Nature lesson

Nature lesson

Today we have a nature lesson.
Yesterday we had growing vegetables
and tomorrow we will have how to manage your compost heap.
But today, today we have a nature lesson.
The wicket keeper crouches, hands poised at the ready.
And today we have a nature lesson.

The wind rips the leaves from their branches
and floats them to the ground,
twirling and spinning, down they go.
The bowler’s fingers release the ball like a slingshot,
and it rips through the air, spinning.

The churchyard swifts from the roof
scorch through the sky, diving and swooping
again and again, precise in their aim.
The bat in my hand pushes through the air,
sweeping back and forth to strike its moving target.

The trees are tall and straight,
thick trunks and rough bark, strong against the breeze,
except for the one that was cut down to its stump.
The stumps are short and slim,
straight and pale and smooth,
they must be defended.

The trees are in the wind and the birds and the leaves
between the grass and the sky.
And the leather and the wood of the ball and the bat
and me, alive, outside,between the grass and the sky.
Today we have a nature lesson.


I based my poem on this one by Henry Reed, called ‘Naming of Parts’. He wrote it in the Second World War, and it’s about having to learn about guns when he really just wanted to look out of the window.

Spring Wedding – a poem

Spring Wedding

Blossom falls like spring snow,
on the fresh grass,
and the birds sing around it.

Dark water and bright sky:
a perfect couple!
Forever they will live far and near.

I wrote this poem after a cycle ride on a lovely spring day.
The blossom is like the confetti at the wedding of the dark water and the bright sky (the water is near and the sky is far, but they are together in the reflection) – the birds singing is the choir at the wedding, and the fresh grass is where they have their photos taken!