and in the shop…
“In Search of Home”
“Behind the Lines”
“Learning to Look”
“St Cuthbert and Bystanders”
The pig-pen’s a quagmire after the rain.
I’m wary of stepping in. Four pigs,
a couple of hundredweight of shove and jostle,
friendly but rough. Their loose mouths and twitching snouts
muddy my legs with kisses.
The biggest one has learnt to capture the nozzle
of the hose when I aim for their water-bowl –
pleased with the clean exciting stream.
Their bodies are rounded, hot to the touch,
skins taut and black
like Brobdingnagian grapes, but clothed
in small stiff hairs. They’re almost full-grown,
their death-day already decided on.
How will she feel who held the smallest one,
runt of the litter,
wrapped up and shivering on her lap?
Not long for this world – and this one’s all there is.
Like summer butterflies they’ll never know cold,
only the long days of island sun and showers,
and the dependable heartbeat of the sea.