As keeper of the garden

I notice things



Today it is a skirmish on the lawn.

A cluster of bluebottles

at the smothered grey slick of a mouse


I wonder where they all come from

for nature to call them so promptly

attentive at the worm of entrails.


I don't see the cat often,

he left a turd as marker,

a barnstorm of a smell,

with more bluebottles.


After discreet removal,

I watered the patch with Dettol

blocked his usual gap in the chain link

but he bided his time,

only to re confirm his presence.


He is glorious in his way

but I take exception to his fondness fror birds,

so I cut back his camourflage:

geraniums, sedum, nettles

to a bare patch;


now he stands out like a naughty boy

in flagrante, a twenty four hour prowler

who knows the value of night stalking,

pussy quiet, picking his feet up

avoiding snails that move too slowly


while we sleep.

He knows more

than we can ever dream of

when it comes to pure killing.




Profile image


Thu 29th Aug 2019 12:13

Thanks Jennifer for your interesting comments. The pea shooter is priceless giving the element of surprise and not causing harm. I've got a toy wàter gun if the distance is right. I've used it to break up cat fights when we had multiple visits.

Yes Jason. It's true about awareness of spaces. Birds also need to feel confident do feeders should be near foliage. A battle of wits with cats! I've put up a wire netting around the feeder now. Thanks for your input.


Profile image

Jason Bayliss

Wed 28th Aug 2019 15:59

I really enjoyed this s Ray, as a fellow countryside dweller I can very much relate to this tale and the expeditionary cat and I'd have to agree with Jennifer about the difference between country and city dwelling, it's so much easier to use in the crowd.

J. x

Profile image

jennifer Malden

Wed 28th Aug 2019 15:30

Loved this one. Town people never realise that it's much more difficult to hide anything in the country than the town. Country dwellers notice every little change/invasion in their surroundings. My uncle loved birds but a birdcatching cat arrived with new neighbours, so he provided himself with a peashooter and a large bag of chick peas. He had been a dead shot, so he said it helped considerably when he was at home anyway!


Profile image


Sun 18th Aug 2019 11:43

Thanks Graham for your kind words. I enjoyed relaying this tale as it was brewed in my mind and left me wishing for a solution. Fertile soil as it were. The garden is a living place and deserves some respect not just an assault on those who visit!

I'm glad this worked for you Don. The English can get very fussy and territorial about their gardens, especially with neighbours. Nature dishes out its will on us and we have to adapt.

Blimey, fancy having that recording problem! Not so much a north/south divide as a northeast/southwest one. As a matter of interest, I really like Clive James's voice, so maybe there's a chance for you!


Profile image

Don Matthews

Sun 18th Aug 2019 00:46

I was very pleased reading this Ray. You didn't need to use rhyme. Everything flowed effortlessly in short line/stanzas, for me. Last stanza, brilliant.

My computer won't voice download either. Funny. Seizes up when I talk. Must be my accent. Be thankful then you don't have to suffer it.....?

Profile image

Graham Sherwood

Sat 17th Aug 2019 21:34

I like the way we all have to share our gardens with visitors, either avian or pedestrian. Cats are peculiar animals! I think you have successfully captured this symbiosis perfectly. Good work as usual Ray.

Profile image


Sat 17th Aug 2019 16:38

Hi Trevor. It's nice for me not to rely on rhyming so this allows me to relate an incident with a prose style. Glad you liked it thanks


Profile image

trevor homer

Sat 17th Aug 2019 11:07

Just caught up with this Ray, and really like the conversational style of the poem - the relaxed delivery suits the poem beautifully. Thanks T.

Profile image


Mon 12th Aug 2019 16:37

Thanks Jon for your approval of this one. I Do find cats interesting and like their attitude, but I was quite put out on this incident!

Ok Devon, fear not, I have contacted Paul Emberson who deals with such matters and await results. I'll try to add audio to my next attempt. Cheers.

Hi David, thanks for going the extra mile mate, and I know you are an ardent watcher and nature lover, so you are the perfect reader in this case! I can follow your involvement in land areas and the thrill of surveillance - one's own patch does become an adventure playground for all sorts including oneself. The neighbour whose garden the cat comes through to get to mine has now got their own, so there might be a few fights coming up. Looking forward to that!

Thank you for looking in, Cynthia!


Devon Brock

Fri 9th Aug 2019 22:01

Ray, I am having the same trouble as you in uploading my ugly voice. Let me know when you have a solution, because I am computer dumb among my other dumbs.

Love the poem.


Profile image


Fri 9th Aug 2019 18:23

Hi Ray
Loved this. A delightful tale of your garden stalker and killing machine.
Fabulous last stanza too!

Profile image


Fri 9th Aug 2019 16:42

If anyone reads this and knows if there's a problem downloading audio files I would be grateful to hear. Twice I've tried with MP4a from my Huawei phone as per usual . I get as far as the blog and browse the audio and it appears in the box but doesn't appear . Is there a magician out there? I there anybody there in fact?
Ta ever so. Ray

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message