Rain

Lying warmly snug
under the thick duvet
in curtained darkness
faintly lit by sheets
of orange light at the end
of the driveway,
a rattle of pellets
against the windows
lift me part way
from the depths of sleep.

Gusts of wind batter
windows, fence, driveway
with icy bullets then
ease off. Yet rain still
gurgles along gutters,
down drain pipes, the
sound of rushing water
from the skies drowned
out again by roaring
gusty winds. Registering
at last the causes
of this cacophony
I sink down again
into warm dark depths
of consciousness.

Brown land is
greening at last !
Relief !

Previously posted July 2016

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Rain

Cold

Carried along by
currents of change
in work, relationships,
I found myself living
far from my familiar
climes where we switched
off heating at bedtime,
never used central heating.

Th mountains nearby
now made a pleasant
scenic route to work
in the next town. But
snow made the
winter air so icy.

I coughed so much
a senior colleague
lectured me on doctors
and prescriptions.
I crossed a new frontier
warming my bedroom
nightly with a heater.

Final acclimatisation came
when I bought another car
with new lights and
gadgets on its dashboard.
Each winter morning
I drove to work with
heater purring and
freezing temperature
digits brightly glowing.

Now I shivered
with icy cold
in my new car.

Previously posted July 22016.

Cold

Praying Mantis

Praying mantises climb through
the shrubs in the narrow garden
under the front windows
of my little ground level flat.
Their green shapes with leaf like wings
vanish among rose bush leaves;
long thin males, bulge bellied females
about to disgorge dozens of eggs
all hatching their tiny replicas
with narrow flattened faces
and eyes pinned to the sides
of those long thin heads.

The females seeking seclusion
come through my open windows
climbing the walls to the ceiling
swaying in the light with
no leaves to shelter them.
We need all their young mantises.
I catch them and drop them
out of the window
on to the bushes below
where they sway again with
their front legs in praying stance
before climbing down inside
those leafy green lairs.

Previously posted July 2016.

Praying Mantis

Weta On The Foot

Wetas are similar in size and shape to crickets, though unrelated.
They give a sharp nip, and the barbs on their back legs draw blood when they kick.

The tabby hunter brings trophies
inside; flapping butterflies,
crunched beetles, disembowelled worms,
desperate birds and struggling wetas.
She stops the bells on her collar ringing
no matter what Mummy does.

Mummy said don’t play with wetas,
they bite, their back legs make your
hand bleed when they kick.

The four year old, so fascinated by bugs,
stood staring at a weta on the floor.
It hopped on to her foot, her parents came
running at her piercing screams.
They tried to calm her, to remove the weta,
but she ignored them.

Daddy wrapped one long arm
around her arms and shoulders,
the other long arm
around her legs.

Mummy gripped the leg with one hand
and slowly peeled off the sock.
She kept the sock around the weta,
took it out, tipped it on to a bush.

Clever Mummy !
At last the house was quiet again.
Mummy and Daddy leaned back
exhausted on the couch.

Grandad says someone should explain
to the tabby hunter
that wetas are indigenous,
protected by law.

But Tabby doesn’t care.

Previously posted July 2016

Weta On The Foot

Weta On The Carpet

A weta is similar in size and shape to a cricket,
though the two are unrelated.

It’s not the weta’s determination
to keep moving over the carpet,
though the tabby hunter has left
it a little out of shape.

Nor is it the weta’s struggling hops
to the ranch slider through which
it senses the bushes of its home
where it lived till a moment ago.

It is not even the three year old’s
excited exclamations while watching
the weta’s struggles to get away
from the tabby hunter.

This courageous creature
must inspire us as it
battles its handicaps
to escape its giant prison,
to return to its own world
where its kind have survived
for thousands of years.

Previously posted July 2016

Weta On The Carpet

Races Around The Field

On sports day
the five and six year olds
run their own long distance
races around the school
playing field.

On their last lap
teachers and parents
stand by the finish line
with clipboards and stopwatches.
The six year olds’ teacher
is so proud of their running times
called out by parent helpers
as her charges hurtle puffing,
red faced, across the finish line.

After filling spaces beside
names on her chart she still
has two blank spaces.
She scans the field and sees
two little figures in the shade
of tall trees, sends an older child
to urge them to finish their race.

The daisies there were very big,
good for daisy chains they
explain to their teacher.
Someone else would pick
them if they did not.

They are puzzled when their teacher
says they should have waited
until after the sports.
She liked their daisy chains yesterday,
– but not today.

Previously posted July 2016

Races Around The Field

Letters To The Fairies

To the fairies who live in the trees and bushes along the fence by the living room.

Dear Fairies

Last week you did not answer my letter until two nights later !  So I will just tell you again that your letterbox is behind the chair in the corner o the living room near the ranch slider. I made it out of lego and you can see it easily.
I have started school now and I like writing letters. Claire wants to write letters too but she is not at school yet. Mummy writes her letters for her. I copy my letters after Mummy writes what I want to say.
Today after school I found some fairies bu Mummy says they are clematis seeds blowing in the wind. I still think they look like fairies.
I have put one in your letterbox. Please would you turn it into a real fairy ? And make it not afraid of me ?
I know which is your special  tree. our black and white cat fell out of it when he was a kitten. He is much better at climbing now.
Please answer my letter soon.

Love from

Chloe

____________________________________

Dear Fairies

Happy birthday.

Love from

Claire.

I am Chloe’s sister.

Previously posted July 2016

Letters To The Fairies