Friday, July 27, 2007

Bullock UK 742266 2000001

Hear me Lord,
God of the drought,
God of the flood,
God of the melting ice,
God of the rising seas,
God of the globe on heat.

Hear me Lord….

Nor all farmers
drive trailers full of sheep
into the night,
in search of disease and compensation.
Not all farmers
employ migrant labour,
keep them in worse conditions
than battery hens.
Not all farmers
pleasure themselves
by hosing the mud from former secretaries.
Not all farmers
are unrepentant drunks,
beat their wives, or fondle their own daughters.
Not all farmers
poison kites, gas badgers,
or give their loved ones both barrels.
Not all farmers
hunt the fox in packs,
pointing flatulent arses at the sky.
Not all farmers
drive four by fours like tanks.
Not all farmers
keep fields free of crops
just for the subsidy.
Not all farmers
are inbred, genetically modified,
miserly, misogynistic, melancholic.

Lord hear me.
Have mercy
on those honest farmers.

You might think this a strange poem to come from
the pen of an atheist, but it seemed too good a chance
to observe some of the ironies involved in this story
and to put it bluntly I just got pissed off at the queues
of farmers at the Royal Welsh Show, all keen to share
their misery with the Skanda Vale Community and
mock the idea of a bullock as sacred?. Is
that any stranger than wearing a celice under your
skirt and trotting off once a week to taste the flesh and
drink the blood of the Son of God? Is it any crazier than
believing that a former member of the Hitler Youth is
infallible? Is it more harmful than forcing Palestinians
from their land, then starving them to death with your
only justification that you belong to God’s chosen
people? Is it as ‘uncivilised’ as stoning adultresses to death,
or cutting the hands from common thieves?

Sunday, July 08, 2007


We went to war, they said,
to make our world a safer place.
Now everywhere I go,
the bombers are lurking in my head.

Not even in the shadows,
but in plain sight,
in every supermarket queue,
defying the light,
pushing through the scrum
outside the rugby club,
mingling with the locals by the pub,
waiting dogged, patiently
with the walking wounded
lining up in Casualty.

I tried to flee from the maddening crowd,
along a winding coastal path,
beneath a sky where not one cloud
could cross my thoughts,
where not one soul came into view,
and I could watch the sea roll in
at leisure, feel the rise and swell within,
at one with the nature of the blue.

But no, they followed me even here,
spiteful beyond each quivering of grass,
behind each fluttering of wings,
beneath the scornful snorting of a horse,
with unexploded stonechats,
ticking in the gorse.

Picture adapted from 'The Field Guide to the Birds of Britain & Ireland' by John Gooders published by Kingfisher

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Jobs for the boys

When one career comes to an end,
It’s good to have a friend
Or two or four to see you through
Make sure there’s something useful for you to do.
Now the Bliar is heading Middle East
With a healing touch to soothe the savage beast,
Thoughts turn to others and the part
They might have played
If only one’s imagination had strayed

Attila the peacemaker
Would surely have known the way to break a
Stubborn deadlock,
Knock a head or two together
With the help of Genghis Khan,
His roving ambassador,
A paragon of sensitive diplomacy,
Noted for his wit and bonhomie,
And matched only in this by Paisley,
Newly appointed Vatican emissary.
You surely would not have turned up
The chance to visit Fred West, sex therapist ,
Or Dracula, trainee phlebotomist
And with a marriage on the rocks
Drop in on Bluebeard, relationship counsellor,
Aided and abetted by Crookback and Huntley,
Both seasoned and well practised childminders
Or Mengele, the house-trained social worker.

This list could have gone on for ever. I'm sure you will have a few of your own favourites to add. I got the idea ( and Attila the Peacemaker ) from a great two line letter in the Independent.