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.




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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!


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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.....😎

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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.

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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


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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.

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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!


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Wolfgar Miere

Fri 9th Aug 2019 22:24

I love this Ray,

I often think cats put in so much effort and are meticulous in their tradecraft for so little pay off. All that hard work simply to have a crap in a particular place or to torment a mouse to death. They would make excellent assassins of humans, such dedication.

Indeed mankind has studied the questionable behaviour of many animals adapting their methods for the worst of reasons, occasionally also for betterment.

It is a great thing to become so familiar with a patch of land that through our observations of it over time we can learn wonderful things.

I have noticed this myself, having spent much of the last year immersed in a specific landscape I have come to recognise individual animals, they in turn have indicated they are also aware of my particular presence, that feels like a privilege to me somehow. It has given me a new found interest in the marvels of nature, and also a real love of it.

I'll give you a bell tomorrow, maybe I can nip over and we can puzzle out a solution to your technical issues.

Great poem Ray,


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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.


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Fri 9th Aug 2019 18:23

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

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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

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