Monday, 12 May 2014

'Tides, Facebook, shallows and miseries'

On Facebook the tide of opinion is turning
as the media orchestrates its backlash.
They have given the people their hour of outrage
and the chance to point the finger;
after all, in the end, the stomach lurches;
too much revulsion chills the blood.
Now the story is an old one;
as it overflows the gutter
 its effluent threatens high places;
it comes with a stink of something rank
that promises to shift us from our peace.

So now the big wheel spins again
and the story, this time, is 'injustice':
how lives are 'trashed' and health is 'destroyed'
by the willful, spiteful calumnies
of 'fantasists' who for legal reasons,
cannot be 'named' or 'shamed';
and there are pictures to persuade us
of these men's great pain and remind us
how they suffer in their frailty;
the photographs and the headlines grow
reflecting the 'size' of the name.

On Facebook, meanwhile, the tide has turned
and some of us are sensing a sea-change.
The world has heard enough for now
of the anguish of children long grown;
but some of us know, too, from the inside out
how innocence may shatter in a moment
and how hard it is when there are no photographs
to bring to the world the lifelong cost
of our 'historic' pain.

© Abigail Wyatt

Monday, 7 April 2014

Rabbit in 'Long Story Short'

It is now seventeen months since I first made the acquaintance of Rabbit. Early in November, 2012 he appeared in my lane, obviously a domestic rabbit, plump and silver grey and appealing; equally obviously, he was then ill-accustomed to life in the wild. Probably, I concluded, he was an unwanted buck dumped by a local breeder or, perhaps, a more charitable explanation, a determined escapee. He was certainly a very hungry rabbit because it wasn't very long at all before he was eating breakfast cereal from my hand. After a few days, I bought rabbit food and our long association began.
     Rabbit may look like a pet but Rabbit is a free rabbit. At the outset of our relationship with him, David and I considered the notion of 'rescuing' him. We were encouraged in this by the number of people who were quick to inform us that 'the foxes will get him' and 'he won't survive long in the wild'.  On reflection, though, it seemed to us that although Rabbit liked to be stroked and would even come when called, he was enjoying his freedom. We decided that we would do what we could to help him get through the winter.  In a very short time, he was calling on us two or three times a day.
     Anyway, here is link to Long Story Short's poetry page where Rabbit features, alongside his photograph, in my poem 'March into April' - and here is another picture of Rabbit just because he is very handsome.

Rabbit sheltering from a sudden hail storm in March, 2014