Birds, Trees and Hedgerows

I have been missing for a while, occupied with other projects, but today I’m posting this photo poem in response to the disgusting netting of trees and hedges in the UK. Building developers want to stop wildlife and birds interfering with their plans. So, because it is illegal to cut down a tree with nesting birds, this is how they get round it. Sadly wildlife is frequently trapped. Cruel and disturbing is an understatement.

To quote Chris Packham, our beloved TV naturalist, ‘…it’s a shameful indictment of mismanagement and a brutal ignorance of how to look after the countryside. Sickening.”

The article ends by saying, ‘…useful management tools to guide animals away from particular areas.’ Surely everyone loves garden birds – robins, wrens, blue tits, thrushes, blackbirds and our favourite cheeky sparrows plus many more.

Everything that is netted is to be destroyed and it’s happening throughout the UK. All in the name of greed. And do not tell me they are building ‘affordable’ housing. Round here no new build is affordable. It is horrendous.

What upsets me, apart from the obvious, is the ignorance shown throughout the world regarding nature, especially trees. Without them we die, they are our lungs. Why is this not understood? There is something very sinister stalking our beautiful planet.

Please share this picture if you wish, however, those in the UK, I urge you to sign the petition to stop this awful practice:








Breathing Time

Freedom took my breath away
And I thought I could fly
But I sit here in stillness
Waiting for the clock to tick
For time to change the world

Unseeing eyes brush past
Speaking as if they know
But no-one truly touches
Another’s empty space

The moon takes hold of the sun
Watching in the cool darkness
As the heavens slide earthwards
And fold into the jagged horizon
Each myth tells its story
In cycles of forgotten history
Shifting infinite shapes that show
Connecting years of light
That reach my eyes too late

Glance sideways at the clock face
The second-hand freezes with my heart
Time stops for one breath-held moment
Until the stars tilt and fall again
The inevitable journey begins
Speeding up and expanding space
As I watch everything drift away
Beyond the unseen boundaries of life
From where I stand
I walk away and wonder
Where my history will go
Which star will tell my story

I start to run towards the sunset
Gaining momentum from each stride
Reaching out to grasp the fire
Igniting within white light
Engulfed by cool flames
Here then gone
I breathe the freedom
And fly in the stillness

The Robin

Aware of company
I turned to look
And you were there
So close and daring
Dark round eyes watching
Fixed by your patient stare

Sensing your need I froze
‘You’re all right – stay’
And you waited quietly
Not to alarm I moved with care
My heart jumped with your three hops
Straight into the bird bath
Frantic splashing
Then you stopped
Looking me in the eye
Slowly I dropped to perch
On the edge of the wooden bench
Holding my breath
For this moment in time

Back in the bath
Splash and stop, splash and stop
Splash, stop and stare
So close so trusting
From the red holding
My fluttering heart
Your fluttering heart
Eyes met once more
Before you bobbed a bow
Took your leave of my garden
Entrusting me to the silence
With no more than a ripple
On the still water of this life.

Written by Debbie Freeman


Specks of rust line the bath
Iron pipes rusty and age old
Invisible problems sink unseen
Head under water; an ostrich


Log stillness on tepid floating
Waiting as metal holes open
Swallowed by the spiral chute


Otherworldly falling like Alice
Flying in a swirling whirlpool
Spinning around an unfair life


Ultimately the plug is pulled
Jagged rust grabs the scale
Stuck amidst the soggy pools


Unable to leave all the decay
That which holds faint sparks
Hope flickering on a dark day
Spluttering fading dying away



You sneaky creature dressed in black skin
Creeping up behind my lack of awareness
Now you sit on my left side dancing astride
My inability to move or cry into your round
Mischievous yellow condemning sad eyes
I did not know you were coming to see me
And wish you would leave me alone to die
As I have died over the years whilst you
Laughed from that small place infested
By your intangible darkness which always
Seems to grab hold of this defected heart
That falters under the strain of non-living.

Tell them I tried under the burden of ten
My energy sapped by driven urges to live
Yet… I do not…

Yellow Eyes

An Empty Jar

Time and again I found myself sitting by an empty jar
Wondering why it was void of memorable preserves
Was life that much of a vacuum with nowt to witness
No evidence left or recorded for the eye to observe

Then ethereal visions stirred within the cloudy glass
Vague images floating like ghostly veils on a tide
Travelling a time tunnel of all that formed the past
Remembering young days lived with wide open eyes

What record is there to show we walked this path
Footprints dissolve when running on golden sand
Our initials carved deep on the trunks of old trees
Long overgrown by years lived in a present land

Day to day, month by month, year through year
Memories scattered to all corners of this quest
Picked up by those who joined the long voyage
Sharing laughter, cups of tea and blazing sunsets

So if the jar had stood there topped to the brim
Laden with futile layers lived behind closed doors
Showing unproductive days wasted on idle thought
In truth it is far better to embark on life’s grand tour

An empty jar is a happy jar when life is lived to the full
Its empty spaces those adventures that followed a star
Creating dreams of possibility through the wider world
Embodying experience stored within our neural memoirs


Arm’s Length

Arm’s length pushed away
Seasons grown in cloudy grey
Flowing on horizons long gone
Only arm’s length
Keeps bones strong.

Arm’s length holds a fence
Surrounding life’s earthy stench
Acres of skin stretching far
Fibres of being
Formed scattered scars.

Made of malleable flesh
Matrix woven within a mesh
Pulled into fraying threads
A spider’s web
Spun in molten lead.

Spread too thinly over life
Walking along a razored knife
Tongue cut in strips of silence
Words in blood
Swallow the sentence

Arm’s length reached to the sky
Begging the sun not to lie
Darkness fell in tiny places
Moonlight found the core
Hidden in quantum spaces.

NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration

NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration

Death makes a sigh

Death makes a sigh
Rising up from the pit
Where despair laughs
A strangled knot
Carries upward
Losing any memory of joy
Bursts an escape
A wordless utter
Sounds of nothing
No more than the last
Sigh trapped on pale lips.

Sometimes a howl
Vanquished to the moon
Unheard, rippling
Outward stroking
Jagged edges
Of distant remembered pools
Hollow spinning cyclones
Repeating spirals decay
Falling down, narrowed,
Squeezing creation
Needle eyed tightly away.

Sitting within shrouded pits
Origami folded life
Concealing worlds
With inching, creeps
Along sharpened creases
Scraping nails gouge
Paper thin walls
Bulging with so many sighs
Inflated without breath
Let go at once
Memory releasing cries.