Corners of Fecundity

Sharp up by the dog-tired
Londis; wedged-in
By funky Biffa Bins
And that flaking breeze-block wall;
Jammed and jimmied in behind
Broken fence slats, mossy with
Creosote, is a fructuous lee;
A wind-shadow –
A ghost-less liminal nook –
Where the spirits can’t be arsed;
Where gaze falls,
Yet just sees
The lottery scratch-cards
And deals on chilled Monster.
Yet, for all this, it is

A corner of fecundity;
Here, a strange loam builds –
Fuelled by unloved chaff;
The part-gnawed crusts, damp
Of a once-mighty Ginsters;
Sleazy scalenes of a BLT half;
No B, just T, these days,
Squalid off-cuts of
This and that,
Tumbled to the floor, indelicately
Cobbed, from a rattling Fiesta –
To settle with Batter bits,
Gum wrappers, Stella cans
From yesteryear, jewels
Of chipped bottle glass,
And meaty faggots of wind-rolled leaves.

In this ill-favoured sod, where
Biodiversity meets perversity,
Time acts patiently, un-judging;
Allied by micro-beasts –
That chomp, and puke and fart –
To make this urban grow-bag,
Where, mulched by half-chewed
Kebab barf, *those* iceberg shreds
And a hospitable crack
At the wall base, up rises –
Nourished by chilli sauce
And malodorous Mango cola –
A juvenile ash, racing for the sun
Past the Biffas and soffits and such –
Levering the mortar and breeze blocks
Apart; bent on earning an ASBO.


Ever since I took the name
‘Magpie’, for this
Thing, here,
I’ve been seeing them
Everywhere; saluting them;
Asking of their families;
And their darling children –
No, just continuing
A long line; a tradition,
Of stuff and nonsense.

Still, the magpie
Took on a persona –
Mercurial; mystical;
Imbued with powers
From the Earth, or
Magnetic fields;
Or limbic energies,
Spiritual fluxes
From other worlds;
Realms beyond our knowing…

…And all that.
Until, that was,
Out on my bike
I must have
Disturbed one of them,
Them perishers,
That black & white flash, stalling;
Ramming on his emergency brakes;
Skidding to a halt in front of me
Tyre marks, mid-air;
He was speeding, for sure.
And darting back, guiltily
Into the shadowed blackthorn.

You’ve dropped your bag
I mouthed, as the leather
Satchel thing, whatever –
Dropped from his mouth.
But no; it was a baby chick
A blue tit; neck bent
Backwards; closed eyes
Skewiff; all over the shop
Its little legs.
Butchered, by Mr Magpie.
Harvested, for his wife;
Dinner, for his children.

And yet, all I could hear
All I could think of,
At the moment of this crime
Was Chris Packham’s
Snorting, orgasmic laughs –
It is the nature of things

And with it, spirit energies
Dissolved, met a reality
Head on.