Saturday, 24 March 2012


This is lambing time and I wrote a number of poems about my times with sheep, lambs and their deaths.

Four lifeless lives
A smaller
Better grave
Less effort
The top turf came away
Neatly all in one
Like a coffin lid.
Dry soil a sandy blanket

The first one
Still like a stuffed toy
The bandaged stomach
And memory
Of the pained rhythmic
Groaning – I had to stitch
The intestines back inside
A cramped cavity

Like a Baghdad hospital
Precision fallout and
Amateurs with only a soaped
Stanley knife blade
Like me
Last of the out of date

The next
A bag of black jelly
Too pale hooves
Unformed and skewed tongue
No rigour mortis
A sign said Albert
Of still birth

Number three
First born triplet
Of incremental scraps of
Black and white bone and wool
Dropped by the shire wire
Corner of the field
Very dead

The last I picked up too late
A good sized black ram
The birds had stripped the innards
To Rack of lamb
And blood red spine
Bared against
It’s inside out
A thorough job
He made it to the freezer for a day
In case an orphan took the skin

Relaying the lid of well knit grassy weave
I tried a new technique
Feathering the edges
To make a better knit
Time heavy musings
Of ages of grave diggers

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