Blue-toned photo of ginger cat looking through iron railings

Today I’m posting another old poem, this time prompted by a cat – triste y azul** – who seemed to think he was in a cage:


How can I write,
caged in by walls,
smothered by cushions
and draped curtains?
Even my balcony is barred
like a prison cell.
Continue reading “caged”


Thatched-roofed, timbered cottage with poppies at the gate

I don’t suppose these giant orange poppies are indigenous to the UK, and I certainly can’t imagine they grew in the Forest of Arden, which once surrounded the area where the photo was taken.

Even so, the straggling clump by the gate of this traditional thatched cottage was utterly glorious and deserved a better photo than I could manage with my phone.
This morning when I went out I had my camera with me:

Giant poppy close up
Continue reading “poppies”

pussyfooting II

It’s been suggested – via email and phone calls rather than comments posted here – that the cat in the photo used for last week’s post could not possibly be mine.

It is true that although I have been on close terms with many cats – black cats and greys, tuxedo cats, tabbies and tortoiseshells – there has never been a white one.

Had I found it sooner, this is the photo I would have used to illustrate pussyfooting:

Tabby kitten


I went for a walk the other evening and found my path blocked by a tree.

fallen tree
There are, of course, a host of literary connections I could make: Birnam Wood; the Ents of Middle-Earth; the “very, very country dance” of the Narnian trees that Lucy dances her way through to reach Aslan in Prince Caspian; the trees that “walk[…] down the side of the cutting” in the landslide scene of The Railway Children
Continue reading “timber!”

dawn chorus

Early dawn over the Severn Bridge

The neighbour’s cat croons throatily;
songbirds squeak and whirr:
the new day eases slowly into gear.

high days and holy days

cat silhouette
I’m not a great one for remembering and celebrating the International-Day-of-This and the World-Day-of-That, but this week there were two such days I felt were worth noting: Monday was the feast of St Jerome, patron saint of translators, and Thursday was National Poetry Day in the UK.
Continue reading “high days and holy days”

(cat) food for thought

Cat food bag - Brekkies
Cats have been an integral part of my life for the last 20 years. The ones around now are quite fussy about the tinned food they’ll eat, but less so about the kibble, so I don’t tend to pay a lot of attention to which brand I buy.

This morning, though, I paused to wonder: if cats are happiest when they can snack on and off all day, why am I feeding them something called “Brekkies”? Why isn’t it brunchies, din-dins or snaxes?

Looking closer at the Spanish label, I find that the little yellow flash boasts +sabor / +sapore which sounds worryingly as if it has “more taste : more toads”.

As for this post title, since the Spanish for kibble is pienso, maybe I should have called it “thought for food”.