Grumpy Hobbit Takes A Stab At Being Political

Tescos ran out of loo rolls and soapboxes.

Stay-at-home politicians with keyboards and opinions

screeching their how-to, quick-fix slogans.

Have you not been told?

Fake it till you make it means everyone’s an expert.

No one wants to say,

we’re all just fucking lost.

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I’ll just slink back off to my grump little hobbit hole. Rant over in just forty-four words.

It Isn’t The Princess Who Needs Saving #DVersePoets

In the market they are talking

about last week’s linens,

still strung across the garden

beneath skies dazzling blue.

 

The butcher’s wife does not like

the cats with their black cloaks,

stalking the briar patch at night,

bright eyes like guttering candles.

 

Her husbands claims superstition,

but distrusts the foxglove purple swords,

the nightshade, the mistletoe,

the cut stems by the hedgerow.

 

Forgets who birthed their last child,

almost blue and so brokenly quiet.

Breathed that first cry into him

when they though him too far gone.

 

But there’s the girl and her tears,

and her husband raging

for some sort of explanation

as to why the seed won’t take.

 

And why this year’s harvest failed,

and the Harlow’s pig got sick,

and the men from the church came

and hung a witch out.

 

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I’m going to admit, this poem got away from me somewhat, and I’m really not sure how I feel about the ending. Still, I hope you like where I took tonight dVerse prompt. I only used a couple of the phrases we were given but like I said, the poem sort of got away from me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Butcher’s Poleaxe – #VEDay

Somewhere there is a poleaxe,

your sweat worked into the staff

from unbroken nights,

where the pig must not squeal.

Milk bottle spectacles

but no flame or light catching

in the glass reflection.

All of it done in the silence

that cannot be broken,

unlike the rules you’re cleaving

with each precise blow.

 

Hands returned to steering wheel,

on dark lanes winding home,

nose to windscreen

foot light on the accelerator,

you mouth curled in prayer.

May they not come back this way

with the fat bulbs unsown

on London, or Crewe,

or elsewhere deemed vital.

May they not discard their leftovers

on these field tonight.

Let the silence be unbroken.


VE Day 2020

Not long ago my mother told me about the poleaxe my great-grandfather kept in the garage. He used it during the Second World War to slaughter pigs, as it was more effective at killing them quickly before there was chance for them to make any sound.

This was during rationing, when there were limitations on the slaughter of livestock. My great-grandfather, a butcher with eyesight so poor he was unable to enlist, would drive to farms in the middle of night to do the deed. Headlights were not allowed due to blackout regulations, and knowing those narrow country lanes, I’m amazed he managed to avoid ending up in the ditches.

My Great-Grandmother, who I knew very well, would remain at home. The danger was not only getting caught, but from returning German bombers on their way home. Any bombs that were not dropped on the high-value targets were dumped out over the country-side. I remember being told stories by the Great-Grandmother, of how she spent night in the cupboard beneath the stairs, listening as the bombs dropped nearby.

After the war ended and rationing was lifted, there was no more need for the poleaxe, and no-one really knows what happened to it. I like to think that it is still in existence, perhaps on display, or perhaps tucked in the back of a cupboard.

Water Song – #DVersePoets

I want to sink bells into the pond.

Plant them just below the waterline,

where the ripples look like scales

lifting out of the shallows slowly

on the back of an endless snake.

Then at night when the moon lifts,

turns her face to watch,

I’ll slip out onto the decking,

strip down to my silver skin.

Drop like a stone or a witch

into the quiet cold of a place

not quite what I wish of it.

Wonder as the bells ring out

if anyone else may be listening.

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There’s a lot of Shropshire Folklore about women and water. The River Severn is often characterised as female, and there are tales of women (or women-like creatures) inhabiting lakes and ponds. Another image in Shropshire folk tales, is that of church bells falling into water and being lost forever, but the sound of their ringing being heard at night.

I’ve always been in love with myths and legends, but more often than not it was the classic Greek, Egyptian, and Norse myths that I turned to as a child. More recently I started to look into the tales from my native county, and one of the poems in my collection was inspired by this research. During the lockdown I’ve been trying to read more books to keep myself occupied. I ended up purchasing ‘Shropshire Folk Tales’ by Amy Douglas. The one off poem on Shropshire Folklore that I included in my collection now looks like it might grow into something more.