Poem — Brian Turner

A Good Keen Man

 

What is it that a donkey sees in a man?’
– Paul Durcan

I am grubbing the bank, clearing
snarls of grass, buttercup, dock
and a few thistles
that feign death, Roots like pasta

twine in the earth that’s clagged
on my boots, and further
roots me here. Bernie the ram
leans on the fence, seeks food

and across the drive three pigs
squeal, piqued insatiables.
They trit-trot back
And forth, irascible little NCOs.

But what is it that a ram
sees in a man
that goes unnoticed in him?
What is it that pigs

want from a man that he hasn’t
excreted time and again?
And what is it that a man
sees in a pig’s eye, sniffs

with his snout, that he hasn’t
seen raised behind his back
or smelled in latrines
everywhere? The rain stinks of urine,

semen, shit and lanolin ‑ the pigs
pong less, but pong
redoubtedly. They don’t know
that I would eat them too

if need be, that grubs
will have us all, if fire
doesn’t, leaving but a snatched,
queasy whiff upon the air.

Brian Turner 

 

 

(From Brian Turner’s sixth collection of poems, Beyond, due out in November 1992, from John MacIndoe, Dunedin.)

 

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Poem
Search the archive
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
Filter by Categories
Architecture
Art
Autobiography
Awards
Biography
Byline
Children
Comment
Contents
ebooks
Economics
Editorial
Education
Essays
Extract
Fiction
Gender
Graphic novel
Health
History
Imprints
Language
Lecture
Letters
Letters
Literature
Māori
Media
Memoir
Music
Natural History
Non-fiction
Obituaries
Opinion
Pacific
Photography
Plays
Poem
Poetry
Politics & Law
Psychology
Religion
Review
Science
Short stories
Sociology
Sport
War
YA Reviewers
Young adults
Recent issues: subscriber-only access

    Subscribe to NZ Books to access the issues above

    Search by category

    See more