Wednesday 24 August 2016

Feminine Curiosity

Legend is littered with stories of  women punished harshly  for their feminine curiosity; Lot's wife, Pandora, Psyche, Eve. Here is the story of one who got away with it the skin of her neck

The Youngest Daughter

She fell in love with his fine houses,
a deal of silver and gold plate, and over-
-looked his blue-tinged beard and his appetite
for beautiful women.

And when he left she followed
the little back stair-case to the forbidden 
closet where she stood
in clotted blood.

The fallen key she could not clean
with any amount of soap or sand.
The silver sabre dangled
over her head

bowed in prayer. And it took a long
while for the cloud of dust
to spit out arms
to the rescue.

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2016

Tuesday 23 August 2016

No ideas but in things...

"No ideas but in Things." William Carlos Williams
Part of my course is to write a  So Much Depends Upon Poem after the style of Williams!!
Here goes from an earlier short story of mine.

So Much depends Upon A Real Umbrella

So much depends

An umbrella
with a pointed

A long
shaft and twelve

A real
An older

to know.

The bird
From my cupped

Its beak
No longer frozen
in fright

Must have felt it
and took flight

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2016

Saturday 20 August 2016


Am studying the art of the Cinquain.-a variation of the Haiku.
It has 5 lines of 22 syllables:2,4,6,8,2.

I rejigged this piece already written as Haiku into the cinquain form.
Look at the drawing which inspired it by using the link above
and hopefully the poem will make sense!

Boxman 2

on splayed hands, his
stripped bone-white foetal-curve
earth bound, heaven bent, knot of bone
and prayer


On a  more familiar theme.

The sound 
of wings hitting
Velux attic window
panes turns out to be the mundane-
the rain.

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2016

Friday 19 August 2016

First Love

It's fun to think of those TV series you used to watch decades ago- the intensity of the feelings!!!
 I was in love with several  of the Old-Time cowboys and wrote a letter to Maverick!!
So the recent sighting of a bow-legged man brought some of it back to me....
Deeply indebted to the Theme Song.

First Love

The swaggering sight of a bow- legged man,
his knees shouldering nonchalance,
embodies for me more loss than gain.

1960 and Bronco Layne tearin’  across
the Texas Plain. Hollywood studio sunset 
behind him, his bowed legs arching the earth.

And for one charged moment I become the gal
who kissed him once, then kissed him twice.
Then spent her days dreamin’ of shoes and rice.

Wednesday 17 August 2016

School Lessons

There is always some sadness in learning.
When we were nine we embarked on a tour
of the Thirty –Two Counties, Sister Joseph's tipped cane
pointing the way. At Belfast Shipyard inauspicious
clouds gathered over the half-built Titanic:
A cross-channel steamer at a high rate of speed
ranging her on her moorings, parting her long fore and aft
springs, causing the wire hawser to fall suddenly on one
of the scows on which several men were working. If only
they’d heeded CP from Harland and Woolf Ltd- they’d have known
she was jinxed. She was ship 401, and by the time the cane had drilled-
home the fate of all of her predecessors our ship was running
out of steam. We took a north-westerly route, navigating
the coastline as far as the Giant’s Causeway, but it was there
that our engine failed. No crank of cylinder across the Border

and into the Free State. We had to settle for the Six Counties.

Monday 15 August 2016

Makeover Poems

Am following a course in poetry online with and this is one of the exercises. 
Apart from the "how to" aspect...  the challenge is to rejig a poem you have already written 
so you may have read an earlier incarnation of this one in a previous post.

How to gut a fish or edit a poem

First you have to lay the subject flat
and cut off head and tail.
No mercy for extraneous indigestible
matter. Make puncture wound at anus, cutting

through paired pelvic fins, slicing
the thin abdominal wall, incising
the ventral surface along the horizontal
until you reach jaw.

Let spill the guts and blood and slime -
A delicate flick of knife at dorsal fin
turn the spine of your knife against
the grain of the scales, and flay

until you shed silver.

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2016

Saturday 13 August 2016


Can You Get There without a Smart Phone?

Yes, if you measure distance in roods and furlongs anyway
and don’t need to know where you are going
exactly or how many milliseconds it will take you
to get there, and if you are content to sojourn up
and down boreens and by- roads and have to double
back again, discovering vistas not tagged or flagged
on your Memo, if you can allow yourself
to get lost from time to time, if you have
all the time in the world.

It helps if you are stoical.
It helps if you are patient.
It helps if you have a Samsung SGH T199
and no Sat Nav

and no other choice.

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2016

Tuesday 9 August 2016

How To Crack a Crab or Edit a Poem

How to Crack a Crab or Edit a Poem

Immerse in hot water.
Boil, steam or braise until pink.
Remove unwanted parts by snap-

ping. Pry open apron and lose
it. Twist off the shell and extract
the core, the heart, the body meat.

Avoid the mallet and discard
the shell, the tendons, the juices
the extraneous bits. And there

you have it, finger-picked clean,
a cracked-crab or poem
on the very same theme.

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2016

Monday 8 August 2016

The Followers

We spread like a stain,
following a rumour, compelled
by a wound of our own making
and yours. Your forefathers,
like us, crested the waves,
following the Northern Star
in quest of a new beginning.

You met them with the same
curses and barbed wire fences,
bureaucracy and necromancy.
But they persisted, their stain
seeping into you, making you
who you are. Like them,
our course is set, our maps charted.

Whatever the weather,
we are making for the High Seas.

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2016

Sunday 7 August 2016


My friend measures her steps-
Units per Minute-Speed per Kilometre
Her morning amble punctuated
by App-Speak-Ratings. Oblivious
to all but Rate-Ratio.

Another one rambles, declines
inclines, prefers snail-speed
and lumber. Ear cocked
to the wind, extending his wing
-span to embrace virtual flight.

I follow my dog, sniffing
at every tree trunk, meandering
through meadow-sweet, rolling
in suspect matter from time to time.
Tail up, snout down, lolling it.

Which type of walker are you?

Saturday 6 August 2016

The Cleaners

We do not send promotional literature
usually. Usually we turn up at any kerb
unsolicited. We have no licence
to operate in your area.
Unpermitted we rummage, haul away all
that is salvageable. You do not
always see us. You do not always
want to. When we are done rearranging
your excess you are secretly
pleased. Sometimes you see us and pretend
not to. We thrive on dung hills and skip piles
ignore EU regulations and local County Council bye-
laws. You could be deemed complicit
in our offence, your offence
too. Unprosecuted, uncontrolled, untraceable
we will return at any time to any kerb

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2016

Friday 5 August 2016

Virtual virus

Have witnessed the development of an alarming phenomenon since my last post. 
Am sure you have experienced it too....
Perhaps you are even one of..... them!!

Virtual Crusaders

Geotagged, the park has become
a portal. It has morphed over-
night into jousting arena
replete with mobile-device- mounted
knights and virtual monsters.

Public space, private space, any space
co-opted, besieged, overlaid,
laid claim to by free gaming app crusaders.
Could myspace or urs be the next

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2016