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Thursday, 11 April 2013
Pockets --Wot they 4?
Once in my early teens --
Oh, memorable evening under stars,
trees bidding us keep schtum --
wearing a great coat not my own,
and in a pocket of the same,
a rabbit -- not a beast to conjure with,
not one to pull out of an ear or hat,
Oh no, a rabbit, though unbloodied
and still warm, quite dead.
My coat, a poacher's coat
(each pocket big enough, I thought, to hold a horse),
belonged to Jake who lived with others
(the others who were with us now)
in coaches on a railway line.
They'd put me up when I'd been in distress.
And Jake had put his coat around me
when I'd shivered -- from excitement, not from cold.
Inordinately long on him,
it reached the ground on me.
Railway men they were.
Plate-layers they were called.
They introduced me to their sport --
of poaching down the line.
Alas, the phase of pockets filled with fluff,
dead mice and chewing gum - part chewed -
passed me completely by; so this, my solitary
bragging right, is what I offer now.
These days the contents of my pockets seem
much friendlier, if more mundane:
coins of the realm and keys, a mobile phone,
a lucky stone, a note-book, pen
and camera, some paper tissues, like as not,
my wallet and a tube of peppermints...
These simple things
are more fulfilling now
than that poor rabbit was back then.
But not completely so! I yearn
for something tactile and exotic
to play with as I walk or wait
in some quite cheerless waiting room.
I'd love a netsuke,* for example,*
to roam my fingers round and secretly
enjoy the sculptor's special skills.
That or a small stone God or godess,
a replica perhaps of the oldest one of all
the WILLENDORF,* that neolithic Dame...*
Oh, how I'd like my fingers roaming her!
The prompt brilliantly suggested by Poetry Jam