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The Web Poetry Corner - M A Heathcote - The foot and mouth crisis 2001

The foot and mouth crisis 2001

by

M A Heathcote

A clue: "Memitim" 2 down, 5 across, DEATH...
Another farmer holds his "breath"
His crossword puzzle now solved,
As he sits by the open fire resolved.

Firebrats shimmer like melting
Sparks through grates, between falling,
Slivering, among, the black slates.
Like silver ashen; phosphates!

Covering that hearths entirety,
They too show there’s no need for "piety"
As the future ghosts of the living; burn.
His world is an up-turned urn.

Listing he hears the cries of the last dying ewe.
Whilst angels of death beyond; "view"
Descend across each patchwork acre_
He himself too! screams at his maker.

Prier on prier, prayer on prayer!
Foot and mouth each neighboring "acre"
Burned black in the gasoline air_
Each man alone dies by his plowshare.

As more firebrats, recurred_
Another flock: another herd
Burned; like unguided lost souls
Stacked kindling in piled coals.


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