shot glass
Issue # 4 May 2011
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare


I am a poet and folk/blues singer and was co-editor of Aireings Poetry Magazine for almost 12 years. Currently live and work in the Yorkshire Dales.

Lesley Quayle

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Rat in the Henhouse

Down by the henhouse the crusted mud
lay baked and fissured, grass crisped and burnt,
grilled by sun, and everything flat, swooning.

Inside, cobwebs slung from beams,
droppings, cladding floor and roosts
like limescale and the honey shreds of clean straw.

Rat, sleek, needle faced,
presses a rodent eye to chinks and knots,
gathering hatchlings, yellow as wheat ears,
in his harvesting gaze.

The black hens, stocking stitched with grey,
stir the dust, crouch panting in the dry clouds,
pale pinkish beaks agape,
their liverish tongues dark as scorpions.

In the brown glazed sink,
rat dares to drink.