Saturday, May 14, 2011


(based on suggestions from @notcharming, @marklawrence, @ernmalleyscat, @_camer0n)

If a blind-hearted stranger in your local

offers a mouse’s tail at cheap rates,

you be wary of such a sight in your life.

Even if you’re seeing double by that hour.

It may well be just a sloughed-off skin rag

like he says, the skirt of a whirling dervish

with no hacked-off legs inside the cotton.

But that cut-price stump might come from

the farmer’s wife, herself.

It might be a fez box with a head inside.

If you find the time to sit out four repeats of

nursery songs read aloud,

could you resist proudly displaying your

carving knife prize to a child?

You want to shutter the rhyme with a cleaver,

reveal the true dark blood?

Walk away from the sale of the dead, sunshine.

There’s no point cutting off your own

tail to spite your arse.


Today's poem is based on suggestions from four peeps:

  • @notcharming: “Finding time to sit and read”
  • @marklawrence: “Blind as in three blind mice? One of my youngest’s favourite bedtime songs.”
  • @ernmalleyscat: “Whirling dervishes and fez boxes”
  • @_camer0n: “Blind like blotto?”

Today's poem is quite ugly, I think. I took the theme of the 'three blind mice' nursery rhyme (which is a rather violent ditty, really), and just played around with the idea of taking it home from the gritty bar-room to the clean child's bedroom.

When we were in year 7, we were told in Science only to pick up the mice at the very base of their tails, because if we lifted them from any further up we might peel off their tail-skin in one go. I have no idea if that's true, but it's stuck with me for 19 years.

Three poems to go...

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