Saturday, 5 May 2018

Black Sheep

In the Black Sheep
She catches the thick end of
A thick set conversation
Between two old bits of furniture
One leans muck on the bar
While his mucker
Sausage finger rolls his cap flat
Flat as the ale in his mitt

      “Jus’ dunno what to do…
       What would you do?”

(A quarter quart of ale signature pause)

     “A’d tek a shovel to ‘im”

She drops the glass to which
The fat of the land takes as
Perfect punctuation
To his exclamation point
Fuchsia faced
She shovels the pointless contents
Chins the bollocking and
Goes for a quiet smoke
To offer more fumes to this
Piss down driven lane
Next to the plaque that
Commemorates the day
Three years ago in ‘89
When it didn’t rain

As the sheep couldn’t give a flying
Our mute and sturdy
Leans on the Cumbrian scene
A week after the tragedy
Where Medieval logic
Bounces like the black dot
The B&B walkers watch
Chasing the white dots as
The penned in
Get penned in
By the wily and conditional
By the sly and traditional
The country caste system
By hook and by crook to which
He bows with broken back

The barn violence
Of a dozen farm hands
Bleeds behind a door bolted
As they kicked him hoarse
Dipped him sheep like
Sheared his identity
Battered him bed bound
For a week
The conceit
The fact that nowt happened
Is now part of him
From now on in

Shin splints
Stop runners
The view up there
Holds freedom no more
The rain on his face
Is a waste as
In human years
At age sixteen
He’s finished in this race

The assertion is rammed home
The objection
Has no jury
The black sheep
Has no flock
The bar girl
Toasts with a tear
His no longer secret
That runs like tabloid news
Through valleys
Runs like blood
Through crags
Clogs in tarns
Fills in buckets
Fertilises the need
To keep things as they are
As they wore
As they always wore
And drown the bastards
What mek it diff’rent
‘Cos It’s ‘ard enough
As it is right?

A stone walled morning
Looks average to the grazers
The whistle is flat today
The dog seems to know
To just carry on
Carry out the duties masterfully
As it’s master’s soon to see that
Inside provides
No solace
Outside provides
No solace
The drudge to the pub
But his only other supporter
Remains canine loyal
To bring mild relief
To his bitter life

She has a valley smile to warm
The weakest limbs
But her ambition limps
Like he limps
She exists
To have the farmers
To listen to the tourists
How quaint
But she now has a
Restoration project
To apply some TLC most nightly
Apply some free ale most nightly
Pocket the tips and dream big
Because this life
This summer
Stagnant stands

96 days before 18
96 tears of
Sick to death of
90 year old thinking and
6 year old behaviour
These two cahoots
Plot like the sustenance
It’s too wet to grow
Hatch like the young ‘uns
They were supposed to be
Scheme like the maps
The tourists need
But never understand
There are quick ways up
And quick ways down
So it’s into the city
Or into the lake

In the quiet bar tonight
They toss a coin
Best of 3
Best of 5
Best of lucky 7
Best lock up or there’ll be war on
Best of
The cow slips
The cuckoo spits
The rain drips
And the same bloody day
In it kicks

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