This poem is included in On a Bat’s Wing, a delightful collection of bat poems that MGB edited in 2007. He says it’s still in print if anyone wants to read more batty poems by an impressive list of poets. There is a bit more about Michael and these recordings here written by Ross Bradshaw on the Five Leaves blog and here on the Cumbria New Writing site.
**** I have been kindly allowed to link to this recording of the grand old man himself reading his poem. Do visit Rachel Cochrane’s wonderful site – Listen up North – with its eclectic collection of recordings of artists reading from their work. One is allowed to download the files for personal use only.
I love this.
This is the season of the bat at my house.
We used to live in an old farmhouse with bats in the attic, so I grew very fond of them in my youth. Their mosquito eating capacities are legendary and I have several bat houses up in the poles to accommodate their proximity.
I sit on the deck and watch them “looping with panache into the night…”-
perfect word choice -looping- I would have said swooping and it would have been wrong.
Thank you for sharing.
Joanna, apologies – I’ve been ex-communicado for several days and have just seen this. Please thank your father for letting us read his poem, and thank you for sharing it with us.
‘Vol de nuit’ is so apt a title for such a mysterious and poetic subject. I love bats and they are a joy to watch flying over the garden every evening at dusk. A wonderful permanent fixture – though sadly I don’t know the different species that fly there. I’m guessing ‘my’ bats are part of the pipistrelle family too, though some of them appear quite large. I’d love to have the chance to see them at closer quarters like your father has done. What a lovely experience to save one and set it free again. Definitely worth a poem!
Heidi and Blue, I’ll pass your lovely comments on to Michael, he’ll be delighted!
They both used to do ‘bat rescue’ work, so that wasn’t the only one flying around the kitchen! http://www.bats.org.uk/ There were often bats in recovery at their old house.