… Leafy literary land

That by some dispensation has been left to stand

Amid the road-drills and high swivelling cranes…

Christopher Reid




He browses the autumnal card index

– red, brown, orange, a dozen shades of yellow –

up-ended carelessly and without ado

on the unobtrusively upstanding grass

that in green – not green-horned – heroism

resists the frosty white surrender call.


Single-minded search for subsistence

heedless of the roaring world

of double-deckers and road-drills

outside the black ornamental grille

that in and by itself signifies no obstacle

but offers no valuable assets.

Unperturbed by the social behaviour

of dogs, loutish temporary tourists

in the nooks and dodges of his home,

he darts about, snuffles, rummages…


Quick beady query

of the looming hulk,

an empirically proven food source…

Slink closer, a cheeky stare, closer still…

Indignant nibble at a booted toe: 


– No nuts?  How dare you!







(15 November 2010)