July 2, 2014

<i>July 2, 2014</i><br><br><br>


by Rachel J. Fenton


I shit you not
it was enough to freeze bloody ears
off a mutt turning tricks on Grimsby dock,
snow were that high
approaching Sherwood Forest.
We took doggy bags and flasks
of hot water to sustain us.

A small but friendly snow ball fight
between a few friends
erupted into a full scale riot involving 200+
officers armed with riot shields
and using barricades
which went on for a couple of hours.
Happy days.

A fox nebbed out of blue shadow,
stuck her neck out,
disappeared into the depth of trees
with a bag of maxpax
between immaculate teeth.
I can still hear her laughing
thirty years ago.

*Steve Woodward, http://www.policecaruk.com/MinersStrikeMemories/MinersStrikeMemories.html 


Here they come,
across the frost furred fields
like the workers – men

in donkey jackets patched
with cut off legs
of jeans that look like holes

through which the last
remaining jigsaw of the sky
is falling – crows,

all over the place, hedged in
by bench-tiered evergreens,
not a remarkable face

among them, turning
the earth and noting nothing
of value for none of them.
Then one makes a move,
draws its wings
up like cold knees

before last ashes riddled
to reveal the sunken heat,
and suddenly they’re all at it:

pumping the air
with swimming kicks like kids
thrown in at the deep end

on a first lesson,
screaming like asses.
Chaff, freed of its seed,

descending in reverse
into a fine blue tilth:
the waste of space.


  1. Excellent, both. I love the apparent insouciance that belies the punch being packed of the first & the crows in donkey jackets of the second!

  2. Thanks very much, Dick - really appreciate that coming from a poet as skilled as yourself.