I was disappointed not to be able to go to Write Out Loud in Marsden tonight. It’s a monthly gathering where people gather to read poetry and chat, and is always a great evening.
So to cheer myself up, I thought I’d post here one of the poems I had been planning to read. The theme this month was ‘animals’ and this is one of a very few pieces I’ve got on that subject. Just a bit of fun, really.
The Haunted Menagerie
The shriek of gate on rusty hinges
wail of wind through broken glass.
Ivy grasps in tendril fingers
relics from a glorious past.
Children used to point and wonder,
lions paced around the cells
that now lie vacant, hidden under
strange cacophonies of smells
Where are they now, those agile cheetahs
rhinos, prowling jaguars?
They are still here, free of their fetters
no more imprisoned by their bars.
You cannot see them, but at night
you’ll hear the monkey’s ghostly calls.
The roar of bear and shriek of eagle
echo round these crumbling walls.
So are they free, these undead creatures,
disembodied feral minds?
Not so, they pine for distant lands
their lost souls cannot hope to find.
Should you come here to tread once more
the paths of this forbidden zoo
beware; within these empty cages
are things that might still feed on you.
Picture: (c) Tekashifuka 2013