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Shooting Children

A poem

Photo by Max Kleinen on Unsplash

America, land of the gun,
home of the bereaved
gone is the pursuit of happiness
forget the right to life

The Second Amendment misunderstood,
politicians wring their hands
words uttered in vain, meaningless

Sandy Hook changed nothing

Let’s shoot children, all complicit
every senator or congress member
life is cheap just like bullets
shooting children in the land of the gun

Published in The Lark

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Flowers Dance

A poem

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

My garden is full of flowers,
they dance a graceful waltz
with the breeze, with butterflies
most of all with bees

Flowers dance in sunlight
flirting with music unseen,
listen, you hear it, will-o-wisp
pollen gathering meanwhile

How much sunlight is contained
in that small drop of dew?
gleaming so brightly, beaming
on the leaf below the bloom

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Alphabet On Butterfly Wings

Twenty four years of photos

Photos by Kjell Sandved

Kjell Sandved spent twenty four years travelling the world photographing butterflies while he worked at the Smithsonian Institute.

He found all twenty six letters of the English alphabet on the butterflies’ wings, and the numbers 0–9. He compiled the Butterfly Alphabet.

He then started to accept commissions to place his amazing photos into requests made by the public, as well as his alphabet poster.

How amazing is this?

I discovered this some years ago, and then, almost by chance, I found it again. I want to share the wonder with you.

You can request a name or word from his website: Butterfly Posters, Books, Prints & Gifts (butterflyalphabet.com)

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Daughter

A poem

Photo by guille pozzi on Unsplash

Daughter, seek wisdom above all
Don’t repeat the mistakes of my youth
Yet you are more self-possessed
Than I ever was, will be
You’re cool, a bright young thing
Popular, a blessed child

Not awkward like I was
Shy with nothing to say
Although I could have shouted
From the roofs my manifesto
You are blessed with grace
Talented dancer, athlete
Beautiful to all, my little girl

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Sailing

A poem

Photo by giuseppe Peppe on Unsplash

The sailing club billows forth
Tacking across the harbour
Circling the islands
Visiting each bay
A pleasant view to watch
On a May afternoon

Dotting the water
Gliding the waves
Soundless but for the wind
And crash of waves

The shouting of instructions
Watch the boom

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Sailing

A poem

Photo by giuseppe Peppe on Unsplash

The sailing club billows forth
Tacking across the harbour
Circling the islands
Visiting each bay
A pleasant view to watch
On a May afternoon

Dotting the water
Gliding the waves
Soundless but for the wind
And crash of waves
The shouting of instructions
Watch the boom

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Dusk

A poem

Photo by Kristijan Arsov on Unsplash

Dusk at another airport
One can see the heat hanging
A yellow orb is low in the sky

Slowly turning to egg yolk
And then mango

Sinking slowly as a goodbye
Turning the color of oranges
Finally some red markings
As that sun drops away
Minutes pass, the clouds celebrate
With pink, pale red, apricot, and aqua

Published in The Lark

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Tiny Feet

A poem

Photo by Juan Manuel Sanchez on Unsplash

When you were born
I held your tiny feet
Such narrow heels
And long toes

Your long fingers
Your bee sting lips
Your birth blue eyes
Now softly gree
n

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Tiny Birds

A poem

Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

Rounding the corner, I scared a tiny bird
who had been chasing a white feather
nest building, lining it softly

Other birds chatter in my silver birch tree
calling out news and flights to my roof
the underground fungi has started saplings

Flowers are blooming, ending and budding
color continues in the garden, 
not mine-
it’s owned by the creatures who make it their home

Published in The Lark

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A United Ireland

The only answer

A cliff edge next to the sea.
Photo by Vincent Guth on Unsplash

One of my first work experiences was bridge-building between the Catholic and Protestant communities in Northern Ireland. We visited schools and youth clubs, having discussions and using drama sketches to illustrate the tough questions.

Almost all of the youth, who would be over 30 now, wanted peace in Northern Ireland.

It seems peace is not enough. Due to what we term Brexit, there is now a customs border in the Irish Sea. It was impossible to put a border on the island of Ireland, as border checks were what The Troubles were about.

The Troubles means the bombings, murders, and deployment of British troops. It is a very Irish expression but minimizes the terrible warfare that went on.

Since the UK left the European Union, each EU member is part of the Good Friday Peace Accord and must do all they can to preserve it.

Now, goods arriving in Northern Ireland from Britain must go through customs. Some businesses, because of this, have stopped trading with Britain and only trade with the EU. Some goods are no longer available in Northern Ireland.

Note that the United Kingdom includes Northern Ireland. Britain does not include Northern Ireland.

There was an election in Northern Ireland last week. For the first time, Sinn Fein won a majority. The Democratic Union Party (DUP) refuse to sit in government with Sinn Fein because, they claim, the trading protocol with Britain is not working.

Everyone agrees it is not working. The answer is to talk it out. The Good Friday Agreement states that power must be shared.

Since the DUP, who are renowned for being difficult, will not take up their posts in government, I think it is time for the people to vote on a united Ireland. The population did not want to leave the EU. A united Ireland would be entirely EU.

It is only ideology that keeps Northern Ireland separate. The ideology of the DUP. Obviously, they are now less voted for. Other smaller political parties ate into their constituency too.

One cannot please all of the people all of the time. Right now, people are angry that London is governing them, and nothing is being done to address local issues. Thus, I believe that although some will vote nay, the majority will see the logic and vote yes.

Last year there was some violence about the trading protocol, i.e. the border in the Irish Sea, using 11-year- old boys so as not to be known. It was obviously not Sinn Fein. Buses were set alight with petrol bombs made in bottles

If violence is that pathetic, a united Ireland is an obvious answer to Northern Ireland’s problems.

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Lighten Your Footprint

Be kind to Earth

Village belonging to M.O.D. near me. Photo: author

Lately, I have been fearing what will become of Putin’s blood thirsty attack on Ukraine. I have made my protest but I can also lighten my tread on the Earth. It won’t save lives, sadly, but might mitigate the carbon released. Here are my ideas.

  • Don’t upgrade your phone just because you can. Mine is second hand, with a sim only contract. Keep the phone you have.
  • You don’t need to wash your clothes after wearing them once. (I don’t mean underclothes.)
  • Only use the washer when it is full.
  • I buy second hand clothes. I look good. No one knows.
  • Don’t water your garden every day. In high summer a good water every other day in the cool of evening is enough.
  • Use white vinegar to clean your home.
  • Stop using paper napkins.
  • Mend your clothes.
  • Reuse, repurpose and recycle.
  • Walk and cycle or use public transport whenever you can.
  • Never use plastic grass
  • Sow wild flower seeds
  • Plant a tree
  • Don’t leave electrical goods on ‘standby’. Switch them off.
  • Don’t leave lights on unnecessarily.
  • Enjoy dusk a little before turning the lights on.
  • Don’t use the dryer
  • Boil water in the kettle rather than the pan.
  • Always use a lid on your pan.
  • Don’t let flames lick the sides of your pans.
  • Turn the shower off while you shampoo your hair.
  • Take a shorter shower.
  • If you have children, they will not notice less water in the bath if you use bubble bath.

There are so many ways to be kind to the Earth. You can leave more ideas in comments.

Thank you for reading this far!

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Two Hundred Miles

A poem

Photo by Max Kleinen on Unsplash

Racism drove two hundred miles to murder
fascism planned, premeditated
death of black-skinned people
because of their skin color

Tears are flowing in grief, not yet felt
anger at such hatred, a community attacked
Nazism loosed again because their skin was black
Two hundred miles he drove, intent

Let the forests fall, let rivers become dry
may the earthquake until we do not hate

let the sun hide her face, the moon drifts away
more black people are dead just for being black