David Caddy is a poet, critic and editor of Tears in the Fence. He has been described by John Kinsella as ‘a true maverick in both his poetry and critical prose’. His most recent poetry books are The Willy Poems (Clamp Down Press, USA, 2004) and Man in Black (Penned in the Margins, 2007). His collection of critical essays So Here We Are is due from Shearsman in early 2011.
I will my snake belt today
its interlocking boar buckle
as a gesture before Domesday
until the cows leave the parlour
the last thinning of birdsong.
I hold this against the man
who wanted to put his hands
around my neck by the gravel fields.
I hold this against speedcore
the numbed silence of arrest.
I hold this to sun’s constancy
the wet field spread pelt
where consciousness is a path
away from intrusions, charges
I pick at a buried politics
on the edge of belonging
white knuckle scrag
in darkness that smothers
with its ruptures and smears.
You know the yew is transparent
and the raven problem solves
waiting for pliable alphabets
in emergent gullies,
and birthing pools,
where a damselfly
away from the golf course
needs one good eye
as distance rims the vanishing,
one good eye.
This Giddy Bevel
Shrew’s nest left of terminus
three feet south south-west
and two feet left of outer ring
by footpath, other rodent prints,
next to barbed wire fence.
Prostrate found sixth spider
among assorted debris, thorns
decomposed clippings. Flints,
axe heads, juniper berries,
bottle, large worn pebbles.
Signs of fox or badger digging
disturbed remains of capsule
medium and small flints three
to nine inches below Oxford
clay, sandstone stresses.
Four inch skull ten inches below.
Assorted small animal bones
within disturbed remains,
twill, gut, indeterminate
deposits, cloying soil texture.
By boundary ditch, second pit
dug in sixteenth century dated
by bottle, cock pheasant. Pale
ash. Gulls above. Tangible
niche of foe and alloy.
Upright, my back aches.
Oft mentioned animals
impinge, smudge, mix
lure, stir in this shaft,
in this giddy bevel.
A Severed Head
Wood vetch, yellow archangel,
grizzled skippers in search of bramble,
scattering of flies, coursing breeze-up.
To the left corner a no-nonsense broiler
solid, no windows, minimal ventilation,
stifling heat, intense spatial allocation.
Some celandine, campion beside a fallen
branch, near the rutted track and fresh
scratchings, revving skid marks.
A severed head
Yet no body to be seen
some fizz and filter,
cardinal and stag
not a bluebell in sight
A severed head.
A severed head.
The owner is said to speak pure pidgin.
His entrails must stink.
Yet the activists are as much hunters
as keepers. This step and clearing has no
shame for the voyeur to glean.
Crab apple denoting age, boundary,
deserted apart from a wild service.
A severed head.
Young Paul Hart
Full of passion Mississippi Paul Hart
Shunter Smith And His Boogie Train
brashly erects his first art poster in Stur
and the locals are ecstatic at the Biba hint,
there is a clap of praise and we are
moved to believe in the divine again.
At the Fiddleford, cold on the table waiting, two pints of 6X.
A ritual, man to man, glass by glass, until chucking out.
LA Woman in the air. Paul’s declarative. Art portfolio.
MG parked askew. He’s got two women, the fuzz on his trail.
He’s a Friend of the Devil. He’s my friend. He’s maybe your
friend too. He knows Matisse, chords, runs thirty miles daily,
will help you if you ask. His smile does not lie. We lie under
its gravitas, alive in the valley and try to be the best that we can
and not some shady agent who hides words under the spit of
He slumps down, covering the table with papers, and says
without vision, we only see parts, we are pistils and stamens.
from David’s forthcoming collection, The Bunny Poems.
Order Man in Black (Penned in the Margins).