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Tuesday, 14 July 2015

The Mourner's Ruse




The young of the Cinereous Mourner
Are cunning when caught in a corner,
So as to elude
Those thinking them food
They mimic less flavoursome fauna.




Monday, 6 July 2015

The Butterfly Bush


Buddleja davidsii


The butterflies aren’t feeding
They're listening
To the theosophic whispering
Of Adam and Armand:
Two clerics in a bush


SRP


Monday, 22 June 2015

The Fishermen


After Baudelaire


Often, out of duty, an albatross
Would stoop to harry fishermen,
Forcing them to cut their lines,
Tear off their oilskins
And huddle on a slewing deck.

The monstrous mew would then alight
To prod his naked captives
With his Brobdingnagian bill
And berate them with his squawks
Until he felt they understood.


SRP


Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The Will to Live


(For J B)

   Keats was justifiably proud of his salad dressing; its liquid caress could invigorate the most flaccid of radacchios. Over the years he had become obsessive about perfecting its recipe and went to extraordinary lengths to procure the requisite mustard, vinegar and olive oil, some of which he would salt away so as to never run out. If any of these ingredients were not immediately at hand, as was often the case due to the shambolic state of his kitchen, he became filled with despair.

   Chapman witnessed one such culinary crisis when he looked in from the dining room to see how his friend's much anticipated vinaigrette was progressing. He saw assembled amid the chaos a salt cellar and pepper pot, a jar of moutade de Dijon and bottle of vinaigre balsamique... but where was the oil so crucial to the mix?

   Keats was searching high and low all the while bemoaning his lack of organisational skills and resultant failure to locate the missing component. Finally, having ransacked in vain every cupboard and shelf, he collapsed into a chair and wailed, “I can not go on like this!”

   “Sounds like you've lost the huile d'olive”, suggested Chapman, unhelpfully.



Saturday, 6 June 2015

My laburnum blew down



Its fall exposed a high and creepered wall.
A neighbour, mourning her favourite tree,
Quietly took photos of its yellow sprawl.
I considered what all this meant to me.

Finally I had access to the eaves!
Could rip out tendrils that probed my soffit,
Get to the tresses of fluttering leaves
Garnishing my roof. And yank them off it.

Leaning a ladder on the leafy shroud,
Keen to wield my Spear & Jackson Cutter,
I edged my way as fast as fear allowed,
Grimly, assuredly, towards the gutter.


SRP



Thursday, 12 March 2015

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Parakeets and Chapman



   Chapman entered the room bearing a cage in which perched a parrot. He knew his entrance would cause something of a stir as his friend Keats was fascinated by all things psittacine.
   Keats leapt from his chair and scrutinised the bird.
   “I imagine you can identify the species” said Chapman.
   “Judging by its cinereous plumage I would say it's an example of Psittacus erithacus”
   “Is it really?” muttered Chapman, previously unaware of its Linnaean name, “and from where exactly does it hail?”
   “Well,” began Keats, “it used to be distributed throughout the Congo and adjacent countries, but so many have been trapped for the pet trade that there are few left in the wild and their range is difficult to define”
   “I see, so it's something of an African Grey area...” proffered Chapman, unhelpfully.