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Vernon Scannell Poems
My son aged three fell in the nettle bed. 'Bed' seemed a curious name for those green spears, That regiment of spite behind the shed: It was no place for rest. With sobs and tears
A Case Of Murder
They should not have left him there alone, Alone that is except for the cat. He was only nine, not old enough To be left alone in a basement flat,
Schoolroom On A Wet Afternoon
The unrelated paragraphs of morning Are forgotten now; the severed heads of kings Rot by the misty Thames; the roses of York And Lancaster are pressed between the leaves
That one small boy with a face like pallid cheese And burnt-out little eyes could make a blaze As brazen, fierce and huge, as red and gold And zany yellow as the one that spoiled
They Did Not Expect This
They did not expect this. Being neither wise nor brave And wearing only the beauty of youth's season They took the first turning quite unquestioningly And walked quickly without looking back even once.
And now another autumn morning finds me With chalk dust on my sleeve and in my breath, Preoccupied with vague, habitual speculation On the huge inevitability of death.
Lesson In Grammar
THE SENTENCE Perhaps I can make it plain by analogy. Imagine a machine, not yet assembled,
Where Shall We Go?
Waiting for her in the usual bar He finds she's late again. Impatience frets at him, But not the fearful, half-sweet pain he knew
The Men Who Wear My Clothes
Sleepless I lay last night and watched the slow Procession of the men who wear my clothes: First, the grey man with bloodshot eyes and sly Gestures miming what he loves and loathes.
Death In The Lounge Bar
The bar he went inside was not A place he often visited; He welcomed anonymity; No one to switch inquisitive
The Terrible Abstractions
The naked hunter's fist, bunched round his spear, Was tight and wet inside with sweat of fear; He heard behind him what the hunted hear.
Silver Wedding The party is over and I sit among The flotsam that its passing leaves,
A City Remembered
Unlovely city, to which few tourists come With squinting cameras and alien hats; Left under a cloud by those who love the sun And can afford to marry – a cloud of bits
He killed his wife at night. He had tried once or twice in the daylight But she refused to die.
My son aged three fell in the nettle bed.
'Bed' seemed a curious name for those green spears,
That regiment of spite behind the shed:
It was no place for rest. With sobs and tears
The boy came seeking comfort and I saw
White blisters beaded on his tender skin.
We soothed him till his pain was not so raw.
At last he offered us a watery grin,
And then I took my billhook, honed the blade
And went outside and slashed in fury with it
Till not a nettle in that fierce parade
Stood upright any more. And then I lit
A funeral pyre to burn the fallen dead,
But in ...