Daguerrotypes of another age:
How they must sweat and stain yellow their linen
Under their tweeds and gaitered brogues.
They had been told, no doubt, to hold a pose
And what better than a manly pullulation,
As puffed as the gunned-down breasts at their feet.
The sport is over and here lie the fruits.
I won't say hunt, for these sporadic beasts of air
Were marshalled into hot leaden flares
Of static gentlemen, slightly bored,
Sent up by hackers beating at pots,
All ordered by wives to not get shot.
I just want to cut their fat cheeks off.
But why is it I dislike them so – those
Stern, moustachioed toffs of yesteryear?
For I don't really care about co-operative birds
Conniving with keepers, nurtured for their murder,
In flocks rushing headless to death.
No, I think it's in the pretty rows
So prissily ranked in pretended braces,
By domestic lackeys sorted and laid
With a such grand assumption and unlikelihood
Of consorts' corpses ever being matched.
This prim ritual is not respect.
More proper, I'd say, to consign the cull
To a deeply craterous welcoming pit
[With a white stone memorial later, perhaps]
But, of course, that could well be my particular bias
– That clean, efficient, contemporary view
Of a modern, clearly enlightened brain.
If you have any comments on this poem, Clive Donovan
would be pleased to hear from you.