from Unthinkable Skies

Autumn Red

The early turning leaves of maple and cherry.

Slanting light glances
on rosehips
and five shades of rowan berries.

The last poppy a splash
against ochre grass.

The minor key
of robin’s autumn song.


Female Mallard

Brown feathers glow
subtle beauty in low
autumn light.

Plump on the pond
she ruffles her feathers to display
sudden blue iridescence.

Fluff, shake, tuck
blue under wing –
just another brown duck.


Hawk vs Cat

Sparrow-hawk plummets from the sky
yellow eyes staring defiance,
pummels sparrow to extinction.

Domestic cat, disturbed by her internal tiger
leaps with outstretched paws –
wonders what is tiger for?

Sparrow-hawk sees only predator with claws
concedes defeat, flies
back to a hungry nest.

Overfed cat plays with sparrow, walks away.
Tiger stripes blur in her mind
to shimmering flames of domestic fire.

by Juliet Wilson

Juliet Wilson is a writer, adult education tutor and conservation volunteer based in Edinburgh, UK. She blogs at Crafty Green Poet ( and edits the online poetry journal Bolts of Silk ( Her poetry chapbook Unthinkable Skies was published in 2010.