I've always written poems. Sometimes I think I have kicked the habit but then another poem creeps up on me and I can't resist. Well-chosen words without superfluousness have the power to say so much. But I realise that some people don't "get" poetry - perhaps in the same way that I don't "get" ballet, opera, horse racing or the idea of attending a classical concert. Yes, I understand but I am not sorry about "Lamb" (See my last post).
I guess I was investigating religious belief as much as I was lamenting the passing of that ruined lamb - the vision of which assailed me as I walked in the high country above Winnat's Pass last Thursday morning. Lambs die every springtime - often at birth - but this one had clearly survived that trauma and had been flourishing until something happened to end its life. A dog attack? A fox? Some congenital condition? Who knows? But I snapped a picture of it and that horrible moment of discovery kept surfacing in my thoughts.
Now, on the other side of the Pennine chain and far from here, in a mythical dragon-infested land called Wales, there resides one of my favourite bloggers - he of the tea dynasty - Earl John Gray who has of course eschewed the family estate with all its riches to settle in a homely village with his poultry, his dogs and his professorial partner. Upon reading "Lamb", Earl Gray protested that I should write a happy poem "next time". Being fearful of the nobility, I felt obliged to comply with his instruction, so here it is...
Have I seen The Earl? - you say
Oh you mean the flouncing nurse John Gray?
He lives by the corner up on Church Lane
It's rumoured that the bloke's insane.
All manner of birds are kept in his field
Even though his neighbours appealed
He talks to the buggers as well you know
When it's pissing it down or in driving snow.
His Berlingo is a familiar sight
Scotch egg wrappers and covered in shite
His pack of dogs from the Baskervilles
Are often seen chasing him over the hills.
Be careful when you knock on his door.
What do you want to see him for?
Runner ducks, fresh free range eggs?
Or those homemade pies he gets from Greggs?
Oh you're doing a fashion shoot?
Christ, that should be a hoot!
Anorak, wellies and a woolly hat
What will your editor make of that?
I've lived in Trelawnyd all my life
Never had a girlfriend, never a wife
- "The only gay in the village!" - they'd yell
Now the Earl and his fancy man live here as well
Go up there and then turn right
Just follow the smell of the chicken shite
He'll pour you a cup of Earl Gray tea
Then try to do what he did to me!