Monday 19 December 2022

It's that time of year....A Christmas Poem...


In the East a flush of rising sun 

Sets roof and tree top ablaze

While further West a crescent moon 

Surveys the frosted grass and woodland trail


And indoors I put up your card again

The same one for the fifth year in a row

The Christmas tree with bells and doves and all the usual suspects 

Set against (how did that happen) a backdrop of cable knit?


The type of pattern I’d use to knit a jumper

The type of stitch our mother taught us, a lifetime ago

 Twisting and turning and slipping across and behind and in front of

Strand of yarn over strand to make a cable, to make a story


It was the last Christmas card you sent, passing on as you did

The following Spring, out of the blue as they say.

 So I keep all the cards now from festive to festive season

 Especially the limping reindeers, the Santas with murmuring hearts

Just in case......

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Wednesday 9 November 2022


Standing at the edge of Howth Pier

where the ocean swallows the eye

looking at someone's 

... Life is...

admiring their restraint

and thinking about the Anguilla anguilla

that migrates in mass shoals

about this time of the year

to spawn, lay eggs and die

in the Saragossa Sea

But I'm telling the story backwards

though it is a cyclical one

for  after the Caribbean spawn

and with the help of the Gulf Stream

the baby eels shapeshift 

from leaf-form to snake

from translucent glass to yellow

to European estuaries

and fresh water lakes

before silvering their way back 

in the fullness of time

to Saragossa 

and full circle

and closure 

to the question

of what

...Life is...

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Sunday 30 October 2022

The Txapela

Today I awake to sunlight
filtering through an attic window
from a Basque sky
and don a summer dress
though it is late Autumn
and cross a cobbled street
to a cafe bar
where I order black tea
and cross  my fingers
that it will not be Earl Grey
and will come with milk aparte 
and hopefully cold
and that the mermelada will
be derived from oranges
and that the man wearing 
the black beret
its rim pulled forward
finger thinned to a peak
a txapela in Basque
pronounced chapela
will grace this terrace
with gravitas
to sip his cafe solo
and to remind me 
of the sanctity
of old ways
and send me scuttling
to retrieve my few
focal as Gaelic
before those "thirty-one 
words for seaweed
whiten on the foreshore"

Copyright 2022 Cathy leonard All rights reserved
See Aidan Mathews poem The Death Of Irish

Thursday 20 October 2022



Sometimes a poem just arrives

A path of light strung across a room

by the low lying sun

leaves stirring its verges,

you beyond punching holes in  paper

slamming filing cabinet drawers,

me motionless listening

to a gale shuddering

the front door,

spinning the candy floss

summer striped 

pot plant windmill,

upending the dog bowl

the patio chairs,

sending alarm bells ringing

cat skidding

back indoors,

declaring the advent

of Autumn

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Wednesday 19 October 2022

Why not the real deal?

 As I ricochet off the antique white

walls of this room 

noting yesterday's crossword puzzle

completed with the help of google search

Schmalz-excessive sentimentality

and surely a German word anyway

my eye falls upon the open-

mouthed white ceramic bird

forever caught in full throated ease,

as Keats would have it,

bought in a charity shop 

to set on a mantel

while outside my window

the real deal warble

their matins and vespers 

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Thursday 13 October 2022

Freeze Thought


I almost missed the sky this morning

clouds the palette of salmon skin

or the inside of a tongue

the moon receding on the wane

my head in yesterday

and what I should have said

and could have done

and didn't

'til thankfully the dog barked

her snout pointing skyward

dispelling thought

freezing the shutter

panning the eye


Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Tuesday 11 October 2022

Sweet Sixteen


A blue cardboard Vanguard 

its paper-thin veneer already 

peeling, expanded accordion style

to hold her summer au-pair wardrobe.

At Charles de Gaulle she's wearing

a cherry-red two piece/frock/jacket affair 

from Alexander's drapery shop at the bottom of The Square.

You'd spot her coming a mile off.

But French teens don't wear suits

she finds. It's all ponchos 

and bell bottoms 

and nonchalance.

The cherry is boxed in accordeon blue

and she acquires the local intonation

even the neckerchief 

tied a la Bardot

but doesn't quite manage

the Gallic shrug, the insouciance,

the Je ne sais quoi...


Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Sunday 9 October 2022

Making Waves and Cocktails

 Out shopping I came across a giant, well 200gm , ball of HayField Rich Colour chunky in a bargain basket. Couldn't resist that.

But the pattern I wanted to try..the Wave Scarf...involves making holes, as well as waves.
Here it is in process. I don't know how long this scarf will take to make.
The pattern says, knit 3 balls-That's 150gm long! Seems like a lot to me.
And I  have a learnt distaste for dropping stitches and making holes deliberately.....
Need to get less uptight maybe...
For pattern details see pic below.

Meanwhile here's a poem about another type of frustration
It helps to know your cocktail terms for this one....

Happy Hour

You preferred a Rusty Nail to a Screwdriver in a Saint Louis Highball Glass
But your special favourite was a Corkscrew in a Double Old- Fashioned.

Shake well and strain into pre-chilled Double, then add a slice of lime.
When you left I didn’t need ice to chill it.

And every Friday night I mix, shake and stir
A jigger of frogs’ legs, thorns of birr

A pony of beetle-juice, dragon-scale light,
A twist of spittle and a dash of spite

Top with a Catherine wheel,
Add a wedge of venom peel

And there you have it
A Screw-U  

Inspired by a painting by Ian Humphreys for the Poets Meet Painters Competition.
There is currently an exhibition of Ian's work in the Buttermarket Kenmare

Tuesday 4 October 2022

Poetry and meditation

I came across an interesting essay on the relationship between meditation and poetry. See below

Someone once gave me a bag of runes and I used them as a meditation tool. Each rune came with a description or a piece of advice and from this I wrote a poem on each. Here are a few. For details about the origins of runes follow the link below.

Blank Odin


Strung up by his heels Odin hung

for nine nights from Yggdrasil

self-drained from Self until he saw

the word reflected in the water.


Now is the time to leave behind

to pass through

to come to

a new beginning

that is also an end

to what you already know.




Repair your saddle

and tie up the horse.

There'll be no ride today.

For the horse is lame

And there's mist on the moor

And no knowing where you're going.


It's time to muck out and clean tack

the bridle,bit and saddle

And think about why

the horse is lame

and you are held back

EHWAZ- Protection


You feel all and think nothing

You can't act now

For the mirror is blurred

And you're breathing too fast

And your head's in a spin.


It's time to lie low

It's time to listen

For the warning rustle of sedge grass

Or become like elk with curved horn -

For both keep open the space around you.


Wunjo- Joy


You have shifted on your own axis

and aligned yourself with yourself.

The deluge that was damned up

can now flow

Generous in the knowledge of its own stillness.

Blow out the candles

and cut the cake.

The time is now

and you are ready.




Draw from the well and drink now

For the desert is far and the journey long

And you are on the brink

of a new beginning.


Unlikely sources point the way

Shakespeare's fools, idiots, madmen

who jabber and jest

Signs for you to unscramble.


But be careful

or you will miss the moment

Dismiss it as irrelevent.

When all the time

It is timely and sacred.

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Monday 3 October 2022

Round Up-Old School


The scrape of metal on stone

The wrist swivelling, considering composition 

and shadowing, lowering the field,

poised to deliver the right thrust.

I could be a Florentine Renaissance sculptor

engaged in bas-relief.

But I'm just me on the driveway

on my knees, weeding out incipient growth

with a steak knife.

And instead of using cornmeal

or vinegar, or scalding water,

I persist with this seasonal ritual-

prostrate, dust to dust,

in deference to, begging for 

a clean slate...

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Sunday 2 October 2022

Poems on 9/11


I came across Andrea Carter Brown's poetry through the site and her poem On reading Allen Ginsberg's Homework. Angela lived near the Twin Towers on September 11th and writes of the aftermath.

Thursday 29 September 2022

Puppy Love


My daughter has just sent me my daily fare

of Puppy Love via

Puppy meets Butterfly, the title.

It could have been Puppy meets pig or rabbit or snake,

dogs aren't particular that way,

but it's a red admiral this time

and the golden retriever puppy (what else!)

is eroding the red admiral's membranes,

licking the scales off them no doubt,

to the tune of Edward Sharpe 

and the Magnetic Zeros  singing  Home,

 a song about love in the park in the dark 

and moats and boats,which at least rhymes, at times...

But I reckon there's a shot just beyond the frame

of Puppy meets Butterfly

where said puppy is erasing thousands of overlapping scales,

or at least wrecking enough damage to inspire 

a new lyric for the Magnetic Zeros,

something about flying with torn wings perhaps?

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Monday 26 September 2022

Keeper's Cottage

 I can breathe deep in your house.

Perhaps it's all the windows

mostly sash looking out

on tall buttermilk Pampas grasses

and further back and higher up

on the moss emerald canvas of Dereen Gardens

Or maybe it's the windows within

on the wall over the kitchen sink

an artist's impression of a sash window

a tangle of branch and leaf

scoring the outer panes

Clodagh's Still Life 11

Or perhaps it's the window of your imagination

boundless in its inclusion

infusing everything in Keeper's Cottage

with the promise of possibility

Monday 19 September 2022





In the morning I ate peanut-buttered toast

and worked on a poem

called Bad Night’s Sleep


In the afternoon I washed the bird droppings

from the car and vowed never

to park it under that tree again


In the evening I watched Peatai

the Irish language programme

about pets and vets


And marvelled that I still remembered

the cúpla focail as Gaeilge

and vowed to take it up again


But at the moment I’m struggling with Deutsch

 that inflected language and its shifting goalposts

when it comes to articles and adjectives


Determined by Gender and Number and Case

unlike the Romance languages like French & Co

which call a halt after the first two categories


That nominative, vocative, accusative et al saga

that may ring a school bell

if you happened to study Latin


And I’m just hoping that Gaeilge

if I ever do take it up again

has Romantic Case roots…

Copyrigth 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Thursday 15 September 2022



In the realm of the Dancing Queen

Sweet Caroline and Don't go Breaking My Heart

we lurch from side to side and sometimes backwards

None of us in sync

Endeavouring to simulate the graceful lunges

of our coach's choreographed benders.

Easy for him on Terra Firma, I might add,

while we, all thirty five of us or so,

and mostly women, have to contend 

with the watery element of the Blue Pool.

Foot slip, side dip, face splash, forward crash-

none of these moves intended-

and where figuratively and collectively

wave upon aquafit wave

Another one Bites the Dust.

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Pic above is from the Liffey Swim 2019. The 2022 event will take place on Saturday week 24th September.

Wednesday 14 September 2022

In Search of a Theme


In search of a theme 

I read a poem about theme searching

And draw a blank 

as that poet did

Who ranged through various

potential topics:

Spurred affection-

a favourite of mine on a good day

The ruthless and relentless

passage of time

Done by every poet 

from Keats to Collins

The beauty of the ephemeral

be it rose or butterfly

The rise and fall of the Greats

evoking yet again the eternal countdown

So like him I lay down my pen

and listen to the sound of the clock ticking

And get on my knees and pray

for just one more day...

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Tuesday 13 September 2022



In case you're still in bed reader

I just want to describe

Give you something to dream on...

The Boston Ivy tendrilling the window is shimmering with dew

Stratocumulus clouds drift nonchalantly by

Bee-yellow Black- Eyed- Susans are opening their petals to the morning sky

The fluty baritone of the blackbird and the wood pigeon's lowing

are sounding a growing chorus of bird song

And in the west a waxing gibbous moon is still setting

mirrored reflection of the newly risen sun...

So enjoy your lie-in, reader, and dream on.

I know I would if I didn't have to walk the dog...

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Monday 12 September 2022



There is the silence of the darkness

of the house before dawn

The silence of the waiting room

before your name is called

The silence in your breath spaces 


The silence of your expectations

of your longing and desire

The silence of the park just after the rain

The silence of the distant horizon

There is the silence of the sun rising and the sun setting

Of the woods before the advent of birdsong

That will break the silence that has been gathering 

all though the night long...

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Saturday 10 September 2022

On Reading Billy Collins

On reading a poem by Billy Collins

who infuses the everyday

with a dash of magic realism

I contemplate my sticky notes on the wall-

Numeros 1-100 in Spanish,

though I am now embarked on a Deutsche word trail,

And along side them and billowing sideways 

a copy of one of Billy's poems entitled

On Not Finding You at Home

And I'm thinking

I'd never think to write a poem about that-

filling absence with substance 

more potent than presence

But I conjure you up now

a yo-yo strung out and spinning

somewhere in the Irish Sea 

or up the Boyne river,

my finger in the slip knot 

working the axle

spooling the string

that will reel you back home.

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

For some interesting facts about yo-yos see link below

Friday 9 September 2022

The Next Door Neighbour


I live next door to a writer of Crime fiction and last night she launched her third novel Buried Identity in her Cathy Spragg Series

It's set in the Midlands of idyllic Ireland and you'd be surprised at the goings on there!

 But DI Spragg is always on hand to keep things in order....

The book is available from the author but you may be advised to buy her two previous novels if you want the backstory to the main protagonist.

At 35 euro for all's a steal...

And a poem I wrote about living next door to a writer...

The next door neighbour


You would wonder what goes on in there.

For it’s all hush hush

A bit like NASA I suppose

Like she’s about to launch a rival rocket to Artemis.

But you’ve run out of milk or eggs or whatever…


She’s still in the gear when you knock the door at midday-

The writer’s launch suit- PJs, wireless mouse in hand, specs on head

with that far gone look in her eyes

like she’s just stepped out of a space shuttle,

except that she’s not quite landed

and is suspended up there somewhere

between you and a crime scene-


And there’s a killer on the loose

and the plot is unravelling

and whatever hold she had on it

before you interrupted

is about to slip the cursor.


So for x sake

would you ever buy enough eggs

to see you through the week

and stop delaying the launch….

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Wednesday 7 September 2022

Board Games


This poem was inspired by a very colourful runner boot, titled I like Boring Things, painted by Mira and exhibited at the Millcove Gallery, Kenmare.

The irony of the painting's title led to ....

Board Games


I like boring things like Scrabble

using my boot-print to colonise the board

dispensing counters like grenades

Nur -  a hard knot in wood

Gaw- a trench like depression

News even to me

and to my opponent

who suffers a ten point deduction

for his false charge.


I like to aspire to Scrabble endgame

a seven point strategy worth fifty bonus points

and certain annihilation of the enemy

if only there was a loose C on the board

if only I had a vowel.


The dash for premium territories

with their bonus score values.

The squabble over permitted weaponry

and strategies and ethics and artillery.

I like boring things like Scrabble…

Published in Poets Meet Painters 2022 as part of the Kenmare Arts Festival

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Wednesday 31 August 2022

Living in the Moment

 It was a lazy July afternoon

all heat and bees buzzing

sipping nectar with their long tongues

from sweet pea and lavender

And all I could do was give myself up to it

pull up a chair and turn my face to the sun,

giver of all life, and absorb that vital Vitamin D

and live for a change in the moment.

But the bees were buzzing a bit too close for equanimity

and I was a bit overdressed for the occasion

and the dog at my feet was panting a bit over zealously

and her water bowl needed refilling

And I was a bit concerned about the UVA and UVB factors

that weren't in the face cream I had applied that morning

and the inevitability of needing cryotherapy

at some indeterminate moment in the future

That I completely missed the chance to live in the moment.

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Thursday 25 August 2022

Negative Capability


Looking at my diary for today's date

I see I did nothing from yesterday's to-do list:

Cancel, or at least defer, imminent Physio appointment

( I was crippled for three days after the last session);

Contact library about that link they sent to my granny phone

incompatible with links of any sort

(It's probably about the Billy Collins' book I ordered

or else my returns are  late again);

and Order copies of same books from the bookshop or Amazon

(I can't keep renewing them....)

Not a long list really

So what did I do yesterday

 apart from avoid it?

I read about Keats and Negative Capability

which he ascribed to Shakespeare 

who was content with:

being in uncertainty, mystery and doubt

without the irritable reaching after fact and reason

And I think, somewhat optimistically, 

that Negative Capability may apply to me too 

except that there might be more a touch 

of Hamlet's indecision and procrastination 

in my daily deferrals.

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Tuesday 2 August 2022

Eternal Love?


At the end of Howth pier just beyond the lighthouse

you reach a set of railings, pillar box red against the grey rocks below

and grey sea beyond, and their names Evan loves Lauren

etched on the granite rock, pox marked with bright yellow lichen

and I think of Evan climbing over that high rail placed strategically there

to prevent him from doing just that, from proclaiming his eternal love in this fashion,

and I wonder if Lauren was impressed with his feat?

Or did she see it as a red flag event?

And did she wait for him to climb back over the rail?

Or did she turn on her heel and walk away?

For I see on the other side of the lighthouse, shore side,

his name again engraved, this time minus love and minus Lauren

and I'm beginning to think of Evan the way I think about my dog

leaving his scent on every pole in town.

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All  rights reserved

Saturday 30 July 2022

Cow Parsley


Oh, you feather headed wild flower

with distinctive inflorescence

pink-tinged white clusters and fern-like leaves

a waving guard of honour along the park trails

I promise that after we turn for home,

the dog and I,

and follow the woodsy path

between ancient beech 

and newly planted oak

and pass the building site

where hoisting and hammering

have already begun

and greet the postwoman

parked at the street corner

in her silent new electric van

and maybe even retrieve some post

and after I have hung up the key

unleashed the dog and 

given her a treat,

a dental chew for her teeth,

and before I turn on the kettle 

for boiled water for a pot of tea,

I'm thinking Bewley's Assam Loose today,

I promise I'll look you up

in my Illustrated Irish Wildflower book

and find out your name.

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Friday 29 July 2022

Inside Out

 I start my day by reading a poem or two.

That's not quite true. Action retake.

I start my day with a cup of tea

then a walk with the dog

then another cup of tea

and maybe a slice of toast or two

and then I read a poem

letting it in

out of my head

into my skin

then upwards 

and outwards 

and into the universe

where petals are opening

to winged pollinator

and over the sound

of clock tick, 

and fridge hum 

the slam of same wing

into glass pane

not hard wired 

like light

or a poem 

to transmit itself 

outside in

and inside out.

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Thursday 28 July 2022

Not so sweet


You gave me this particular variety

of sweet pea, lathyrus latifolius,

the everlasting, as in perennial, pea

which I planted beside the patio door

hoping for confetti showers 

of rose pink petal

the scent of everlasting summer

and the sight of red admirals 

and painted ladies sipping 

from its pealike clusters.

But the darn thing is a climbing vine

sweeping its floral heads

a foot or two above mine

reaching Jack's giant on the rooftop

while I am grounded here on terra firma

these winged stems and tendrils 

nothing like Jack's beanstalk

and smelling not even of pea.

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Wednesday 27 July 2022



On my way back from the park

I notice the new billboard projection 

of our futuristic neighbourhood

on the building site nearby.

Our new neighbours, all women

in eternal summer mode

tanned à laVita Liberata Body Blur Latte perhaps,

sporting sleeveless tops

and shorts or short skirts,

the type of gear you'd get away with 

for a week or so here 

in our ephemeral Irish summer

if you're lucky,

and all wearing shades, or sun glasses

as we'd call them,

and most of them carrying hand bags

even the ones peering from glass fronted balconies

as if they have just arrived

or are about to depart

in permanent transit

in permanent summer.

But there's one shaded damsel 

who particularly alarms me.

You see, if my projections are right,

she is staring straight into my kitchen 

where she can observe me, in the morning,

 slicing Tesco seeded loaf for the toaster

with kitty at my feet clawing at the fridge 

for another sup of milk

and the steaming kettle behind me

blow torching a whole continent 

on the wall, paint peel lakes, rivers, 

contours and coastline

and the morning sun casting a translucent glow

 on the foreheads of my family pics

transforming each and every one of them 

into haloed saints 

and from her penthouse eerie

she can even see my framed postcards

featuring places I've never been to 

like Lucca, the Atacama Desert and San Diego

and underneath the postcards Van Gogh's haystacks,

Wheatfield With Rising Sun to be precise, 

swirling and dancing in the gaps between

( I prefer vicarious travel via postcard)

and unless she has her eyes closed behind those shades

she can see me, forehead frowning, eyes unshaded,

 staring back at her, asking, 

"Why the **** did you pay 

over half a million for this spectacle

when you could have had a sea view

on the other side of the apartment block?"

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved.

Tuesday 26 July 2022

In search of love nuances


I've been dragging the net all morning

to catch the language that can express 

love in all its biodiversity.

In Boro the word to love 

flows wide upon the tongue

Onguboy- to love from the heart

Onsay- to pretend to love

Onsra- to love for the last time

to name but a few varieties.

But it's Boro that now whitens on the foreshore

with the thirty one words in Irish for seaweed*

and googling Onguboy you will be directed 

to OnBuy-UK Online

while Onsay throws up unsay or onset

and it's the monolithic love in English that survives

So what does that tell us about love in modern times?

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

* See Aidan Matthews poem

Monday 25 July 2022

Fox gloves


On the West Coast of Ireland looking at the ocean

I like to place a foxglove in the frame

standing just where I would if I were a lus mór

big flower, scanning the sea for viking longboats

or sightings of Granuaile attacking the English crown

or later sailing ships making their way to Ellis 

spitting out corpses on arrival at that shore

or steamers set for the Americas, some not making it,

and later still yachts and pleasure cruisers

following pods of dolphins, and always fishermen

in all weathers with their nets and lobster pots

and every dusk and dawn the sun spreading its palette

from blush to rose to indigo to fade

and clouds gathering and then breaking

and waves lashing and then receding

standing just where I would 

if I were a fox glove,lus mór,fairy thimble

watching time go by.

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard

Friday 22 July 2022

Who you gonna call?


The scraping that sounded like you

chewing nuggets from the dog bowl,

you have form in this practice,

later diagnosed as a scratching

behind the cistern.

Google search to state of alarmum

and image of giant rat

in the toilet bowl

big enough to lift the lid

and pad about the bathroom

in search of food.

Who you gonna call?

not available for two days...

Luckily the gouging ceased or deceased

but flooding near the stop cock

and image of same Mr Rat 

padding along our water supply line

gnawing with his needle teeth

through three layers of galvanized steel

and/or polyvinyl chloride aka PVC

prompted  the question

Why do we keep a cat anyway?

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Thursday 21 July 2022

Google Search Recall


I recall someone admitting

that all she remembered 

after reading Ulysses

was the bar of lemon soap

that Leopold bought in Sweny's.

I think we even made a pilgrimage

to the corner apothecary on Lincoln Place

where Joycean memorabilia

is on exhibit and on sale

and bought said soap and a pair of vintage gloves

that probably never donned the hands

of either Molly Bloom or Nora Barnacle.

But all of this is by the way

to confess

that after pursuing an engine search on Munich

prior to a visit there

 all I remembered was the brown bear of Freising

where my cursor stalled by happy chance

after visiting MarienPlatz Munich City Centre

waylaid, like Saint Corbinian himself

while crossing the Alps on his way to Rome

to visit the Pope,

by the same brown bear

which has now reproduced 

and replicated itself all over

the medieval town

in the guise of butcher

baker, candlestick maker et al

reaching even into a google search on Munich

emboldened by its celebrity status 

to command a google congregation 

obliterating all  lore and lowdown on Munich

and bid answer to the question:

What's with all the bears?

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Bear Statues of Freisling

Tuesday 19 July 2022

Brain Groove


Ever since I heard it

at the freezer counter in the supermarket

the song has been revolving 

around my head.

I made the mistake of entertaining it

for a minute or two

trying to recall the year

the love interest in my life at the time

the unrequited lust that ensued

the aptness of the song title to my condition.

But I didn't intend it to take root in my brain

and belt out its melancholy for the rest of the day,

a needle embedded in a vinyl gyre

the dog circumnavigating her hidden bone

the cat chasing its tail

the whirling microwave plate with a glitch.

I introduced other lyrics to supplant it

equally vintage but more upbeat

but even my evening diptera watch

winged creatures skimming over lavender

like hovercrafts in some futuristic setting

like Blade Runner

was sound tracked by yer man 

in the cap and braces

singing Alone Again Naturally.

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Monday 18 July 2022

The other F word


Sitting in a swivel chair

looking every bit the writer

pocket notebook out

scribbling with intent

about neon blue pillars

and neon orange cubicles

and the neon lacquered nails

of one of the employees

who pads across the lobby 

like the rest of the staff 

suitless,tieless and generally unavailable

My toes dancing to the piped hip hop-

Wanna Talk Finance-

because they could in a swivel chair-

and overlooking the one kiosk in operation

a poster of yer man, 

who knows fifty ways to kill the Mammy

suggesting a chat 

to discuss my financial well being

When did banks get to swivel like this?

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Sunday 17 July 2022

Blog Followers


A stranger by chance looking for a recipe

or a knitting pattern or both?

A friend of a friend of a friend

instructed to follow?

A family member looking for, or dreading,

a mention of themselves?

A google search that has misread the input?

A browse gone beyond the brief?

You, trigger happy

waiting for a friend, a date, a meeting,

in transit,long haul, short haul, or stop-over?

Compulsive clicker,  internet-interloper?

And me checking my daily stats

wondering where in the world you are, 

analysing the turquoise shades

on the blog-spot globe

the views, the absolute numbers,

the top referring URLS,

asking myself

why Wyoming- one hundred hits?

Who do I know there?

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Friday 15 July 2022

Never lend a book with an inscription

 "Here's to Rilke, Kate, hot whiskey and O'Donovan's"

It may have been Siddhartha or The Road Less Travelled

something esoteric anyway

and Kate gave it to you on or after an esoteric night out

and you gave it to me years later

you probably forgot Kate's inscription

but I couldn't get past it

and revolved around the intense constellation

of you , Kate and Rilke

and even though it was before my time

that O'Donovan rendezvous

sharing her heart-speak like that

showed a certain carelessness

that I knew I could be doing without.

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Thursday 14 July 2022

Status Alert


It was circa 1988

"Are you Miss, Mrs or Ms?"

demands man-uniform

in Manchester departure lounge.

I play baffled.

"On your boarding form, Madam."

It was 1988.

Would my marital status


Threaten airport security?

Create high risk environment?

Prevent airplane take-off?

Influence luggage capacity?

I ask him.

You have three choices.

He bowls them out.

Miss, Mrs or Ms?

"Did you ask male passengers

the same question?"

Batting a defensive shot

"Three choices...etc..etc..etc" 

He is a steady pitcher.

I bat it to the men-suits 

in the departure lounge

playing a flick shot

causing a ripper.

So he counters

with a right arm leg spin bowler

"Is she your wife?"

My companion

dropping the bat

gives robotic response-


It was almost a marriage breaker

This was 1988.

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Why are we still asked that question ???

Why were we ever asked that question???

Wednesday 13 July 2022

A snick-cricket term-to deflect ball with bat-


Not all relationships are like this...but some are...

Military Manoeuvres

Dawn reconnaissance 

heading in  different directions.

Regroup at noon for a brief debrief.

Skirmishes in between

while marshalling the day.

Long screeds of grievances 

served with evening rations.

The odd snick with a bat

performed discreetly

hoping to get away with it...

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Tuesday 12 July 2022

Pram Jam

Today by chance

I read about the Pram Jam singers

for mums and minders

no experience required

to jam, not about nappies

or nappy pins

or state of the Health Service

or children's allowance

or back to school allowance

or inflation

or early budgets-

that will still come too late 

for back to school.

A tenner a pram.

And today also by chance

on our daily dog walk

the brigade saw a woman 

pushing a buggy,

not a pram,

(who pushes a Silvercross

anyway anymore?)

And in the buggy

wrapped in pink woollies

not a baby

but a dog.

It's the latest trend, 

someone said

In Spain that is-

where someone saw three

in a buggy

in a bodega

greeted by the patron

like regular clientele.

The brigade were aghast

even though

it has to be said

we have our dog treats,

dog toys, blankets,coats,

beds, seat belts, and lately-

puppy cappuccinos.

And besides

that dog would be a howl

at the Pram Jam.

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Monday 11 July 2022

The Unit

 I might write a poem today

about how I just consumed a chocolate croissant

two thousand calories at least.

Or my exhaustion 

that could be post-covid

if I had caught covid.

Or the mental institution I used to visit

when my friend decided 

she needed electric shock treatment.

And the patient there who invited me to her wedding,

adding, "The queen's coming too," 

a gash of lipstick where her mouth should be.

And the patient tied to her wheelchair

for tearing up paper and throwing it at staff.

"You'd as soon tie down the wind as her," my friend's view on it.

And my friend telling me as she gazed through the window

that she could see chickens all walking in a line

or playing hopscotch or walking on each other's shoulders.

"I didn't know they had shoulders," her comment on it.

And the bag packed beside her bed ready for discharge.

"They're letting me out. It was the last treatment that did it."

"And what about the chickens?"

"What chickens?"

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved