Deploying rules and retributions
to eliminate, along with criminals,
the unproductive and inept
is like a stockman using whips
and goads and fences to corral
whatever cattle he may find
Though not himself a quadruped
he’s able to identify
the lame, the lean and the diseased
for herding into one small (shrinking) pen
to leave the wider prairie free
for pasturing the prime grade beef
on its polished hooves.
And secretly we all know,
do we not, which side
of those rough posts and rails
we could be standing on.
Michael Bartholomew-Biggs is poetry editor of the on-line magazine London Grip and co-organiser with Nancy Mattson of the North London reading series Poetry in the Crypt.
His latest collection is “Fred & Blossom” (Shoestring 2013). More information is on his website http://mikeb-b.blogspot.co.uk/