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
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
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.