Thursday 29 February 2024

First Day of Spring

I don't know why I bother to listen to you

day in day out, like Cassandra foretelling disaster,

for you bamboozle me with your talk of

winds falling back, increasing strong to gusty,

heavy showers with risk of flooding

becoming isolated, possible frost

with a chance of hail, a mix of low cumulus

with sunny spells, fronts moving in

across and away, for it seems to me 

that you're covering all your bets

and honestly I didn't hear you say

after the Six-One News yesterday

that I'd wake up to snow today

Copyright Cathy Leonard 2024 All rights reserved

Saturday 24 February 2024



Target- Papatowai


I who never travel much these days

have been tracking the movements of my antipodal mate

on the other side of the globe, Down-Under as it happens,

and perhaps at this moment walking upside down to me

in a place whose name means “forest meets sea”

and where the thirty or so local inhabitants

and more particularly you, my upside down shadow,

could be enjoying the sun setting over Tahakopa Bay,

for it’s twenty two hundred hours there and still twenty one degrees Celsius,

and according to my intelligence you may have spent the day

checking out Cathedral Caves and McClean Falls

Florence Hill Lookout and maybe even the Lost Gypsy Gallery

and you probably undertook the Shank’s Bush Nature trail

and discovered the middens left by your early Maori ancestors

in the place where the bones of the moa, those flightless birds

now extinct, were once found

while I sit  here in single digit temperatures, in my dressing gown,

munching toast and swigging tea, doing this virtual reconnaissance

through you, my antipodal doppelganger.

Copyright 2024 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Wednesday 14 February 2024

A Poem for Valentine's Day


Bring it on


They say it won’t last.

Him with his webbed feet and shaggy mane.

The heat alone of him will melt me, they say,

erase my quarter, half and full phases,

my gibbous, crescent, waxing and waning moods.


Hang the consequences, I say, holding the apple between us,

me, like Eve, tempting him-

A kiss about to weld us into a near perfect O.

Expulsion from Eden, tree of knowledge, forbidden fruit?

Bring it on, I say, bring it on.



 Copyright 2012 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

 First published 2012 Poets meet Painters Anthology


Based on The Marriage between the Sun and Moon By Fidelma Massey

 To view image click on link 



Sunday 4 February 2024

Sunday Morning

 It's Sunday morning, early February,

the wind shaking the branches outside...

doesn't it know it's Spring

officially at least?

and I have nowhere to be 

and I'm sipping tea

and reading poetry

and where else should I be? 

and what else doing?

Bu there's the imagined taste

of caraway seed on my tongue 

from the cake I plan to make, maybe today,

and there's the half- knitted sock waiting

for completion and a mate

or I could vacuum the carpet

or rake the ashes from the grate

or take a shower using that lemon soap

 the very same as the cool wrappered one 

that Leopold Bloom bought in Sweny's

on that memorable day

though I find that it falls short 

in the area of lather

and emits not much of a lemon tang

and transports me nowhere at all...

So instead of enjoying the ease 

of a lazy Sunday wintry morning 

I am wracked by thoughts

of actions not performed

and journeys not taken..

Copyright 2023 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

Thursday 1 February 2024

Brigid's Day

Today is St Brigid's Day in Ireland and considered to be the first day of Spring....well maybe....

Since we were given a Bank holiday to celebrate (just last year), the country has risen to the occasion and festivals are sprouting up everywhere. Traditionally the only way I ever celebrated was to gather reeds and make Brigid's Crosses, see poems below. 

The Cross is meant to protect against fire in the home and every year we burnt last year's cross and made a new one. We kept it simple. 

But I learn now that in Kerry villages are awash with biddies wearing white outfits and sporting elaborate straw hats. They rove in droves from house to house singing and dancing into the wee small hours over a period of four nights. I had no idea that we were missing out....

See link below for information on Saint Brigid.  

On Making a Brigid’s Cross


Its strength lies in the fold.

You bend the rush firm and hold, finger fasten to the centre, turn clockwise and return, again and again.

It’s the last rush that decides if your lattice will hold or fall apart or hang slack, woven through with chinks of light.



At Imbolg


Stooped to the rhythm of sickle

we gathered rushes from the bog

or, with our hands, pulled stems

that raised wheals and reddened palms.


We lay them in piles and folded
and turned and turned and folded
until we made a centre

that would hold.


Not knowing then that she was daughter of Dagda

Celtic Goddess, Crone turned Maiden each Spring

and that we were cutting deeper than bog

i mbolg, at imbolg.

Copyright Cathy Leonard 2016 All rights reserved