He avoids the news –
he doesn’t want to know.
He didn’t want to know
when it trumpeted trade deals,
or the lack thereof,
knife-crime or princes self stood down
Now – pestilence only, plaguevision,
graphs, figures, death-data.
So he spends his days
working, a little,
Preparing strange meals,
the only soup left split-pea & edamame bean.
He shaves his head, trims his beard,
brings his wife coffee
and walks his little terrier dog.
They walk early on an unloved
scraggy river path
encountering shit smeared tissues
black earth, chipboard and
few people, fewer dogs.
But terrier dog
Loves Life as she finds it – finds
Joy in half beaten paths
Grace in nettle dew.
She runs down the riverbank
to lap at water, to feel
on her coat old daffodils
headless and springy.
One morning terrier dog is
sure she’s found something of significance
There, she barks, there!
Poet follows, warily
and sees fox, perched with tail in the air
white and sprung upright, but still –
it takes a moment, a second, third look
the pose is so life-like but so still…
The following day Life is less interested,
Death now being old news.
The poet tastes the air
and breathes in death –
musty, disgusting and compelling.