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recommended, National Poetry competition, 2003

Mr. Irresistible, Shoestring Press, 2005

Mr Panutka's finest hour



Mr. Panutka purses his mouth

and, after some thought,

moves two pins

an infinitesimal distance

somewhere to the south

of  a left shoulder-blade

as, on tiptoe, he circles

the general and head on one side

runs his eyes, knowing as a starling's,

across collar, vents, button-holes,

lapels, appraising the miracle,

this cut of the cloth, this way

he has persuaded it to hang,

mercifully by-passing

that which the general

still thinks of as his waist

and this is Mr. Panutka's finest hour,

this, he realises now,

is what  he was born for -

to measure, cut and fit,

to tack and sew these fragile threads

to-and-fro across his President's

dress uniform in which,

very soon, though Mr. Panutka

does not yet know this,

General Ramon Garcia Ramirez

will be shot, at ten o'clock exactly

on the morning of June the fifth,

by one of the mothers

whose sons he tortured

and, smiling over his coffee,

fed to the flesh-eaters

in his shimmering lily pool.


Angela Kirby


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e-mail Angela

and in the shop...
"The Days After Always, new & selected",
"A Scent of Winter" (2013),
Dirty Work",
"Mr Irresistible",
2nd reprint, 2008),
Shoestring Press

  anthology -
"A Twist of Malice"

of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet
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