A child’s sun finds a dream in young eyes.
In blinks of dandelion eclipses,
refracted light reflects on retinas
holding warmth in ragged leaves
below a flower standing up and out.
Ryegrass and foxtail for company,
a golden head of petals,
swaying and slight,
is there and gone and there again.
The wings of friends unfold to test the air
with thoughts aloft in stretching skies,
days that lift and soar with matchless views.
They seek what hawks perceive as truth
yet still count the faces that look familiar.
And dipping hands in search of clues,
a box of sights,
of scent and sound,
they choose a shade and wear a skin,
fit in and lose themselves as one of many.
But this child blinks dandelion eclipses;
hawkbit tinctures bathing open eyes
with picture sun now placed behind an ear
while looking up and out.
A trust in truth is not weighed as cost
and light in ragged leaves endures.
as scythes descend and sweep the dream,
it will not fail at dusk.
Your love of my raspberries has resulted
in this late evening walk in headtorch,
to hedges of hazel and blackthorn,
far enough from home to foil ideas of return.
Aware of owls ripping through moonlight,
I kneel in damp fescue and sedge,
clutching this tilt trap of quantum uncertainty;
mouse or no mouse? that is the question …
The trap gate opens. You see me for the first time,
holding the moment in beads of black polished glass,
small body wedged, feet splayed, heart racing,
a quiver of tense, anticipating whiskers.
And in that instant, in that brief connection,
my doubts bubble. This is a good deed isn’t it?
This forced relocation; got to be a better solution
than back breaking death or slow poisoning.
Although I try to convince myself,
I believe you remain sceptical.
I am your nightmare; the one interrupting
your midnight feasting,
the one separating you from all your
blind, deaf and hairless babies,
the one from which you must flee in terror
the second the black plastic touches the ground.
But, unlike Mr. McGregor, as I stumble one mile
back through darkling woods, soft clart that I am,
I’m hoping the owls have an off day
and secretly, despite your fruit plundering,
I’d quite like to see you again.
Grown wild, unclaimed and loose in lanes,
he peed higher, spat further, swore louder
than any other latchkey street weed.
Green acolytes, summoned with strangled
banshee howls, were drawn in adoration
as he spoke to us in bloodied tongues for a dare.
Envied for knowledge of hidden pathways
by the brick pond and his dead bat in a matchbox,
which some could see for tuppence.
Pursuing the lost, always the first over fences,
through unknown undergrowth, into rank canals,
all consequences ignored in a rush for wheels.
Admired as risk taker, hands free on old bikes,
the world upside down in the canopies of trees,
a body confident in the friction of bare skin.
Solemnly, we’d gift him our bruised fruit,
liberated from the floor of the Saturday market,
consumed when the rhythms of real life paused.
No quarter ever sought or given,
committed to blood and rain and wind and sun.
And though at twelve, his spark burned fierce,
it burned short from dying embers; snuffed out
in a consumptive breeze, warranting five perfunctory
lines of local news and a cheap cremation urn.
Find out more about Jonathan on our Contributors’ Page.