Time Flies

I didn’t think that it was so many weeks ago that I made my last entry. The old saying is that ‘time flies when you’re enjoying yourself’, but I find that as I’ve got older, time flies regardless.

Now that the weather has finally decided to be more springlike, there is what seems like a rather daunting list of things that need doing in the garden.  Being outside and working in the fresh air, even if it’s a mundane job like weeding, I find that it’s very  therapeutic.

Just now we have large flocks of goldfinches,  with smaller numbers of siskins feeding on the sunflower hearts in the feeders. They are a joy to watch when standing in the kitchen waiting for the kettle to boil or the toast to pop up.

On Easter Sunday, I was gazing out of  the window in the morning and later in the day found that my thoughts had led to the following  …

Easter Sunday 2022

The bird feeder is full

sunflower hearts, no husks.

It’s early, but first arrivals

land on topmost branches of

the Himalayan birch tree,

trampoline down to the feeder.

Branches spring back

as they land to feed –

first five then six feisty siskins,

goldfinches – too many to count.

The sky fills, more arrive

then, as one they leave in

an amoeba-like cloud –

circle, undulate, twist

turn then back to settle again.

Paper-white bark of the birch

stark contrast to grey clouds

telling only rain threatens here.

I look out on a peaceful scene –

how different in Mariupol,  Kyiv

Kramatorsk, Donbas, Bucha,  Brovary, Lviv …

No matter what we’re doing at the moment it is hard to forget ( and we shouldn’t) the horrors of war in Ukraine.


Seeds of Hope

As the news every day is dominated by the horrendous war in the Ukraine, I was wondering how on earth a poem could be written that wasn’t just a rant about the way things have developed. I watched a report on the BBC given by Clive Myrie before he left the Ukraine. He told how the Ukrainians are determined not to give up. He told the story of the woman who came out of her basement to feed the pigeons – that image stuck in my mind – this was someone desperate to retrieve some part of her normal daily routine.

It was the first time in 48 hours that I had left our lodgings – a basement car park in the heart of Kyiv which had become a make-shift bomb shelter…

I didn’t really see her face, but at her feet were several cooing pigeons. Every now and again, a shower of birdseed would tumble from her hand. She was wearing a heavy-looking grey coat, keeping out the late morning winter chill.

The woman feeding the pigeons would have spent the past two days in her own basement as well, and I thought it was interesting that one of the first things she did was to feed the pigeons – as if nothing was awry. An ordinary day out, a bit of fresh air, with no threat of death from above.’

With the image of that woman in my mind, I compared that with my weekend.

Seeds of Hope
This weekend
after a two day curfew in Kyiv
a woman steps out from the basement shelter
a shower of bird seed tumbles from her hand
for the pigeons at her feet

This weekend
I planted sunflower seeds
they’ll shelter safely in the ground
fed by gentle showers of rain until
they raise heads to the sun

in solidarity

Photo by Bonnie- Kittle Unsplash