October 22nd, 2010


I hadn't responded to the cuts yet...


So many useful jobs for men to do
for girls, young boys, the crippled and the old-
to stand on muddy street corners and hold
a shovel to clear paths, to clean your shoe

with soot, beef-dripping and consumptive spit,
to follow horses with a stinking pail
collecting piss – they used to call it stale -
for tanners, and of course to gather shit

human and animal. So many ways
they could make use of it; they built huge piles
in the poor parts of town. They stank for miles,
but no one we know went there. In those days

the poor still knew their place and hoped to earn
a farthing's tip. Soon may those days return!