Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Badger / The Green Bird

Badger

He’s there, by the side of the road,

head facing away from it, in
the direction he was going

His chin rests on the edge of the ditch
nestled in nettles,
just covering his right eye
but I can see it’s closed
the closest thing we have
to a bear
muscular, low to the ground,
neck lost in powerful shoulders
feet smaller than you would expect

No sign of any major injury
little blood,
which means
he probably died from a broken leg,
a glancing blow
to the side of his solemn head,
which gradually the flies
came and buzzed around,
sensing the end
sensing death, his eye
swirling in mute panic, or maybe 
still
and black back breathing
up and down, calm and resigned.

Around, the houses
sit smugly at the end of
long white fenced gravel paths, splayed
on the fields like crusted cow shit.

The thick fluttering of a flag
and a bright white face
at a narrow window.   


October 2011


The Green Bird 

There was a small bird, green,
and the apple tree was his favourite.
He sat all chest and feet
on the branch like a tear in a page.

The apples changed and grew,
they fell and moulded
And we gathered the elderflower
to make you a potion to lift your heart

I don’t know if the green bird watched us
but once we had skeletoned
the tree of its flower he flew,
and it was beginning to get dark.


Late Summer 2009

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Writtle/Castelló de la Plana, Essex/Valencia