New poems

New poems

At the Zoo

A man had a notion to share
His lunch with a large brown bear,
And sought him out in his lair.

But the path back to friendship was barred:
The bear bit down on him hard,
And had to be shot by a guard.

Life is a picnic, it’s true,
And even a dinner for two,
But the menu may include you.

The Elephant

The elephant, it once was thought,
Had no knees to bend,
And therefore was a noble beast
That would not serve or tend.

Now naturalists think differently
(Knees have their time and place)
And elephants in general seem
More supple as a race.

But O the inner elephant,
Though hide-bound to the last,
And supple though he seems of late,
Serves neither time nor caste:

His being is a plenitude,
A natural constancy,
Unchanging whether he performs
On stiff or bended knee.

An autumn note

“For many, the end of this uneasy year cannot come quickly enough”

An ordinary killing

Ian Cobain’s book uses the killing of Millar McAllister to paint a meticulous portrait of the Troubles

Greater—not wiser

John Mullan elucidates the genius of Charles Dickens