Poetry

We Are Many, They Are Few

A piece written after the Brexit vote, becoming more relevant by the day…

It refers to Shelley’s poem, The Mask of Anarchy, written after a worse catastrophe, the massacre at Manchester, known as Peterloo.

 

Lev, the Lion-Hearted Hare

lev   Illustration by Deborah Ravetz

Extract from 300-line story-poem

 

Lev, lovely hare, long-legged, sped

Headlong over tussock, grassy hillock

Tumbled tunnels in the ryegrass

Wheat, rows of beet, threaded

Needle-like through tangled growth then

Angled out over open pasture, fast

Flowing wind rippling fur

He within it arrowed

As a salmon in a stream or

Falcon, falling death, descending like a dart.

 

Lev with his brother

Half-brothers and sisters

Tribe of browsers, nibblers

Under the hedge at the edge of morning

The first pale promise of dawn, drawn

Out to the bounty of fields, savouring

Sap, sorrel, clover

Crimson and white

Bitter vervain, vetch

Bitten bark of elder

Willow, aspen, apple

Bursting onto the palate, crushed

Coursing through blood.

 

Trickster, whiskered twitcher

Twisting this and every which-way

Ever-waking watcher

Eye bright

Ears silken sound-receivers

Each fine fur-fibre wired, tuned to

Every tick, click, cry, shudder

Of drumskin earth at fall

Of foot, claw, pad of paw.

Tensed in the light electric air, hare

A-quiver, aspen-hearted dodger

Dancer, fencer, puppet

Strung on a thousand strings.

 

Lev left with his brother, Bel

Born as their mother died

Orphaned at the roadside

Fostered by fortune, fending

For themselves, their first meal her last milk.