Friday 8 December 2023

Eulogy for a cast-off


It was a shock to see it there

my old pal hanging

on a for sale rack in the charity shop

fingered and flicked by any passer- by.


I thought of cattle marts

and felt a pang of guilt

given that I was the one

who ultimately put it there


Relegating it to the  has-been pile:

a large plastic Homestore and More bag

you know the type

you probably have one


But that was months ago

and I hadn’t expected to see it again…

There must be a backlog of applicants,

like the one for driver permits,


Necessitating long waits in limbo

before reaching the processing stage.

The dress had been given a good makeover

I’ll say that for the women who managed its transition-


For there it was like a magician conjuring up

mis-spent summers, flouncing and flirting along sandy

shores and barbeque soirées

its burgundy folds kissing youthful limbs


And therein lies the rub and to misquote Houseman,

For of my threescore years and ten

Sixty- nine will never come again.

I was doing the dress a favour- really-


But still I felt the pang of guilt

remorse, regret, even grief

so much so 

that I went and bought it back....

Copyright 2023 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved.

Sunday 3 December 2023

Poetic Debut


There’s a kind of poetry that’s making

its debut these days. One that doesn’t necessarily

hold figurative language or extended metaphors

in its repertoire, that leaves words like

translucence out of it, that eschews stanzas

and the old poetic double act, 

alliteration and onomatopoeia,

and it’s title will be universal enough-

like Seeing my dead mother in Tescos

or The boy who nearly won the  Texaco Art competition.

Needless to say rhyme will probably not perform either

though it may sneak its way into the show by means

of, dare I say, backstage manoeuvres like internal resonance,

and hopefully there will be an overall theme which 

though it ambles from line to line

will culminate in a climax and evoke  

just one ah moment of epiphany

before resolving into a neat

or not so neat denouement

which you, and perhaps even the poet,

may not have foreseen…


Copyright  2023 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved 

Saturday 2 December 2023

December 2023-Morning Walk


The sky looks unwilling 
to give up the night

though the Tits, Great and  Blue, the Robin 

and the Blackbird too, have taken to carolling. 

It's the Song Thrush however that out sings the rest

like Hardy's Darkling, frail,gaunt and small 

tweeting in the century.

Here Christmas lights are glowing on a lone standing yew

and I think of Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All Men anew,

a long shot if I were a punter these days.

But Santa’s post box is waiting to make wishes and dreams come true

and there’s the sudden bike skid of a kid on route to school

with a letter in his hand bent for some far off land.


I hope he gets his wish and maybe our wishes too The sound of song thrush

Hardy's poem was published on 29th December 1900. Originally titled The Century's Deathbed.

Copyright 2023 Cathy Leonard All Rights reserved