Friday, 5 October 2018


Attended a lecture on Paul Gauguin at the National Gallery; From Britanny to Tahiti.
Exhibition on Roderic O'Conor and the Modernists runs until end of October.

From There to Here

This revisioning of Gauguin
is not kind
But he still holds
Centre stage
Not for his artist
Or his South Sea canvases
Or his salmon journey
to Peru
His pointed ears
Elongated chin
Wide cheek bones
Not for his derision
of civilisation
Or his Yellow Christ
Or his Noa Noa

But for his mimicry
His stagecraft
His Bill Cody hair
His Chinese takeaways
His ham acting-
That woodcutting incident-
His escape from Modernity
and deference to it
His self aggrandisement
Self advertisement
His deconstructed
of himself

He could have run
for President here.

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2018

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Falling Leaves Time

Falling Leaves Time

Disillusionment is a thickness
in the air
and in the throat
a closing up like a clam shell
a hedgehog turning in for winter
a self reflective bubble
feet touching mouth in a perfect O.

All myths and legends have their Tartarus
their underworld journey
through darkness to rebirth 
and regeneration.
Red Indians call it 
Falling Leaves Time.

In Newgrange we squatted in darkness 
and waited for a shaft of light
that would herald the promise 
of a new dawn.

So for now I will hold my feet
in my mouth and wait
for the coming of Solstice...

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2016

Wednesday, 3 October 2018


The Autumn Salon

Today the tree is flush
with bronze and ochre highlights 
and ringlets of clustered red berries
Its roots are still green
And its need for a new tint and colour apparent

And though I will daily sweep 
and gather its shorn clippings
for reconstruction as mulch
or fertiliser or compost extensions

Sometime between now and Winter’s end
I will stop noticing
And the sight of its shaven pate in January
will startle me, and beg the question:
When did that happen?

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2018

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Poetry Competition

Poetry prompts.
Here's a competition for you.
Make a poem out of the following five words:


Tuesday, 25 September 2018

For Better or Worse

Times Past

What did we used to do
when we ran out of petrol
or the car broke down
or we were delayed on the way
to or fro?
Or when we wanted to know where you were
and when you'd be back
and whether you were you safe
or sorry
or both?
When we wanted to say hello
but not actually chat?
Make a date, or a booking,
and cancel both?

We probably walked more and talked less
Thought more or less
Had more  time and space on our hands
Did something or nothing with it
It's probably neither better nor worse
Now than it was then
Though it seems to be

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2018

Thursday, 20 September 2018


Inspired by reading Afric McGlinchey's  The Lucky Star of Hidden things

We've all had a few of these.......

He Was

A Rhett Butler
with prehensile tail

A 2/1 favourite
on a bad day

A pomegranate
chemically pumped

A starlit night
in a fog


The Alhambra
in the rain

imbibed for root bark

A Bluebeard
in sheep's clothing

He was
A mistake

Friday, 14 September 2018


I'm not usually this serious...especially on a Friday...but here goes...

"The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind,happiness is better." George Orwell

Return to Sender

Boomerangs, Brent Geese, Letters
Library books- used to be stamped-now bar coded,
Salmon, Password protected stuff-in theory,
Passports-to Department of Foreign Affairs- in theory,
Seasons, Bottles-used to be bottle caps,
Stale bread, Past sell- by- date produce,
In general, in theory.

Finds are no longer finds
These items belong to somebody
And can, with effort, be returned.
Cats once wandered, still do
But can’t stray, not really.

Mine has strayed three times
And been returned
Like the recalcitrant prisoner
Who dug the tunnel, only to find
The Microchip on the other side.

Not that he ain’t happy here!
But he just likes to chase a leaf or butterfly
Now and again
Or a bee on his buzz-crawl
Of the local brew

And finds himself beyond
What he knows.
It’s safer to be tagged, I hear you say,
And that’s true.
But what about you?

Never mind the CCTV,
DNA and the Social Identity Card,
Your smart phone, your car reg plate
Your flat screen, your lap top
All monitor your every move-thought.

1984 is here
Big Brother is watching
And  Where's Winston? Never mind Wally!
Doublethink? Double speak? Newspeak?

Sound familiar?

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2018