Killing Field – Alastair Gambling


The loss of a badger, soulmate ;
dug out from cold dark ground by
sharp spade, three stark thugs and small dog.
Sole intent: to rip from earth that fresh live thing.

Dank flat day of wet field and lane.
Low grey sky spread on dripping hedge
to flush the thought of sick, black, deed,
and brace the low thick neck to death.

Empty boys. Safe-wrapped in green, with
snap-toothed cur in arm-held crate.
The tools of pain proud-gripped, and bold
to be such men ; hard-skinned by toil.

A vacuous cull. Such vain crusade.
These brave lads, aye, prove manhood in gallant cause
with cap, strut, swagger ; braying and blank-eyed, to
hound, snare, tear out and plunder the rich warm spoil.

AG has been scratching things onto paper, canvas or manuscript ever since he could hold a pencil or a paintbrush, and still feels the urge to set his creations down for some sort of posterity.  A formative moment was being sent to the school library on detention, to write out lists of synonyms and antonyms, thereby unleashing a life-long fascination for the potential of words.  Formal qualifications in science and technology did nothing to stem the flow; in fact computers allow him to combine his written, visual and musical ideas in ever more curious ways.

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