Poems by len maynard

Scenes from 'the Field'

Muslin-swathed dismembered corpses,

Hang from hooks in freezing rooms.

Fluorescent lights, their tubes aglow,

Dispel the pervading gloom.


Coppery smells of blood and gore, 

Infect the midnight air.

A city of death, without a crime.

And sellers with bodies to spare.


Barkers begin their beguiling spiel,

‘Finest liver, a tenner a tin.’ 

‘Best End of Neck, Scrag-end and Chump.

‘Offal a fiver, all in.’


They draw in the punters and sell their wares.

Cheap cuts for the low-end café.   

Lean chops, prime ribs, fillet steaks and the rest,

For those who are willing to pay.


The trolleys roll into the busy night,

Piled high with sides of beef,

Pork bellies and backs, and legs of lamb.

Whilst around them the city sleeps.


Washing the trolleys; the final task,

To scrub them clean and bright,

To remove all trace of carnage past, 

For the loads tomorrow night.


At shift end they retreat to pubs,

With open doors throughout,

For breakfast, (or is it the evening meal?)

Washed down with glasses of stout.


As dawn breaks then it’s home to bed

Their working day complete,

The city at night, an industrious time,

For those who sell us meat. 

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Sylvester and the Mouse Race

  

Sylvester was a lonely stray.

He was always on his own.

His fur was very threadbare.

It was hanging on his bones.


Underneath the privet hedge

He’d hide himself away,

With a covering of autumn leaves

He’d lie there all the day.


But once he’d been a wealthy cat

Dined at all the poshest places

The Ritz, Savoy and Dorchester.

With all the airs and graces.


But then he took to gambling

And it wasn’t very long

Before he found he couldn’t stop himself,

And with nearly all his money gone,


He gambled on a mouse race

On a piebald mouse called Bert.

But Bert was slow and came in last

Sylvester lost his shirt.


So now he sits there all alone

And hopes that no one sees,

That this once immensely wealthy cat

Is just a home for fleas.

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Big Tab and the Cat Flap

  

Big Tab was a happy cat

With three quite different homes,

With Mr and Mrs Williams

Mrs Smith and Mr Jones.


He’d eat three quite different breakfasts,

Three dinners and three teas,

His favourite meal was shepherds pie,

With chocolate cake and cheese.


The result of this fine living

Was very plain to see,

For Big Tab was a tubby cat

Weighing more that you and me.


And then one day in August

When he was very, very stout,

He got stuck in Jones’s cat flat,

Neither in and neither out.


The Williams’ both were frantic,

Mrs Smith was heard to cry,

“If we don’t get Big Tab out of there,

Then he will surely die.”


But Mr Jones was very calm

And in a voice so very quiet

Said, “If Big Tab wants his freedom

Then he really has to diet.”

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Garfy and the Slug

  Garfy was a lazy cat

Who liked to sleep all day,

Curled up on the kitchen step

Or lying in the hay.


He never made a move at all

When lying in his place,

And when a slimy slug passed by

It crawled across his face.


But Garfy wasn’t bothered

Didn’t even lift a paw,

To bat the slippery thing away

And knock it to the floor.


He felt it crawl across his nose

Where it left a silver trail.

It crawled along his body

Until it reached his tail.


And then he turned to look at it

Through a solitary eye,

Then flicked his tail and sent the slug

A,spinning through the sky.


Before he settled down again

He found a piece of cloth

And made a sign to cover him

That simply read, “KEEP OFF.” 


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Mavis and the London Stage

T  

Mavis is a grumpy cat

Who likes to hiss and spit

At anyone who gets too close

To where she likes to sit.


For Mavis has a special dream

And she’s had it for an age.

She’d love to be a dancer

Upon the London stage.


Appearing in the ballet,

Dressed in finest lace.

Dancing solo in Swan Lake,

Would put a smile upon her face.


Or dancing tap in cabaret,

Performing at the Ritz.

Dancing with her partner,

A tabby known as Fritz.


In fact she can do none of these,

Just sits there in a mood,

Snapping at the other cats

When they come near her food.


The reason she is grumpy

And acts just like a pig

Is that she cannot dance at all you see.

Her feet are much too big.


* thanks to Karen Dockery for the cat drawings

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