kaberett: A sleeping koalasheep (Avatar: the Last Airbender), with the dreamwidth logo above. (dreamkoalasheep)
[personal profile] kaberett posting in [community profile] poetree
As you may or may not be aware, via Reddit there are poems about cows on tumblr. This beautiful thread combines an introduction to the source with some scathing -- and metrical -- meta.

Tonight I have been apprised of a riff on the theme referencing a popular children's nursery rhyme. A friend followed up with The Moonsheep (and the original German).

Which, of course, led me on to the following.

Lies | Jo Shapcott

In reality, sheep are brave, enlightened
and sassy. They are walking clouds
and like clouds have forgotten
how to jump. As lambs they knew.
Lambs jump because in their innocence
they still find grass exciting.
Some turf is better for tiptoeing
say the lambs. Springy meadows
have curves which invite fits
of bouncing and heel-kicking
to turn flocks of lambs
into demented white spuds boiling in the pot.
The there is the French style of being a lamb
which involves show and a special touch
at angling the bucking legs. Watch carefully
next time: Lambs love to demonstrate —
you won't have to inveigle.
Eventually, of course, lambs grow trousers
and a blast of wool
which keeps them anchored to the sward.
Then grass is first and foremost
savoury, not palpable.
I prefer the grown sheep: even when damp
she is brave, enlightened and sassy,
her eye a kaleidoscope of hail and farewell,
her tail her most eloquent organ of gesture.
When she speaks, it is to tell me
that she is under a spell, polluted.
Her footwear has been stolen
and the earth rots her feet.
In reality she walks across the sky
upside down in special pumps.


I'm never quite sure how much I like it -- I love the idea but something about the combination of not-quite-overwrought and not-quite-matter-of-fact doesn't work for me.

I would, naturally, be interested in both your thoughts and whatever livestock poetry you free-associate onto.
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