Poems from 29th November

Here are some of the poems read and discussed at The Leopard on 29th November. We hope you enjoy them. Please feel free to comment.

All remain the copyright of the authors and must not be used elsewhere without their prior permission.

Paul Muldoon | by Paul Freeman

after Paul Muldoon reading ‘Quail’ from his latest collection, Maggot.

Indulge me for a moment, if you will,
and imagine you’re a field
mouse or vole
crouched among the stubble

and gleanings of wheat or oil
seed rape, when the oval
turret-head of an owl
– not a barn or little

owl, but something like a long-eared, better still,
an eagle owl – swivels
round, and you’re staring down the barrels
of its eyes; neither of you is worthy of a verb, until

he ruffles
his tweedy feathers and continues: ‘Quail. Quail.

THE LADYBIRD | by Oliver Leech

I didn’t disturb the ladybird
that slept in the hollow of the apple
I picked one late October Sunday.
Still in the slipstream of summer,
the clouds, I remember, had lilac hems,
and the sky in the west was harebell blue
I would have set the fruit aside,
and let the creature dream till spring
but, when it moved, I coaxed it on a leaf
and laid it gently in a hedge
to find another couch for rest.
If you should find me nodding off to winter sleep,
don’t whisper, don’t turn off the light
no extra cushions and, please, no lullabies.
Dozing is my default state,
the soil from which I rarely, mole-like,
nudge into the air.
No, take me to a bandstand,
under a flight path or, better, beside a quarry
where every hour they blast away the rock.
Sleep may be a blessing for a beetle;
but men must watch for blizzards,
and, if they persevere,
may catch the northern lights.

NOT PLANTS BUT NAMES OF PLANTS | by Geoff Sutton

HIMALAYAN BALSAM
you brought me here
I Iike it here
no enemy but you

I’m here to stay
I own this land
I spit my seed at you

DEADLY
Monkshood or Wolfsbane
Nightshade Henbane
Ragwort dried Laburnum Foxglove
eat us die Yew too

GOOD
Feverfew Yarrow
Nettle Comfrey Chickweed too
We’re all good for you

FOLK
Purple Loosestrife Woad
Ploughman’s Spikenard Shepherd’s Purse
Dyer’s Greenweed Flax

RAGWORT
Once you killed me on sight
I hid and bided my time
Now you’ve taken your eye off me
The fields and tracks are mine,mine

KNOTWEED
I know I’m knot pretty (pardon the pun)
Though once you must have thought I was
But I’m never fussy about where I live
And I’m having enormous fun.

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About theleopard66

I am a member of the Stoke Stanza of The Poetry Society and run a bi-monthly Poems & Pints event in Alsager.
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