeze
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.
One for sorrow is quite enough
to bring the birdsong to a stop.
Out of the field, along our hedge,
this corvid checks for nests to wreck.
Through dooms of love the parents fear
the loss of eggs or tiny birds.
Blackbirds have flown, their nest torn down,
even the feisty robin’s gone.
As from the roof dark eyes observe
the maiden flight of fledgling birds.