Friday, November 19, 2010


by Jo Shapcot

In reality, sheep are brave, enlightened

and sassy. They are walking clouds

and like clouds have forgotten

how to jump. As lambs they knew.

Lambs jump because in their innocence

they still find grass exciting.

Some turf is better for tiptoeing

say lambs. Springy meadows

have curves which invite fits

of bouncing and heel-kicking

to turn flocks of lambs

into demented white spuds boiling in the pot.

Then there is a French style of being a lamb

which involves show and a special touch

at angling the bucking legs. Watch carefully

next time: Lambs love to demonstrate -

you wont have to inveigle.

Eventually, of course, lambs grow trousers

and a blast of wool

which keeps them anchored to the sward.

Then grass is first and foremost

savoury, not palatable.

I prefer the grown sheep: even when damp

she is brave, enlightened and sassy,

her eye a kaleidoscope of hail and farewell,

her tail her most eloquent organ of gesture.

When she speaks, it is to tell me

that she is under a spell, polluted.

Her footwear has been stolen

and the earth rots her feet.

In reality she walks across the sky

upside down in special pumps.

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