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Sheena Blackhall

What’s in Your Handbag, honey?

Size matters. Man, she’s tanned,
She’s lean’s a greyhound
Except for her silicon knockers.
What’s in your handbag, honey?

Sweet thing, eye candy,
Doctors her doubts with gin
Swallows her baby-blockers.

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Waiting for a god to Come Along

In the land of cacti and crosses
A small white donkey wearing a red saddle
Is waiting for a god to come along.

Meanwhile, a cricket is cricketing.
Local idols are taking to the skies
Crowned by wedding cakes
Ablaze with clouds and candles
Dressed in ivory cassocks,
Capricious as Queen Victoria’s crinolines.

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La Leçon de Piano

Pierre, I am playing arpeggios
Mama can't afford two lessons
She bought you a football kit
So you could kick and sweat and be a boy

Pierre, you're such a Gruffalo
So jealous of even a trifle
I'm sure you were adopted
You're such an oaf!

Pierre, on you a music lesson's wasted
Look at your hands, two nut-hard knobbly fists
Whereas mine, dear brother are delicate and slender

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The Storm Nursery

Two siblings, we enter the cable car
Not sitting close together

The car is a blown egg shell
Rising up from the car park
A thin screech

The great Alp yawns below
We are wingless birds
In a troubled glass pod,
A frail and tilting cradle
We hang from a slim thread

Ignoring the warning
‘Do not rock the car’
My brother does so

This is the storm nursery
For the heirs of Icarus

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Charon's Passengers

Into the silent water, slips the silent prow
Lifting the dripping anchor over the tilting bow.

There's no star on the skyline, past the silver moon
All the world he ferries, in secret, late or soon.

Into the faint horizon where no man comes back
Each man travels lightly. Each man takes no pack.

All the world he ferries, in secret, late or soon
Into the faint horizon, past the silver moon.

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A Brueghel Winter

Winter winds are biting,
Etching the woods in shadows.

The paw prints of hunting dogs
Are black stars in the snow

Beyond the icy poles of denuded trees
Even the hawks have frozen
Hanging, still, in the bleak chill of day.

The hill is a perilous stair
Here and there, in isolated pools
Fish blink up through glassy windows of water
The year turns on its axis
Underground, numb snowdrops shiver and wait.

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Interlopers

Two tables along
From two Dutch lovers whispering
And a housemaid pushing a broom,
Three sparrows hoop round a menu.

A flea-bitten dog climbs onto a seat,
Not ordering,
Lolling abundantly.

This is not reciprocal.
I do not perch on sparrow's branch,
Or slouch in the brown dog's kennel.

Moreover,
Not content with
Patronising the eatery,
Even now
Three sparrows are hopping about this page,
The flea-bitten dog is lolling across this poem.

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A Horse is an Honest Species

Horse is not deodorised or sanitised
It does not ache to fling its fetlock over a centrefold
It is immune to adverts

It'll crunch its clover
Without one foody fad
If it wants to stare all day at a tree, it will.
Its travels are not ticketed or docketed
No horse watches another on CCTV

This moving barrel of grass on hairy legs
This horse, this muncher of meadows
This creature of wood and plain
Is remarkable sane
Accepting with equanimity
Sun and rain
A horse is an honest species.

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The Animal Refugees

I’m the only elephant in Phnomh Penh
No more of my kind you’ll see
My wife ran off from the killing fields
She’s an animal refugee

I’m a Mekong crocodile from Vietnam
When the napalm scorched each tree

I swam to Laos at dead of night
I’m an animal refugee

I’m a slithery snake from Angkor Wat
Where the mountains churned the sea
Now tourists squat in my habitat
I’m an animal refugee

When people’s homes are ripped apart
There’s appeals on world TV
No one saves us. There’s little fuss
For an animal refugee.

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The Pierrot's Narrative

'I was a high wire artist with a circus
I kicked my legs in the air, hung over Death
My aunt's a thirteenth cousin to Camilla'
The girl announced. 'I'm terribly well bred.'

`I seen you Saturday last at the supermarket
Fillin shoppers' bags, ' the small boy said.
`My ma says not to believe a word you tell me-
Says you're a crack-pot, not right in the head.'

Off went the girl with a toss of her golden mane
Like a circus lion, melting into a sieve
Her face as white's a Pierrot, lips like thunder
Not every grown up fits her narrative

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