Sunday, 23 September 2012

The horse's point of view . . .

A couple of weeks ago, I was watching one of those '1930s on Film' documentaries on TV, and saw the sinister footage of a Fascist propaganda parade with Mussolini on horseback. And it occurred to me that nobody had ever asked the horse about his role in all that . . .

Mussolini's Horse

Listen to me please!
None of this was my fault.
None of it!
I knew what he was
but I am innocent.
A horse cannot choose his rider.
I was beautiful and well-schooled,
my coat a shining chestnut,
the other horses envied me.
And I always did as I was told.
I knew how to behave
and how to please the humans.
I never kicked or shied or bit,
I was docile even with the hardest rider.
So I was chosen as his slave.
What else could I have done but carry him?
How could I complain?
Disobedience would have earned a whipping.
He supplied my food and straw,
a warm stable and a rug for cold nights.
However much I hated him
I could not fight back.
I had to stand there quietly and let him mount.
What could I have done?
You think I should have thrown him off?
Unseated him?
Left him on the ground with a dung-smeared face?
Easy for you to say!
For me, it would have meant the glue-works
or the dog-meat factory.
I'm not his accomplice.
I hated him, despised him just like you,
but what could I have done
other than stand still patiently
and let the fat man straddle me?

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

I'm Back!

It seems like ages since I last did a blog entry. I've been terribly lax about it, and I have absolutely no excuses! Maybe it's something to do with the weather, or maybe I've just been lazy . . .

And here's a poem to commemorate our soggy summer of 2012. . .


Rain can have its beauties, yes, I know;
refreshing rain in spring to rouse the seeds
and rain after drought reviving thirsty flowers,
lyric rain in metaphor of endless tears,
and city rain at night
drawing the glow from streetlights
in liquid orange droplets,
'policeman's weather' as an old man I once knew
would call it, remembering his own time on the beat
when Dixon-era villains stayed at home on rainy nights.
And thunderstorms I love, all bluster, noise and drama,
the flash and scent of lightning in the air
with all the thrilling chance of mortal hazard.
Yes, rain can have its beauties . . .
But not today.
Not yesterday either, or the day before,
not in week repeating week of rain,
rain every day and night
as though the clouds will never be empty
wasting our precious summer in grey skies,
our days enclosed in walls and raincoats,
when glutted storm-drains cannot hold
all that water any more
as it quarries away
down gutters and gullies
carrying rubbish and cigarette-ends.
And children at the curtained windows watch
the rain as it washes
each minute of their holiday away.