Tag Archives old colonial

THE SUDDEN RAT

By Posted on 1 Comment1min read210 views

Early one sunlit summer evening,

on the patio next to the urn,

a brown rat appears, not, as usual,

scurrying in briefest light from dark place

to darker place, but stationary,

as if paralysed, right jaw bleeding, torn.

Then it staggers fitfully a step.

 

We wonder what to do. Take a stick,

like Philip Larkin to the rabbit

traumatised with mxyomatosis?

 

The neighbour’s fat tabby cat – that saunters

through our garden like a colonial –

arrives. It jousts with the dying rat,

a tenth of its size, like a stuffed toy.

 

Next time we look, the rat is on its back

in rigour mortis. A fly buzzes.

What had maimed it? The bourgeois cat would flinch.

Was it dropped from a height by a novice

among the suburb’s small flock of buzzards?

 

We postpone action till the morning, hoping

some predator would remove the corpse.

As the poet opined to the rabbit,

‘You may have thought things would come right again

If only you could keep quite still and wait.’

 

Next day, the rat’s still there. We bury it.

 

 

 

‘AI’ & ‘REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST’: POEMS & GRAPHICS

By Posted on 8 Comments

The poems were inspired by conversations with the artist, Evie Chapman. The ...

‘A SHROPSHIRE LAD’…

By Posted on 3 Comments

…is the first book of poetry I owned – a breast pocket ...

THE FASHION OF THE EARTH

By Posted on 0 Comments

In a letter published in The Times in May 1936 – the ...