Fly

focus photography of a ignited firewood
Photo by Lum3n.com on Pexels.com

I reach to take my jacket from the peg
and my eyes again are drawn
to the next peg just along
where hangs a collar and a well-worn leather leash
and once again my eyes begin to mist

Then I wander back in time to when my old pal Fly and I
would go to gather sheep from off the fell

I didn’t need to speak much or tell Fly where to go
for there were no hiding places – not from Fly

She knew each nook and place of shelter
where sheep huddled in bad weather
and turned their backs against the wind and rain
eyes half closed as though in contemplation
deep in thought and cheering on the cud

I did not have long to wait as I stood there by the gate
until faint bleating I would hear above the crags
below the mists that swept and swirled
up in their rocky rooftop world
then single filed they showed upon the trod.

An odd one would make a dash but Fly would turn her in a flash
snapping at her heels in reprimand –
there was no doubting who was in command

Then all were down ‘in bye’
where for winter they would lie
until Spring when they would lamb beside the farm
more sheltered in the valley
from the elements and foxes on the prowl

Then we too would go ‘in bye’
and again I’d welcome Fly to my abode –
no kennel, not tonight
for she had earned herself the right
to dine in and lie beside the kitchen fire

And never will I part with her collar or her leash
or from the friend that in memory I fondly still admire
as now lonesome and in solitude
with misted eyes and heavy heart
I sit alone beside the kitchen fire

Colin Armstrong

Soon drunk

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Peacock fans in trees
Smoke turns gold to grey
Taste of ash on tongue

Over-ripe, flowers seed
For next year’s Spring
And you say: ‘Another year
older,’
We smile,
Knowing now
That summer is a sweet cup
Soon drunk

Kath Sunderland

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Tongue

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A shape, etched
For future fingers yet to trace
Hunched and wall eyed
I meet your gaze
A flickering moment
and then –
I’m gone.
A turncoat self
I march along
to any song that please my ear.
A frozen statue in a forest glade –
Or assassin lurking in the shade?
Houdini-like I come and go,
A cameo part I play.
But always, still, unseen
My razor tongue, held in,
Darts
Catches, flicks around your words
And pulls them deep within.
I taste your thoughts upon my tongue:
A self dissolved
to essence.

Kath Sunderland

Walking with Haiku

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i

wide eyed owl sits light
on an ancient platform of
oak and sometimes hoots

ii

foal looks into the
blind eye of an old mare and
thereby knows her depths

iii

blackbird sings for to
call his love who will bring to
birth his future songs

iv

bluebells about the
skirt of the hill invite quiet
delight and picnic

v

dappled sunlight golden
gladdens the heart of one who
came to it downcast

vi

forget-me-not’s call
to minds fractured by life’s cares
is soul’s light within

vii

silk eared labrador
bounds ahead as though present
she already lives there

viii

haughty cat sits on
warmed stone garden wall and is
secretly smiling

ix

timid orb eyed – tail
quivering beneath beech leaves
slowly awakening

x

man beckoned forth to
nature encounters deep joy
amongst earth’s glories

Simon Marsh

I AM

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Unsure of where my margins lie
I
Know only that
In my fishy depths strange energies
Pulse,
Tossing me hither and thither.
And yet,
The storms that make me heave and writhe
Pull my tears into the sky
To fall as dew on a rose’s bloom
Or rain on forest canopies.
I, passive,
Am filled by others’ lives
Their stories flowing into my depths
Until
Tranquil now, a mirror, I
Reflect the stars and sun and moon
And, yes, your face.
I cast myself in arching bows
A dove of peace upon my breast.

Kath Sunderland

 

Cave painting

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From my cave I do behold,
I look around at all I see
And listen to legends told.
I stand upon a lofty edge
And look out upon bird and tree.
From animals wild I protect my ledge,
Wolf, cats large and small
My family – I must protect them all,
Children, wives that belong to me.
I cannot write but on my wall
I paint all that I see and spy,
For life is good as days go by,
The sun doth shine and that’s fine for me
As I paint animal, bird and tree.

David Edge Marshall