Monday 29 May 2023

The Burn

The talk in the park today

is all about girth and cup size

prompted by my visit to a fitter

followed by a trip for an extender.

No, not hair or house ones-

rather those one by two inch 

strap additions that once in place

allow for breathing.

The three elders mock my lust

for corset and contour

my concern for cleavage and lift

and have given up on the bra a long time ago-

And given that they have over 

two centuries of time between them

I should perhaps defer to their judgement.

Copyright 2023 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Friday 12 May 2023

Global Bird Watch Day May 13th

Tomorrow is Global Bird Watch Day so get out the binoculars.... 

See link below for details.

And on the subject of birds...I came across a lovely book- Ireland's Garden Birds. A Guide To Attracting And Identifying  Garden Oran O'Sullivan and Jim Wilson

It's a very comprehensive little book, small enough to pop in your bag if you head off bird watching. It covers a range of interesting topics; gardening for birds and wildlife, garden habitats, feeding and caring for birds,watching and recording your observations. I went straight to the business of trying to identify the birds feeding in the garden using the quick reference guide which is very thorough and beautifully illustrated. A wealth of information in two pages per bird...

We all love the bird song in the morning but I was amazed at identifying so far, in the space of a week, 23 different species....the dunnock, the mistle thrush,the collared dove...all news to me.Where have I been...And the guide book gives you intriguing backstory to the birds...The wren's name in latin means cave dweller and the mistle thrush takes its name from its defence of large areas of mistletoe..Gems

After browsing in the book I had to download a bird sound identifier app Merlin ID and as my poem yesterday indicates I've been lurking around bushes ever since...The family are beginning to show concern ....Sherlock has been warned...paws off all fledglings, will have to keep a watchful eye on him.

The book is available from good book shops, Easons, Dubray or straight from the author at

Bird food, feeders and nest boxes also available from Irish Garden Birds.

Thursday 11 May 2023

All Ears


I don't know much about music

but there's an ensemble of choristers out there

if you're prepared to skulk and snoop around bushes

under trees, along hedgerows-

face tipped to the sky you might even see them.

At any rate you will hear a wide range of pitch

from bass to soprano, tenor to alto

 and see, at least sometimes, in glimpses, flashes or flutters

our winged friends wearing a kaleidoscope of cassocks 

singing to different beats but managing harmony-

Pips and caps and finches

tweeting and chirping to the lower tones 

of wood pigeon and rook

and someone heard a cuckoo

though I'd take that with a pinch of salt.

My own app detected curlew a few nights ago

the bird marsh wader, half way down our suburban road,

its haunting cry a backdrop to more cheerful warblings.

But apps do err and if it's here 

that bird is far off track

and though I stand on the side of caution

I'm keeping my hopes up and my ear to the air.

Curlews- some facts

Copyright 2023 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Tuesday 9 May 2023

Wake Watch

This is just an exercise in attentive listening....

The hum of stillness

sizzling in my ears

dog breathing like a bellows

opening and closing

car engine expands and recedes

I follow it to a pinpoint

I scratch my head 

to the rhythm of pendulum

neck crackles

like eggshell splitting

in the far kitchen a rustling

of dog or rook or fox

crockery clanks

at the swoop of winged alarmum

and your raucous cough from the bed

clearing the air

Copyright 2023 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Wednesday 3 May 2023


 Call it a compulsion if you like

but nearly every time I send an audio message

I replay it.

Just to hear how I sound.

A vanity project? Paranoia?

Me pretending to be Ann or Susan or Joe

listening to the message from me for the first time

trying to catch a hint of whatever in my own voice, 

age, ennui, incipient ill health,hysteria,

anxiety, approval, disapproval

or even outright outrage

Thinking that perhaps a text message

may have sufficed

lacking as it does the three dimension

not giving away a damn thing 

as in tone, tenor or mood- 

Just facts, facts,facts 

and an emoji or two thrown in-

though they may provide clues 

leading to detection

and maybe even prosecution

and should be handled with protective gloves

and circumspection.

But by then it's too late.

The evidence is recorded,

and while I may still delete,

Ann or Susan or Joe

will ask the inevitable questions

the why,what and wherefore of the case?

So therefore I resolve in the future 

to pause my finger on the audio button

conduct an emotional exposure risk analysis 

weigh up the pros and cons

and consider the consequences

before I hit send.

Copyright 2023 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved