Bio Note: I am a retired art teacher living in the NE of England. I have written poetry on and off throughout my life. I have poems published in Dark Mountain, Contrappasso, Poetry Kit, Opossum, Poetry Super Highway and on various online platforms. I have recently taken climate change as a theme in some of my poetry.
She gazes at her illustration of traveller’s joy for five minutes travelling back sixty years to art college. There’s no one else in the garden and she says the words aloud, traveller’s joy. Lips and tongue curl around other summer arrivals; willow warbler, orange-tailed bumble bee, swift and swallow-tailed butterfly. She’s sitting on a wicker seat, a first edition of her book open on her lap. Leafs through pages savouring other kindred names; shepherd’s purse, roast beef plant, everlasting mountain and forget-me-not. She closes her memories and walks along the gravel path pinching bits of lavender to rub; her elderly cat follows- too arthritic to capture butterflies, birds or bees. A sunlit patch of lady’s bedstraw lies ahead; her skirt brushes the yellow flowers, a faint smell of autumn fills the air.
Kith & Kin
We, the headstrong species, may be startled one day when spotting a skull on a leaf or a pair of eyes flashing in shadows. We can't imagine living in a cocoon although we long to shed skins; skins which have hardened as we've aged. We're told your inner world is reconstituted while you sleep and we too sometimes undergo a kind of rebirth. But we're no shape-changers and we can't disguise ourselves as dead leaves. We've inherited animal cells so we're kith and kin. We both manufacture chemicals: yours to find each other in the dark; ours to raise the temperature and make the Earth bleed.
©2021 Eric Nicholson
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