Friday 26 January 2024

Trying to Stay Present


Staying present is a damn tricky business-

Take for example cracking an egg,

the unwanted rush of anticipatory challenge,

like how to manoeuvre albumen that drips 

and clings.

The sound of same egg cracking 

propels our kitty, who was basking in the moment,

 into a paroxysm of drool-

ejects him straight out of  zen mode 

and into the kitchen.

Or take Kitty again, 

this time pawing the plasma screen

during Living the Wildlife, 

in an attempt to traverse that liminal space

between TV table and the wild-

while you, attempting to capture the moment,

reach for the camera icon on your phone-

but before that's done the moment's gone

and all you get is a tail 

disappearing behind a tweet.

Copyright 2023 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Saturday 13 January 2024

The Kill

He would have had his head tilted 

listening for earthworms.

He wouldn't have noticed 

a shadow hugging the ground

or heard the short wings 

swooping the air 

propelling the raptor forward 

its long tail fanned out 

to break speed.

The last thing the blackbird saw

was the yellow eyed sparrow hawk

fixing it in a deadly stare 

before claws descending 

left feathers shorn

blacken the air.

What we saw 

looking out our kitchen window

was a hooked beak delve 

into bird skull 

and strong yellow legs pin

their prey to the ground.

It was too late to save the songster 

and probably unwise.

Copyright 2023 Cathy Leonard 

Wednesday 3 January 2024

On reading Yeats

 If this waning gibbous moon has a bird's eye view

it must be perplexed as to why we build 

only to destroy, that we learn nothing

from his story or hers, that we take pleasure

in inflicting pain, that we lack 

the imagination to imagine 

what it must be like 

just a few lines of longitude away 

watching death strike from the sky, 

that from generation to generation

the same evil rises to the surface 

that Yeats' rough beast still slouches 

towards Bethlehem to be born.

What we know is that this moon instead of waxing into full

will soon slide like the cat's tail around the door post

at  dusk and into the darkness,and that the New Moon, 

for all its sound of promise, will be invisible ,at least for a time,

to the naked eye...

Copyright 2023 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved.

In these current times I am reminded of Yeats' The Second Coming. See full text below.

Tuesday 2 January 2024

Christmas in the Red

It's all about robins this year, she says,

the little winged messengers from the other side,

on her wrapping paper, in her cards and red breast effigies 

bedecking every bough of her sitting room

and she's all in red, the only colour that works, she says

and it's terminal, they say, but can't say how long...

how long she has to wear red and chirp on.

(For Maire, R.I.P. April 14th 1950-April 8th 2023)

Copyright 2022 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved  

About Robins

Christmas card by The Art File

Knitting Again- Happy New Year

 With the house full at Christmas, apart from the little tribute to my sister, I've just been knitting socks. I still recommend the West Yorkshire Spinners range of 4 ply sock wool. It comes in beautiful colours and washes well.

I did however come across a pattern book How to Knit Socks: Three Methods Made Easy by Edie Eckman 

and tried 2 ply, a wool and acrylic Stylecraft bought at my local Winnies Wool shop.

There are some beautiful patterns in the book including socks which require cable and grain stitch, all well explained.

I used 3.5mm needles for the Cable knit socks though I was persuaded to buy a circular needle, not yet embarked upon.

I  did like the results.

And have embarked on the Harris Tweed Rib Socks. 

For these Edie recommends Superwash merino wool/nylon blend yarn.

I am having great trouble finding the yarns recommended but I am using Rainbow 4 ply sock wool by Hobbi, a danish supplier and bought online.

So until the house clears out and I get my head back it's going to be knitting...

Also discovered a website Domestika where you can buy online courses for around 10 euro in all sorts of art and craft....and writing....