Keep Your Eyes Peeled



bushwalk collage


If you look. If you peel your eyes.
That’s what dad said.
Bush walking. Or game driving.
When we were little.
Keep your eyes peeled, kids.
(He’d give us five whole shillings for a leopard
I’d have to pay my own much more.
Leopards aren’t as commonorgarden cheap today).
But keep your eyes peeled
And notice Africa bedecked with

Strung with tinsel and ribbons and
Shards of gold and berries
That bleed into the sand.
And yellow so bright it hurts my eyes.
And gossamer leaves like fairy wings,
Or a princesses’ dress.
And greens that defy the drought
Which is all you thought you could see.
Until you looked.
Like me.
Because I’ve got my eyes peeled.

But I still don’t see leopards.


bushwalk collage 2

12 Responses to “Keep Your Eyes Peeled”

  1. Grannymar Says:

    That was beautiful!

    We all need to be reminded to keep our eyes peeled, so often we take the important things for granted and let them blend into the mesh of our landscape.

  2. R. Sherman Says:

    Good advice, (and writing and photos), especially in the bush. Although we don’t have leopards in my neck of the woods, the occasional grizzly or brown bear when we’re hiking out west is enough to warrant a good eye-peeling every now and again.


  3. Jo Says:

    That was beautifully poetic.
    As for ‘peeled eyes’, well I used to get told the same thing when walking through Hampstead Heath as a child.

  4. janelle Says:

    AH loved this little poem, A! so true so true.any child of africa knows to keep her eyes peeled….fer sure….so as not to step on that sleeping puff adder, or to walk past the still leopard, or, yes as you say. to see the early dew in little crystal balls, hanging off the elephant grass…oh this was LOVELY BEAUTIFUL GORGEOUS. thank-you! it hit the spot…XXX j

  5. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    Thank you Grannymar. And congratulaions on another Irish blogger of the year award.

    Mr S: apparently there are lots of leopards where i live. lots everywhere in africa. somebody told me they’re our urban fox equivalent. i never see them though …

    thank you Jo. Was it an adult refrain to all kids to shut up. Whilst peeling our eyes?

    janelle – thank you. thought poetry might be new channel for sometime purple prose? what do you think? you can be a purple poet not perhaps not a purple blogger? you can tell my eyes aren’t peeled enough. i have stepped on puff adder before. btw. i LOVE the photo editor you’re using at ngorobobhill house. what is it? fabulous x

  6. Grannymar Says:

    Reluctantmemsahib, do you know something I don’t? I only won once (2008), this February I managed the short list, and that is how it should be.

  7. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    aaaaaaaaaaaah. 2009 Nominee. I see. So looks like winner when you haven’t got your glasses on. Blooming marvellous all the same!

  8. Jo Says:

    Hi RM, yes it was an adult refrain to us children. It was two sided, to be careful but also watchful. There is always so much out there to see and take in.

  9. Grannymar Says:

    reluctantmemsahib, You didn’t have your eyes peeped! 😉 😆

  10. Tash Says:

    WOW, this is a new departure. Something I try once in a while. But – wow! You’ve spun such a beautiful scenario, and as well

  11. Tash Says:

    oops… as well as finding all you wrote quite utterly lovely, I also got a strong sense that you enjoyed every moment of crafting that lovely poem. Thanks for sharing it.

  12. shanoor Says:


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