Such a Sweet Dog

Now I always have company.
Listen, there’s the patter of my little white shadow on four dog feet.
He has a licky mouth and a wet nose and a very sweet nature.
He curls up like a cosy cat with eyes blinking and sleepy sighs.
He runs like the wind and whirls like the whippet that he is.
Our sweet little dog.

Sugar Mouse

Who hasn’t got a memory of the utterly pink perfection of a sugar mouse confection?
With its lovely incongruous string tail and the smooth but solid shape, it is the nicest kind of mouse,
a childhood fancy that came miraculously out of the depths of a Christmas stocking.
What a shame it would be to eat the edible little pet that fits so sweetly in my cupped hand.


The hopeful Christmas girl, dreaming of snow smiles
in anticipation of a home all decorated, with fires lit and stockings hung;
the usual, but still special for my daughter, wrapped in beauty this festive time.
Her goodwill and care festoon our rooms with paper chains,
these being pritt-stuck sometimes come undone in drifts, falling softly to the floor.
I want always to remember her lovely generosity:
this moment like a snowflake.

Wood Fair-Weary

I’ve heard it all before
when the sun beat blindly on the show
and the microphones forced sound around a relentless smile.
I’ve seen it all before:
the extreme falconry, or sheep, or ducks
and the corny suggestive jokes.
Why involve wildlife in all this?
This is not really educational;
It is a show with the same facts churned out for cheap effect.

I think it is time I stayed at home,
Alone I can walk the real walk
And see and hear wild birds flying free.
No, I don’t belong here, forcing smiles in the heat,
with children who have also seen it all before.
Let’s not pretend any more:
We are just here to make money now.
The drummers wearing gothic rags and tawdry tutus play a military beat.
What is it all about?
I sat, feet upon the dashboard in the shade of the tent,
a disapproving spoilsport waiting to be allowed home.

I miss the things we used to do:
escaping from the heat of the September field,
we would head into the trees, where smoke hung among a myriad of little campfires
Remember the magic of the woods?
There was wonder in the air and a pony with a soft nose,
You paddled a hollowed-out canoe in a makeshift pond.
We were welcomed into another world, and offered berries and told tales that meant something.
There in homes of mud, stone, thatch and wood, our ancestors came to life.

Back in the field I eat thin crispy pizza and indigestion reigns.
Chainsaws ripping loudly produce mushrooms and owls: some good, some bad.
Every possible way of reducing a tree to a uniform log is showcased in shiny bright machinery
and it is noisy.

I wander sadly around the dilapidated garden and feel nostalgic.
The wasps are busy among the fallen pears and apples in the orchard.
Somehow this year I forget even to gather any.