Can this confection piped against the skyline, snagging clouds like prayers,
wed man to God?"
Red Admiral, Vanessa Atalanta –
flight time, March to November
After our guests quietly left,
I couldn't stay inside
but sought harmony of birds,
neutrality of trees.
When daffodils trumpeted,
I cut them short,
while tight in bud
before bees hummed
In June, when buddleias
bloomed by the trellis,
a butterfly uncoiled
fragile seconds among nectar.
It scaled a fence, dwindled
on the mown-grass wind.
Late autumn, I succumbed
to shifting cloud patterns,
strode back indoors and opened
her nursery windows.
Orginal version commended in Ver Poets Ten Liners Competition 2012
Long after midnight, light from the gîte
shines through patio doors, over
the garden table and illuminates
two cycles propped against a wall.
We sit, sipping pastis, two men in our fifties,
surrounded by rows of gone-to-bed
windows in the cobbled courtyard.
Earlier, I wouldn't link hands along
the boulevard; you mocked my shyness.
Now, you speak of gear change
and the advantage of couplings
while our bikes snuggle up for the night.
Maybe time to kick back, ring bells,
freewheel into the twenty-first century.
Photo of Duomo di Milano taken by Christopher Delaney
Red Admiral drawing by Christopher Delaney
If I wanted to
I could step over to the piano, lift the lid and play one
half of a duet, even though the reading lamp above
the music-rest isn't working, and my wrist aches
from unaccustomed pruning of the roses.
Anyway, there are instructions that must
be found on how to programme
this washing machine
for a single
Commended in Ver Poets Ten Liners