The Shadow and the Bird

She lies inert,
then tense.
Her tiny bones
brittle as twigs,
head barely downed –
too small to hold
the two pools of
shimmering brown
flecked with dots
of buzzing black
that look but
cannot see.

A shadow flits.
A sheet of dark
snaps above,
just out of view,
waiting to descend.
It changes shape –
becomes a gun,
a sword, a bomb,
a lie.
They are all lies –
no matter what is claimed,
there are no grounds.

Whispers rustle in the air.
A final squeak,
then silently the
shadow folds around
the fragile form
and lifts some part
of her so high –
beyond the flick’ring bulb,
the shattered roofs,
the stunted trees.
A bird set free

A news article on the plight of the starving children in Yemen stayed with me and I found myself writing The Shadow and the Bird.


Penance with your Pancakes?

Foolproof English Pancakes

Are you ready to be shriven,
are you ready to atone,
as you whisk the buttered batter
into an airy foam?

Are you thinking of contrition
and the austere weeks to come
as the pan begins to sizzle
and saliva meets your tongue?

Will abstinence then follow,
will you fast for forty days,
or will your pancake efforts
be just a cooking phase?

Rolling Pin.

Baking Stills: Dough and Rolling Pin More Photos like this here... rolling pin stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

As I lay chilly in my bed –
a twitching leg,
a cracking bone,
an aching head –
my thoughts imagine
rolling dough,
experiments with lockdown bread.

My bed is now a floured board,
a rolling pin my eider down
flattening out the dents and bumps
on my crinkled, creasey form,
squishing out the clotted lumps
of negative and partial views,
all tired and worn.

I fold me gently on myself,
and knead, and knead,
until a ball of soft new stuff
is shaped and felt,
and then I set me somewhere warm
and wait for me to prove and rise
in better mind and better health.