Thursday 13 October 2022

So much life


The chicken fence allowed the chickens

a castle

away from the dog

that lived for the hunt

and our love

for its wild heart.


The frame of a door was chewed upon

one night

by a busy rat

—a tiny goer at 1am,

high-vis spirit

pounding away,

tearing down the house and

blowing up the night

with its tiny teeth.


We set the dog on the job

and the little chippy

didn’t last the night.

The chickens none the wiser,

sleeping through the hunt.


Life. So much life:

two homes side by side

and seven housemates

and rats,



And the huntsman upon my arrival

—a watchman inspecting

a tenant moving in,

a lightning flash on the ceiling

spiraling down the wall,

falling in panic.


I try not to kill the smaller things these days.

Two years on,

I drove a mouse I trapped to the other side of town

and set free its little soul.

You just get older, I suppose,

and feel less sorry for yourself

but more for who you used to be

and more for mice

and spiders

and even the dog

with the rat in its mouth

—it’s complicated, I guess.


So much life.

Many houses

and many miles between.


That chicken fence: is it there

to this day?

I heard the place got pretty messy once we left.

What remains?

There’s always something

and when you return you say:

“Look, that shovel hasn’t moved.”


“Shit, no-one’s touched the tarp.”


Maybe the trees you planted

shot up

and the ghosts of the huntsman and rat,

plus arrays of the living,

gather there

under protection of things that remained

by the place where the chickens

had little lives

and a little fence

for their little castle.