I shall be off to Lumb Bank in Yorkshire, once home to Ted Hughes, for an Arvon poetry course next week.

In the meantime, (be4 i lern wot 2 rite proper 4 reel pomes) here’s my effort from ConFab Cabaret’s open mic last week. I picked a very traditional toungue-twister for the audience to join in – it was great fun  – however, there’s nothing so jolly about the message.

Badgered to Death

I’m not the pheasant plucker
I’m the pheasant plucker’s mate;
I’m only plucking pheasants cuz
the pheasant plucker’s late.

Cavorting through the coverts
he’s the leader of the beaters
beating through the bushes
in a frenzied pheasant fever;
but tonight he’s hiding in a hide
silent: waiting for the badgers.
culling quietly with his rifle
taking trophies of their nadgers.


Because badgers are too tempted
by tiny tasty pheasant chicks
and they tunnel under fences
built by huntin’, shootin’ dicks.
And while the cattle thing’s a problem
that’s not why they’re keen to cull:
It’s to save their pheasant-shooting incomes
and because we’re gullible.


The great professor now Lord Krebs
says we should vaccinate instead
and we’d have healthy cough-free cattle
and fewer badgers lying dead
But the pheasant-plucking land owners
want pheasant-plucking dosh from their pursuits
and badger setts are not assets
when it comes to pheasant shoots.


I’m not the pheasant plucker
I’m the pheasant plucker’s wife
I’m only plucking pheasants
till I get a fucking life.


Rain squalls racing up the vale

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