Wednesday 10 April 2024

The Patchwork


Each patch a slice of his life

a lens viewed at an acute angle

spliced,diced, drop-box explosion.

At first cut long and expansive

Aegean blue, teal, with just a hint of Arctic-

the steam train he drove all the way from Coalisland 

as it groaned and chuffed and hissed and lumbered

its cranks propelling the great wheels 

through the Milltown tunnel heading for Derry.

Her auburn hair cast  shades of cerulean over the next patch

and azure blue and powder blue and eggshell

recalling in glimpses the after taste of their first kiss

though the rail tracks stopped singing and his hands grew calloused

laying one brick on top of another like his father before him

and his grandfather before that

And then navy and shadow grey and one loss after another

and sage green when even she began to fade

Until finally a lattice of ochre on black

gaps and holes and footloose sleepers

where the tracks ended and he slipped over

the edge.

Copyright 2024 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Thursday 4 April 2024



While scrambling for paper to jot down the meaning, 

origins and possible applications of  the words aria and libretto

I came across a spiral bound notebook  containing evidence 

of several earlier jaunts into the unknown

Like a foray into weather terms in my native tongue-

geofar as in windy, cinealta as in mild-

a trip that was detoured by a fractured elbow

 and terminated by a bout of Covid

 And six months later an amble into the world of bird apps

and sound recordings of their matins, lauds and vespers 

that lasted five whole days and was aborted only by the fake detection 

of  a Eurasian curlew on our road-a highly unlikely location for a wader

And then an actual trip to Tuscany armed with a plant app this time

but finding only agrimony and hedge parsley and hartwort underfoot 

and in the air a few drafts of unfinished poems

never to be transcribed to posterity

And finally to my latest odyssey, a search for a quote  from Senator Windows

or any Windows for that matter, for a four pane sliding door 

which would bring the garden into the house or visa versa

with the proviso of... if I can afford this...

Which brings me back to that aria and  libretto

for an aria if you want to know is a self contained piece for one voice

and a libretto  the text of the opera-

information that might at least prove useful for a crossword...

Copyright 2024 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Friday 29 March 2024


Came across Basho recently. 

Some interesting facts:

He was the father of the haiku. 


The Edo Period in Japan. Also known as the Genroka period 

A high point in Japan's Renaissance similar to the Elizabethan Period 100 years before.

His name means a grand tournament in Sumo wrestling...Wow!

His most famous haiku is called  The Old Pond

Old pond

a frog jumps in

sound of water

or in Japanese

Furu ike ya

kawazu tobikomu

mizu no oto

So what are the rules for structuring a Haiku?

It has 3 lines

It has 5 syllables in the first and third lines

It has 7 syllables in the second line

Its lines don't rhyme

It includes a kireji or cutting word

It has a kigo, a reference to season.

The kireji had me perplexed but it is apparently a sort of spoken punctuation of one or two syllables that causes you to stop and think...a bit like the word but...

There's an interpretation of this haiku in the link below

So I decided to make up my own haiku which had to involve our one eyed Kit.

Our Kit on patrol

circles winter bird table

feathers fall from sky

Try it for Spring fun  

 head wrecking to be honest

but worth the effort....

Thursday 21 March 2024

Spring Buds

To dig myself out of this long fallow period

I picked up a poetry book by Billy Collins.

It's not that I don't read any other poet, honestly,

it's just that most contemporary poets are often for me obscure.

I do have to look up the odd word or two of Billy's like burgeoning, 

which brought to my mind someone wielding a wooden club

but actually means increasing rapidly 

coming from the old french word borjon- as in Spring bud.


And I'm probably thinking of the word bludgeon anyway-

see the difference a letter or two can make in a fallowed mind!

And then there's Billy's references which invariably take me on a google flight,

as with his mention of Saint Denis, the third century Christian martyr.

Did he really pick up his decapitated head and proceed to make a speech 

to the motley spectators on that hill in Montmartre?


So by and large, as you see, I get an education or an insight

or a trip down google search and at least feel,

after weeks of  being ploughed and harrowed,

the burgeoning desire to sprout something...

Copyright Cathy Leonard 2024 All rights reserved

Thursday 29 February 2024

First Day of Spring

I don't know why I bother to listen to you

day in day out, like Cassandra foretelling disaster,

for you bamboozle me with your talk of

winds falling back, increasing strong to gusty,

heavy showers with risk of flooding

becoming isolated, possible frost

with a chance of hail, a mix of low cumulus

with sunny spells, fronts moving in

across and away, for it seems to me 

that you're covering all your bets

and honestly I didn't hear you say

after the Six-One News yesterday

that I'd wake up to snow today

Copyright Cathy Leonard 2024 All rights reserved

Saturday 24 February 2024



Target- Papatowai


I who never travel much these days

have been tracking the movements of my antipodal mate

on the other side of the globe, Down-Under as it happens,

and perhaps at this moment walking upside down to me

in a place whose name means “forest meets sea”

and where the thirty or so local inhabitants

and more particularly you, my upside down shadow,

could be enjoying the sun setting over Tahakopa Bay,

for it’s twenty two hundred hours there and still twenty one degrees Celsius,

and according to my intelligence you may have spent the day

checking out Cathedral Caves and McClean Falls

Florence Hill Lookout and maybe even the Lost Gypsy Gallery

and you probably undertook the Shank’s Bush Nature trail

and discovered the middens left by your early Maori ancestors

in the place where the bones of the moa, those flightless birds

now extinct, were once found

while I sit  here in single digit temperatures, in my dressing gown,

munching toast and swigging tea, doing this virtual reconnaissance

through you, my antipodal doppelganger.

Copyright 2024 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Wednesday 14 February 2024

A Poem for Valentine's Day


Bring it on


They say it won’t last.

Him with his webbed feet and shaggy mane.

The heat alone of him will melt me, they say,

erase my quarter, half and full phases,

my gibbous, crescent, waxing and waning moods.


Hang the consequences, I say, holding the apple between us,

me, like Eve, tempting him-

A kiss about to weld us into a near perfect O.

Expulsion from Eden, tree of knowledge, forbidden fruit?

Bring it on, I say, bring it on.



 Copyright 2012 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

 First published 2012 Poets meet Painters Anthology


Based on The Marriage between the Sun and Moon By Fidelma Massey

 To view image click on link