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For a generation, like weather cocks,
their skeletons swung near the highway.
James Price and Thomas Brown had robbed the Mail.
Years turned. The Gowy flooded and the heath
flowered. Travellers noted the bones
hanging in chains by the Warrington road.
Justices ordered the gibbet removed,
the remains disposed of. In Price’s skull,
while Napoleon was crossing the Alps
or Telford building bridges or Hegel
defining Historical Necessity
or Goya painting Wellington’s portrait,
a robin made its nest.



Note: this piece has been subsequently published in ‘A Jar of Sticklebacks’ –




© Copyright David Selzer
3 Responses
  • Laura Phillips
    June 11, 2009

    The website’s a great thing – looks and user-friendliness and most importantly I felt privileged to be delving into your thoughts through your poetry.

    I’m not really a poetry reader, in that I don’t think to read it and so being given the opportunity was thoroughly enjoyable – thank you!

    A SHORT HISTORY (in FEATURED POEMS) was my favourite – a snapshot and yet covering many years, broad and yet local and encouraging me to think about greatness and great deeds alongside local life and lives cut short. Magic.

    • David
      June 16, 2009

      Your comments are a resounding vindication of why such sites should be established. Also, the poem you’ve singled out is the one I’m most pleased with!

  • Sylvia Selzer
    June 19, 2009

    I’ve always been in awe of your work. Somehow, it just seems to get better and better!

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