Tag Archives: poems about nature

Winter Cocktail


At cocktail hour at this time of year
bright colours vacate to hot places
like Italy or Spain.
Skies slide into leaden grey,
grumpily gunning to fulfil a bleak threat of rain,
their perfidious clouding slyly announcing
that dusk is well on its way.

Brittle twigs cling to knotted limbs.
Catatonic in the bitter air,
their scribbled crisscrosses laid bare,
bereft of the layered frock
that veiled bland dwellings
which crouch, blind-eyed
beneath my lofty window.
Spring’s brave growth crumbles to mulch,
all pride, grace and levity faded away,
its flesh consumed for future gain.

I pause mid-thought, my mind
resorting to fantasy:
might these spectral skeletons
recall unfurling
to make safe hiding places for fledgling birds?
Perhaps they remember saluting the June day sun
their emerald hands swaying in celebration,
and nudged by a temperate summer wind
dancing, jiving, twirling.
Perhaps they relive
the betrayal, the brittle break,
the skittering fall.
Maybe they grieve, and yearn
the loss of green youth.

©Jane Paterson Basil

God of the Wild


I was raised in a verdant place where roads consisted of a single lane, and lanes were carpeted with tyre-marked grass.

Hypnotised by feeble lure of tainted, small town tinsel which seemed glamorous to this country girl, I turned from the trees and trotted to urban pastures, where a Mars Bar was only a minute’s walk away, and the night was exciting to one who had never spent time in a town after sundown.

Frowzy bars wafted billows of booze-tinted nicotine and noise into the street, where kids dropped vinegary chip shop wrappings that were lifted by the wind, to ripple and drift past my shins.

Teens nattered and swore, cat-calling high-heeled hopefuls out on the pull.

Drunks staggered backwards into bushes, sideways into clumsy fights, forwards toward a lock that didn’t match the key, dribbling piss and spittle as they spun erratically into muttering oblivion.

British bikes spluttered and roared, leather clad bikers uttered curses that spat on the paving beside a backstreet cafe where spilt coffee left dingy rings on scratched formica, and filter-tipped ciggie butts were stamped out on a greasy floor.

Cars that had seen better days splashed muddy rain onto complaining passers by.

The strains of Petula’s sixties song echoed in my head:

“When you’re alone and life is making you lonely you can always go down-town,

down-town.” she said.

It took me a while to admit she wasn’t describing this ditch-water town, but the city.

Soon, my soul ached with an unspecified hunger.

My shoes leaked. I was used to sopping feet, but my socks reeked of chemical pollution.

Mulch-strewn liquid dripped and gushed from blocked gutters, making slim rivers where slithery algae collected, eager to trick careless feet.

Tired stars glimmered with little lustre, too listless to compete with jaundiced streetlights that advertised pools of rain on the road.

Shrubs were artlessly arranged by human hands. Wild rebel seeds – should they have the audacity to shoot, were uprooted and sentenced to death without trial.

Parks were designed for mild childhood behaviour. Swings and slides were made with safety in mind. No-one climbed trees.

Two Mormons knocked on my door, proselytising,
looking for a neophyte.

They found it in this hollowed-out soul who greedily supped from their biblical cup, as yet too blind to recognise my plight:

I was missing my God of the wild.


©Jane Paterson Basil

Spinning Seasons


Few weeks have died
since oak leaves swelled to greet a brightening sky,
a welcome treat that screened my eyes from dun-hued proof
of teeming human life across the street.
The sky’s white sun gave promise of tomorrow;
its tenuous rays reeled in our faith as it beckoned buds to bloom,
while clean rain rushed to nurture roots beneath the earth
and tease new life to sprout through damp nutritious dirt.

Summer swells and fades far sooner than in former days,
as if the the carousel of nature’s failing fast;
the fickle sun can’t wait to hide behind a wall of foggy grey,
and amber tinted hands begin to wave amidst the green bouquets
of helpless branches swaying in the cooling breeze.

The evening sunset hints at autumn gales
that whip wet hair across the face,
that wreck umbrellas, leaving busy shoppers wringing wet,
so, eyes downcast,
they watch the slippery path beneath their feet,
and many miss the bronze display of nature’s brief retreat.

Ageing folk will button coats and wrap up snug,
complaining of the cold, forgetting childhood’s biting weather.
They’ll creak past harried mothers bustling through the mild chill
boldly chiding scuffling kids who kick on rustling golden lawn
as careless litter flutters by,
and swarming birds fly home to warmer climes.

Skeletal trees will briefly mourn the passing of their glory,
then settle in for pregnant winter sleep,
and I will sit and watch wild horses race across the sky
and beg the carousel to quickly bring the Spring.

The Daily Post #Carousel

©Jane Paterson Basil



It tempts me;
its silvered surface shimmering,
singing swishing songs of thrilling terrain
way beyond regal, towering trees
which cool its clean, unfeeling floor,
beyond eroding ochre banks
where brave blades of grass battle the flow.

“Follow,” it trills,
“follow, beyond your mediocre days,
beyond worn lanes and dark pathways;
beyond the things you know;
follow where I go.

 It tempts me,
as, endless, it flows,
impatient to take the next bend, frothing
at inanimate objects that would slow it,

secretly stealing shreds
of shrinking stones and rotting logs,
to stash wherever they may land.

“Follow,” it trills.
Beneath the lilting descant shrill
I note a deeper, throaty tone,
as if it’s sung for me alone;
this lulling intimate refrain,
“Follow where I go.

No single body this,
but a mighty band of haphazard travellors;
an offhand crew of discrete molecules,
too miniscule for our dim eyes to see singly,
as they weave, sharing the road awhile,
then parting company,
perhaps to meet another time;
in the sky, in water pipes,
or in some distant clime;
the whole planet their home,
racing forever on,
adventurous travellors
with ne’er a planned destination.

“Follow,” it trills,
“follow, beyond your mediocre days,
beyond worn lanes and dark pathways;
beyond the things you know;
follow where I go.

Ever tempted to give chase,
  each time I stay where I feel safe.


©Jane Paterson Basil