The stopping start of a footslip

on the mud track let a

death hue seep through.

When the future was

no drizzly dream,

but now,

as I lied

in my deep.

The sight of the water surprised me.

Looking at it now

it was the mirror

that changed my face.

I was in their hands, cupped.

They not afraid

to lose a drop

of my precious state.

His lilting words wrapped round

every chosen turn.

And I, freed by her pearly song,

gently dipped

in the shallows.


Killing Time


We gripped and tied

hind legs, then drew

in a third

in a final bind.


One subtle knife-stroke

coupled with a quick neck

crack, kicking legs only

made the frothing

flow run.

Disheen’s gore-proof smock

snapped to attention

as he moved on

to the next.


Once purged, two of us

was ample to pull

the woolly body to

the gambrel.

Hind legs hoisted

to working height.


The clacking pulley-chain

in the night.


The flirt and flutter

as blade and steel

played an edgy rhythm.


He would then

begin to skin

from the tail down, and

slipping seamlessly into

high-pitched gossip,

he would gobble away.


The left hand hooked

the pelt, tugging, ungluing,

whilst the right would

stab the coat clear

Using fist and

knife-butt combo.

And below, the head hung,

nodding, loosely drawing

its jolty conclusion

on the concrete floor.


Disheen mastered organ and innard

with skilful slits and twists.

Feet flew, while blue

guts flopped into the

tractor bucket. Still then,

but squirming over the

odd dog jaws emerging

from the dark

to snap up sloppy offal.

Heads were already stashed in the bushes.


The carcass was then carried,

child-like to the cubicle house

and hung from roof timbers

like the rest.


I stuffed the heady skins roughly

into nitrogen bags.

Mucky, damp and bloody

on my hands and coat.

Killing Time


Am I the bird? Is the bird me?

And as I sit, enveloped by the streetlit city,

brick and dark tar lines and nature like a

spot on the face of it.

No stars, just lights on all night

‘for our safety’.

We can’t leave ourselves alone. We’re not safe.

Artificial light to not feel real night.

When I was young I would run up the height

assuming being chased by the bull,

torch flicked on and off to adjust my course,

nothing in sight, nor sound,

but deafening breath,

winded by the weight of my own uphill steps.

No bull

But always the possibility of bull.