The Last Days Of Summer

Soft-boiled sky

spread thin on the horizon

the sun’s rising later each day

maroon leaves and falling horse chestnuts

betray the arrival of

an early August autumn

we were too cloud-drenched to notice

too caught up in our own microclimates to care

but I welcome the new season

and the spectrum of flickering flames and hot embers

because I’ve always loved

dancing in the fire.

Thanks for taking the time to read my poem, originally wrote as part of #TopTweetTuesday on twitter, this is a farewell to Summer and a warm welcome to Autumn. Please feel free to leave a comment if you liked it or have any constructive critique.

Take It Easy,

Paul

Welcoming Back The Wild Things

I stopped watching the news
after the third week of decimating death
and morbid press briefings
it had become statistically gratuitous

instead, I watched
the playing fields
opposite the front door
start to overgrow
welcoming back the wild things –

discarded council lawns
no longer littered by
kids from the secondary school
and couples walking their dogs –

I observed the radiant whimsy
in a family of deer
frivolous in the pre-dawn haze
dancing among the tall grass
rose-gold fur in soft focus

impressive were the foxes
drifting around the wildflower verges
almost hidden in the dusky milk-light
gorging on the rodents
next-doors cat couldn’t catch

I chuckled at
lopping chestnut-hares darting
among the hedgerow
scaring the bullfinches
from the
rosehips and brambles

until now
I never really appreciated
the nurturing noises of nature
notably the cresting and chirruping birdsong
against the percussive branches
of council-planted beech trees

ever since opening the door
to the nurture of nature

– life feels gratuitous.

Thanks for taking the time to read this poem, written about something positive that happened during the peak of Corona in the UK. I hope you enjoyed. As always,feel free to leave a comment I love reading and replying.

Have A Great Day,

Paul

Thunderstruck

One evening in the Scottish Borders
during a break away with youth club
when the air was glue-thick and soup-warm
and the sky bruised purple-black

we sat telling ghost stories
– not scary in the slightest –
while the youth workers and chaperones
drank cheap lambrusco from mugs
until we witnessed the awesome temper of the sky
as death-white splinters thrashed from cloud to meadow
cracks booming louder than screams of tweens and young teens
most of the lads and lasses ran for shelter in the bunkhouse
sharing safety in numbers
and the comfort of cuddles from terrified friends.

I stayed out until the last of us were told to go in
– once the adults had took the last long draws of their roll-ups and regal king-size
so i went and watched by the window
mesmerised in the maelstrom of pines and ferns
getting whipped in the nearby wood.

It took me a while to hear a young lass
screaming and shrilling
‘we’re all gonna die’ repeatedly
between sobs and falling tears
as heavy as the rain outside
I felt bad for enjoying myself
while she was terrified.

One of the older lads said we’d all look after her
and that – or the storebrand ovaltine the youth leader made –
seemed to calm her to sleep
and, as the thunder rolled back
the bruised horizon gave way
to star-flecked inky skies and a pure pearl moon
she slumbered soundly
while we told tales of nature
some more scary than others.

Thanks for taking the time to read Thunderstruck’. I hope you enjoyed it. While you’re here, feel free to check out some of my other work.

Take It Easy,

Paul

(photo courtesy of canva)

No Sense Of Summer


The string is delicately coarse
between my fingers and palm
when I pull
the blinds need a heavy touch
to open this morning

I’m expecting hues of
poached peach & rhubarb
to welcome me to Monday
but the sky is chalk-grey and despondent 

My ears crave the tranquility
of a blackbird & sparrow choir
when all I can hear
is the drowning of the day
the rain pelting the paving slabs

And I can’t smell the jasmine
that normally waltzes its way
from the raised bed in the garden
beyond my bedroom window –
but the scent of damp mown-grass
is refreshing

It’s bittersweet
that mid-July’s sun won’t be seen today
because on the bright side
I’ll savour this rainy day
with you.

Thanks for taking the time to read my poem. I hope you enjoyed it and at least some of it resonated with you. While you’re here, why not check some of my other work?

Take it easy,

Paul

Morning Fishing Trips

A September Saturday in 1995
the four a.m. sea air is salt-sour
silicate sand shimmers
under the after-midnight-blue canopy
the waning moon a spotlight
on discarded worm skins

I dig since I’m the youngest –
because even morning fishing trips have hierarchies –
success arrives after ten minutes
of shovel and scoop
we loot the fresh bait
they can wriggle all they want
we own them now

we march in early morning muteness
preserving our energy
until we can cast off
and pour ourselves a flask-coffee
topped with a nip of whisky

destination reached we pick our spots
wisely or not
our rods are set
with hands stained with dying worm-dye

waiting for the first ripple
or bend of pole
the craic is quiet
about the things men like to talk about
as dawn passes over us

an hour passes by
then three of five rods
begin to quiver
the ancient part of our hunter-brains
spike our natural instincts

we let our rods sway
luring in the line tenderly
then reel rapidly
drawing in a decent-sized pollock
the crack of the baton
gives me the first of a few fish
caught before the nearby B&B’s
serve their breakfasts.

After some further success
we head back to the van
our shoal are all fair sizes
my pollock glimmering longest in the bucket
but hierarchies exist
and I may get landed with a small plaice
but where there are hierarchies
there are rites of passage
and it’s the first fish i’ve caught
so I get to keep it

I also get to gut all the catch
my fumbling numb fingers
dyed crimson by dead fish
find their rhythm
and I’m proud to be
on the first
rung of the hunter’s hierarchy.

I used to go fishing in Northumberland regularly, this poem is about when i first started out, I was 12. One of our neighbours took me with his friends, it was always a great experience.

I hope you like it.

Take it easy

Paul

Birdsong

Instead of sleep
in the early hours
I sit and listen to the
siren song of the starlings and finches
at four am
they gather on the dew-kissed fencetops
when the delicate new day
is climbing from grey earth
to sherbet-pink sky
and I wonder what’s to come
in the next 19 hours
before my head hits the pillow
because – although most days are the same –
like the dawn chorus
everyday is different.

Thanks for taking the time to read my poem. If you want to read more, please explore the site.

Take it Easy

Paul

Dedication

I felt it was an insult that
each new street
was named after
a different species of tree
they chopped down
a lasting dedication to
rapid decimation
of the ancient woodland and hedgerow
their deaths were dealt so swiftly
that the hawthorn berries
didn’t even get time to bleed.

Now when I walk past
Oak Avenue, Ash Drive & Beech Terrace
each brimming with life
I think of the bricks, mortar and glass
I believe the woodland remains
just in a different guise
and the dedication isn’t an insult
but a celebration of what came before
that the trees that once thrived there
are a solid foundation for new roots to form.

Thanks for taking the time to read this poem, feel free to leave a comment if you wish.

Winter Walk

Zero degrees C
in the peak of midwinter
we wrapped up warm
in wool and polyester
pulled on our boots
thick with suede upper
and gripping rubber soles
primed and ready
to walk the forest
its floor frosted white
glamourising the
natural litter
of fallen acorns and amber needles
we held each others hand
through our scandi grey gloves
a) for support since I was clumsy
and b) for love
we looked out over
the blank frozen fields
and into the feeble glare of
a weakened winter sun
some chimneys breathed in the distance
a sign of life going on
while time stood still
as we tightened our hands
our minds raced
to what the future would hold
luckily for me
I still get to hold you.

Thanks for reading. Thanks to freestocks on unsplash for use of the image.

Take it easy,

Paul