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Zyklon B(adger)

They're gassing the badgers in Devonshire,
In Avon and Cornwall and Gloucestershire.
It's the 'final solution'
By Ministry decree.
And somewhere, in an office,
Sipping tepid tea,
There's a Civil Service 'Eichmann'
Aryanizing wildlife
With British 'Zyklon B'.

Additional Information:

If you are interested in the conservation and welfare of badgers and the protection of their setts and habitats then please visit The Badger Trust.

A Bronx Tale

In constant fear of the environment that they had previously loved for over fifty years, Hans (78) and Emma (76) Kabel hanged themselves in their Bronx apartment, leaving a note that read, "We don't want to live in fear anymore".

Old Hans and Emma Kabel
No longer need to fear,
The cry in the night,
The drugged eyes so bright,
The screech of the whore,
The knock on their door,
The junkies, the drunks,
The mean tempered punks,
The obscenities screamed,
The nightmares they dreamed,
Or the noose that they chose,
Their fear to enclose,
As they swing,
Side by side in the night.

The Wood Engraving

The stubby, blunted fingers
      Sap wood smell faintly lingers,
Guide the burin in a steady plough
      Inherent memory of a long dead bough,
Through the boxwood's virgin plane.
      Where once a forest free did reign
Rolls on the black and viscous ink,
      And monsoon rains did freshly drink,
Then white paper gently laid and pressed
      There never once a single tree protest
To pull a crisply new design.
      When to the axe we them resign.

There's Always One

She put me down with Hopkin's
Accentual trochee and
Dactyl rhythm.
Her knowledge is superior,
She knows.
Her claws flash again,
"Eliot was influenced by
Baudelaire, Laforge
And Rimbaud.
Did you not know that?"
Eyebrows arched, surprised.
'Silly cow!'
I thought, "I'll rape her."
In sprung rhythm,
Of course.
"Do you understand the
Compressed metaphors
Of Stephen Spender?"
I nod sagely, my body
Metaphorically pounding hers,
Didactically, iambically,
"Pound and Eliot are imagists",
I gasp,
And climax with a smile.

Sparrowhawk on the M5

Eyes in the sky on
Fibrillating arms watch
Lemmings pass.
Run, mouse, run!

M5 killer scanning
Man-made banks and
Thrumming culverts.
Run, mouse, run!

Plummeting stoop past
Metalled men motoring,
There and back again.
Run, mouse, run!

Wing'd death but touches
With its shadow
Blind Tiresias.
Run, mouse, run!

Click! Claws close in
Warm flesh, sudden
Red, roadside smear.
Dead, mouse, dead.

Fred Phillips

The frightened soul of a friend of mine
Is coming your way, O Lord.
Fred Phillips, of no particular fame,
But I thought I ought to tell You
Because they forgot to mention his name.

The service was held in Bransford chapel,
Where the vicar told us of Your love,
Our guilt and all our shame,
But he overlooked a detail, Lord,
He forgot to mention Fred's name.

Fred never really asked for much,
He worked hard all his life and
His living was a quiet refrain.
I'm sure he would have liked it, Lord,
If someone had mentioned his name.

They all came out to see him off,
His friends had not forgotten,
But the man in charge of the shrivelling flame
And the vicar in flowing robes forgot;
Fred Phillips,
            FRED PHILLIPS!
Fred Phillips was his name.

The Leaf

A breeze soughed soft,
"Let go, let go"
And with a sigh the hold was severed.

Languorously turning oft
To wave a sad "Hey ho",
Russet dyed and dying tremor'd.

A dilly-dally dalliance,
Twist and twined.
Soft, sliddering, glissando.

Autumn coloured radiance,
Hoar frost rimed,
A sere leaf's rallentando.

The Uniqueness of You

A single sperm in headlong dash
Met, in moist fallopian dark,
A single wandering egg... thus you.
No planets shape this destiny,
No superstitious astro-calculation.
You are no marionette on puppet strings
Plucked by moody and capricious gods;
You are what 'ere you wish to be.
You live by your free will,
Not by decree divine.
Any triumphs that you win
And every single sin,
Are positively thine.

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