#atinylife naturepoet

Yesterday, I tried to write a nature poem.

Walked into the reality – the grime of outside. Cold shot-blasting my forehead, my fingers.

And yes, the long-tailed tit looked at me, all chipmunk-cute face and feathered arrow tail feathers.

And yes, there were green carpets just waiting for the bluebells.

And yes, the deer picked around the edge of distant fields.

And yes, the buzzard rose in a majesty of idle flapping.

But it all reminded me of the mess of the world: sporadic starlings strung across the telegraph lines, not enough for a murmuration.

nature poet


The crow scolding the buzzard, haranguing it to stay away from her eggs.

Acres of wire and concrete, even here, in this ‘wilderness.’

Snow on the distant hills – a winter coming ever closer.


And I thought, ‘maybe I should take “nature writer” out of my bio.’


#atinylife going, going


ten thousand I am bid:

fifteen at the back,

come on now,

this unique lot! You’ll not see this again.


Puffin searches in vain for sandeels.

Swan sickens, poisoned by anglers’ lead.

Gannet, strong, snared in plastic net.

Spring rains fail, sand sweeping over pasture.


Fifteen at the back, twenty five online

Yes, sir, that’s more like it, thirty-five for this trophy

stuffed and so beautifully mounted.

You’ll not see another, not anywhere

– forty at the front –

now who’ll give me the reserve price? Fifty?

Thank you, sir. Going… going…


In secret hideouts, bitterns still boom


Otters gambol and play,

no longer hunted.

Polecats lurk

White tailed eagle soars.


Sixty thousand I am bid.

Any advance on sixty? For this handsome Great Auk

shot, stuffed and preserved for posterity.

All done at sixty thousand?


going going

#atinylife America

Meeting Americans and wondering why the Scottish are renowned for being friendly.

Eating tacos with hot sauce for breakfast.

Dancing to James McMurtry singing ‘Red Dress.’

Being offered a seat on the veranda at John Floores Country Store because my husband ‘was wearing a cool T Shirt.’ Becoming lifelong friends with those people.

Grackles, Vultures, Red-tailed Hawk.

Drinking alcoholic milkshakes in a Diner where the waiters and waitresses get up on tables and sing.usa

Walking the Highline and bathing my feet in the water.

Meeting someone who is related to Emily Dickinson and immediately being invited to visit.

Actually, being invited to visit by almost every American who has ever befriended me on Twitter or Facebook.

The people I love, who choose to call it home.

And the autumn leaves of Massachusetts – which I have never seen in real life.