September 2023

Back to Issue 14

Ordinary August Morning

By Jena Woodhouse

Lank grass in hanks like unbleached hemp

congests the yard, unmown, unkempt,

where startled primrose butterflies flee

squawking, stalking silhouettes.


From the long-dead mango tree

crows berate cats, black and grey,

that pause in their pursuit of petalled

wings, slink sullenly away.


The plumed heap scorn upon all pelts,

and in particular on cats;

from the back porch, sipping water,

I survey the pecking order.


Marshalling chaotic thoughts

that flit before my mind’s dazed eye

beneath a wry, sardonic sun

and August’s dusty winter sky,


I realise I am all of them –

the crows, the cats, the butterflies –

disoriented, scornful, sly;

fragmented: all of them, and none –