Nelson Mandela died today
and I got an A for
my final poetry assignment.

South Africa held on to Nelson
with long time medical care
as he faded away at 95.
They did not want him to go.
Now they must find and
recognise their own strength
within themselves,
make their own lives,
their own world.

I have finally got an “A”,
I feel I am getting somewhere
with my writing.
I want to do more courses
on writing but I do not have the money.
I must write independently
without the structure of
teachers and classes.

Worlds have been cut loose
from their anchors today.
South Africa is cut loose.
I am cut loose.

Previously posted November 2015.


Cat Flap

The tabby hunter
was most displeased
yesterday afternoon.
Someone locked the cat flap
and went out for quite a while.
When Mummy came home with groceries
and little girls from school,
tabby meowed at her loud and long
as Mummy stood and stared.
“She’s telling me off !” she said,
then she put away the groceries
while ignoring Tabby’s harangue.

Young Chloe checked the back door,
unlocked the offending flap.
“You shouldn’t bring your birds inside !”
she told the outraged tiger.

Now therein lies the problem
which Tabby does not see.
She brings her birds inside
takes them round each room
as they scatter poo and bird feathers
until they die of shock.
Then she buries them in the living room
for little girls to find.
Five year old sensibilities
are distressed by lifeless birds.
Mummy doesn’t like cleaning up
bird feathers and poo.

While Tabby keeps on hunting
she will always be locked out
when the family are not at home
to reject her hunting trophies.

She’ll be far from the sunny couch,
from beds covered with teddy bears,
and the luxurious faux fur throw
on Mummy and Daddy’s bed.

Previously posted May 2016.


Cat Flap

A Fox Crossed Barley Lane

A fox crossed Barley Lane at dusk
trotting from his den on the heath
towards the scattered Essex farms
to hunt for a springtime dinner of hens
ducks, geese with newly hatched young.
He passed a farm labourer plodding along
the rutted track to a meagre dinner.
The fox would dine better than he tonight.

A fox crossed Barley Lane at dusk
trotting from his den on the heath
towards the prosperous Essex farms
keenly seeking a poultry dinner
from their large abundant barns.
He briskly rounded the loaded wagons
creaking along the potholed track.
His mind was on his dinner.

A fox crossed Barley Lane at dusk
trotting from his den on the heath
to seek his dinner at Essex farms and
backyards along the High Road
crossing Barley Lane as it followed
the new railway with its deafening trains.
It took more work to extract his dinner
but he always filled his stomach.

A fox crossed Barley Lane at dusk.
He left his den in the woodland patch
in the park round the Essex hospital,
hunting his dinner in the long back yards
of houses built up around Barley Lane.
Poultry was rare but cats and rabbits
were there to be eaten in moonlit gardens.
he rushed across through a narrow slit
in bumper to bumper urban traffic.
Now for his lip licking dinner.

Previously posted October 2016.

A Fox Crossed Barley Lane