David Cattanach


The bog turf held together with ribbons of sundew
attracted the Small Blue butterfly.
They danced in the heat,
above the peat. 
A young girl walked,
her hand outstretched, 
surprised by a small blue.
One landed on her fingertips,
here it probed her space 
like forceps in a petri dish. 
Walking slowly the girl 
wanted to touch a natural world.
The small blue 
appreciated the scent 
of the youth's hand, 
remaining bound.
Many other small blues 
were carried that day, 
by her hand,
over the sodden heath.
There were no distractions,
other than the view
that this was the best voyage, 
for the Small Blue.
In this the season of summer.

This Thunderous Evening

Light turns the grass, trees and bushes to gold
It came from breaks in the thundercloud 
A view held in my personal world 
Not everyone could see it - this moment.

In another place rain was falling 
Umbrellas were up, collars turned 
Faces were running, mists clouded windows
Gutters were noisy. 

This light was echoed by William Blake
"Bring me my Bow of burning gold
Bring me my Arrows of desire
Bring me my spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire".

Precious was this view 
The light that bathes an atmosphere 
Here events are stilled 
And some more important meaning 
Is given to walking on this planet

Even after the weary have trod past 
Raising dust 
We can explain there is a better place for all
Their clothes can become raiments of gold

Rail Siding

Just apart from the railway line
Runs the jungle of randomness.
In the siding larch and bramble
Grow sandwiched between  
Sleepers, cables, stone and alder.

Along the way 
Are the backs of terraced houses
Abutting new century developments.
Later, to follow the course
Of Victorian canals,
Fine stonework 
Helps the rails cross over 
Into a rural landscape.
Here sunlight outlines sheep fleece,
The brilliant orb creates a parchment 
Joining low bushes and scramble of foliage;
Broken by lines and scratches of metal fences
Which run for miles beside the rails.

Now halts the train, a single platform
Looks across to its unused sister.
Some stations still have wooden features,
Canopies that provide shelter
For winsome couples
Returning friends
Relatives with light bags
Moments of tears
Moments of laughter
Moments of anger
Moments of kisses.

Rail Sidings are there set back, 
Absent of travellers, partially dismantled,
Route forever broken.
Brackish water rests in unkempt ditches.
Yet the frogs croak.
The trees fruit,
And the seedlings grow.

Flights, Issue Eight, March 2023