Archives for category: Animals

Fallen to earth,

Bedraggled seagull feather –

Once you could soar.


(c) Jackie Le Poidevin

For Carpe Diem: Feather


cormorant again

My black coat flaps.

A cormorant at rest

Stretching its wings.


(c) Jackie Le Poidevin


Startled sheep

Survey flooded fields –

New flocks.

(c) Jackie Le Poidevin

For Carpe Diem: Meadow

Commuter-belt home –

Family of house martins

Resides mortgage-free.


(c) Jackie Le Poidevin

For Carpe Diem: House

The coat of arms of East Sussex is six gold martlets (stylised house martins or swallows) on a red background, with a  silver wavy line representing the coastal boroughs of Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings, and a Saxon crown. They look like pigeons to me but there you go.




Sussex artist Mark Greco’s illustration of house martins, on the other hand, is lovely –




By the river,

Meandering, black sheep

Strays from the path.


(c) Jackie Le Poidevin

Composed for Writing 201: Landscape.


Grand Hotel ballroom,

Tap dancing in grey tailcoats,

Seagulls on the lawns.

(c) Jackie Le Poidevin

For Carpe Diem: rehearsal

Seagulls will lure worms to the surface of the earth by imitating the patter of rain with their feet. If you haven’t seen this happen, do a search on You Tube for “seagull tap dance”. I always think the “worm charming” seagull looks really self-conscious – it’s something to do with the way it keeps looking all around while it’s pattering, as if it’s thinking “Is anyone looking? Have they noticed my flat feet? And my inside-out knees?” But maybe it’s just English seagulls who are so easily embarrassed.

We saw a pair on the seafront yesterday when we walked down to witness the highest spring tides in nearly 20 years. One was dancing, faster and faster, and his mate was by standing by his side, appraising his technique with her head cocked. Looking rather deflated, he finally gave up.

When we passed by again a few minutes later though, they were both dancing away vigorously. Maybe he’d caught a big, fat, juicy worm in the meantime and she’d decided to swallow her pride (after he’d swallowed the worm).

“Sussex by the Sea” –

Old girls and herring gulls

Join the brass band.

(c) Jackie Le Poidevin

For the prompt “Sunday afternoon” at Carpe Diem and “animal” at Writing 201.


The photo by Gordon Griffiths shows Eastbourne bandstand, built in 1935 and situated on the seafront promenade. One of the songs often performed by the brass bands is Sussex by the Sea, a patriotic marching song composed in 1907 by William Ward-Higgs. There are five verses and a chorus, but my favourite is the third verse:

Sometimes your feet are weary,
Sometimes the way is long,
Sometimes the day is dreary,
Sometimes the world goes wrong;
But if you let your voices ring,
Your care will fly away,
So we’ll sing a song as we march along,
Of Sussex by the Sea.

The phrase “Sussex by the sea” probably came from a Rudyard Kipling poem, Sussex, written in 1902.

From my computer,

I hear the robin’s song.

It seeks no reward.

(c) Jackie Le Poidevin

In an effort to keep up with the excellent prompts at Carpe Diem, the latest being “Bathers”, I’m shamelessly recycling two haiku I posted on my blog earlier this year:

Hanging out to dry,

Dive done – a cormorant’s wings

And a sleek wetsuit.

* * *

Overflowing pond –

Bent tripod raised, proud Neptune

Is getting wet feet.

neptune (2)

(c) Jackie Le Poidevin

And here’s Cezanne’s unfortunately named Large Bathers, with thanks to Chèvrefeuille for his description of the painting. I’ve admired this several times in London’s National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, along with the following two Impressionist paintings, Seurat’s Bathers at Asnières and Monet’s Bathers at La Grenouillière. Phew, that was a fight to get all those grave accents in there!



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Budding cherry tree –

The pair of robins alight.

I wait for you.

(c) Jackie Le Poidevin