Friday 31 March 2023

Earthworm Watch Day


I hadn't really assessed the damage

despite the squelch, suck and plop underfoot

until you said,"It must have rained."

But right enough, there they were

escaping environmental disaster

the flooding of their ecosystem

seeking out new mates and new territories

blindly sensing their trail

propelling themselves bellow like

risking fatal trod and overhead predator

Eco warriors on the move

enriching our lives.

Copyright Cathy Leonard 2023 All rights reserved

See videos 

 The Humble Earthworm

Thursday 16 March 2023

Lost words


I wonder what Manchán Magan would call it

The man of Thirty Two Words for Field in Irish

This cupping of the hand

as if to hold an instrument

This daily stooping under trees

beneath a canopy of bird song

This ritual of gathering

enough kindle to light a fire

This dying practice of foraging

up boreen or in city park

This bringing home of just enough

no more, no less

than the width of a palm.


Bos-the word for palm in Irish

also means a slap, or a lick and a promise

The slap of branches

The lick of a flame

The promise of fire

Lán boise- a palmful

I think I’ll settle for that

Copyright Cathy Leonard 2023 All rights reserved

Friday 10 March 2023



I have about an hour to write or not write 

a poem about the day I may or may not 

have encountered you at the Chester Beatty Library.

Encountered is perhaps too strong a word.

Brushed shoulders with, held a door for,

 or vice versa,observed a middle aged man,

possibly making notes with a lead pencil 

in a pocket sized notebook-spiral or hardback

perhaps even moleskine with magnetic close and pen loop

and maybe a bookmark ribbon or two,

as you stood in that dim lit display of Leonardo's Codex Leicester,

touching screen to turn a page,sepia ink on linen, marvelling like me

at his busy margins, as you put it later,

his twenty-six experiments of placing objects in water,

or his sketches of bridges and bubbles and the fall of a drop of water.

You wouldn't have noticed me

for I was on a mission for facts, facts, facts.

But you, poised over the Codex, your head a whirlpool of possibility,

a poet in full flung fantasy, imagining Leonardo-

"his marvellous head resting in his hands,

wondering if water might exist on the moon."*

How could I have missed that?

Quote from Billy Collins poem Dublin in his book Whale Day and other poems

 I wrote an article for Ireland's Own on Codex Leicester-  August ,2007, Vol 5,093

Tuesday 7 March 2023

When it Rains

The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

So says the inscription 

under a canvas titled:

 When it rains-

a rainbow spectrum calendar  image

to represent November,

horizontal sheets of aquamarine

falling on resplendence,

martini- cocktail-like umbrellas 

floating on a shifting pool 

of fluorescence.

And despite the impressionistic style

of the whole composition

there's nothing untidy 

in this choreographed display 

of exuberance 

where I expect to see

 Gene Kelly

any minute now

dashin' and splashin' 

and singin' in the rain.

Longfellow would have loved it.

Copyright 2023 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Longfellow's Paul revere's Ride

Gene Kelly Singin' in the Rain