(four ways of looking at)
- To Westacre Belle and Prestatyn Lucy
- Scrubbed pink
- They look the most naked of animals,
- Except for the coarse hair,
- Almost colorless and seen close to.
- With ears like awnings over their small eyes,
- They root with their blunt and specially
- Gristled noses, their legs almost
- Ridiculously delicate
- For all that warmth and fertility.
- Twelve or thirteen a time, is it?
- She grunts to let them know they can feed.
- Few are allowed to reach full size:
- Boiled down they make excellent lard.
- The delicate coloring
- And firmness of line
- Remind one
- Of a water color by Dürer.
- As St. John and Socrates
- Were at pains to point out:
- Nature is always
- Imitating art.
- Domesticated since neolithic times
- They are still indifferent to man.
- Clumsy, sometimes bad tempered,
- They can crack a leg by rolling on it
- Or smother a litter. And those jaws,
- Like clapper boards, that open as if
- The face was falling apart,
- Can make short work of a piglet
- Or an arm.
- In Chinese ideography,
- A roof with a pig under it
- Means home.
Old Movies and Other Poems. London, Hogarth Press,1971. Distributed in US by Wesleyan University Press.
About the Poet
John Cotton (1925-2003), British poet. was the editor and printer of the poetry magazine Priapus (1967-1990) which he co-founded with poet and short-story writer Ted Walker. He has published several collections of poetry. [DES-9/06]