Under cover of the night

entry picture

Shufflings in the shrubbery,

leapings on the lawn,

furtive assignations and who knows what skullduggery,

surreptitious shadow shapes, sundown to dawn.

It’s my own familiar garden but it happens out of sight:

it’s all undercover

…under cover of the night.


Nighttime was a blank space, destitute of life,

a time I’d stop the clock and quit the world.

But then I bought a camera to monitor the pilferers 

which lit another ecosphere where animals are rife

and a galaxy of rapture’s unfurled.

I’ve hit upon a garden of unearthly delights

and it’s all undercover

…under cover of the night.


Foxes dance fandangos, 

moths vibrate like banjos,

flitterings and flutterings

furtive slinks and flapping wings,

froggy flirts and badgerings.

I’d blanketed these happenings

but now I know there’s hopping things

cavorting on my lawn while the neighbourhood sleeps tight

and it’s all undercover,

all undercover

…under cover of the night.


Who’d’ve thought a hedgehog

could sock it like a pugilist?

Who’d’ve known that prickly pig

was such a hardened anarchist?

In a tryst the hog’ll wrest control from his contestants,

grunting and shunting the rivals of resistance 

then prickling the mistress to submit by sheer persistence.

So cuddle to your lover for your ardour.   

Ignore the huffs and puffs out in the border,

the agapanthus shiver, the pink dianthus quiver.

Dive beneath your duvet and be glad it’s undercover,

unseen, unheard…all right.

It’s all undercover,

all undercover,

….undercover of the night.


AnimalshedgehogsnightRolling Stones

◄ A Nidderdale ramble

Late ►


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Tim Ellis

Fri 5th May 2023 20:06

Thanks Stephen, Russell and Grace. It’s the first of 30 poems I wrote one-a-day in April in an online poetry group. I’ll be posting them all on Writeoutloud once I finish editing them. You may have guessed this one was partly inspired by the Rolling Stones song.

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Stephen Gospage

Fri 5th May 2023 07:38

Thrillingly described and written, Tim. I really enjoyed this one.

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Russell Jacklin

Fri 5th May 2023 07:03

Very vivid, I need to get a camera.
Thank you for this. I loved the repetition.

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Grace Meadows

Thu 4th May 2023 22:16

A great read Tim.

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