Paul Murdoch

Rookie (1961 / Alexandria)

The Rats Nad Mice - Poem by Paul Murdoch

The hickory beams hang heavy, as vermin creep around.
As candlelight dies down and flickers gently o’er the ground;
A track, a sign, some shift of lace, should let us know they’re here.
But we are blind and deaf to those, which never disappear.

They watch us with their tiny eyes and wonder, one and all –
“When will the humans go to bed, and lets us creep and crawl”
Then, as the clock strikes one again, and ladies take their leave,
They scratch and scurry all the more; they grasp and bite and thieve.

They move as one; a mass of sinuous fur and skin, they wind;
Like spiders gliding down the walls, their teeth soon gnash and grind.
O’er rotting, wood-wormed boards they weave their greasy path with ease.
Their naked tails, like whips and flails, send grown men to their knees.

No more to hide or skulk beneath the floor or bed or sink.
No more to taste the scent of fear, they forage, feast and drink -
‘The health of Man - provider, our one true god and judge…’
The mournful mouse or rat, despised, will never bare a grudge.

For ‘long as man or woman-kind continues to exist;
‘Neath moonless skies, a feast of filth, they never will resist.
An undiscovered banquet; our scraps will still entice
The hungry, hapless scavengers; our friends: the rats and mice.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, March 31, 2006

Poem Edited: Friday, March 31, 2006


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