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Picture 10408526, photograph by John Gay, circa 1950s, image copyright Mary Evans / Historic England

Meadow Ned
by Chris Hardy

 

Ned’s dark eyes doze in the hedge.
Grumbling like a tiger he blows
hay-sweet humid breath
from sopping nose and barbel lips.
His elephant’s ear dewlap drags
behind his mowing tongue,
I never saw him run.

By leaning his huge
boiler body forward
on four block legs
Ned smashed the knees
of the Charolais
which broke into the field
to reach his harem.
It took three of us to save
the young French bull.

Like David’s marble curls
Ned’s brow is scrolled and white.
His chin saws along the top
of the gate I am considering
opening.

 

 

© Chris Hardy

Picture 10408526, photograph by John Gay, circa 1950s, image copyright Mary Evans / Historic England

 

 

Chris Hardy has travelled widely and now lives in London. His poems have been published in Stand; Tears in the Fence; The Dark Horse; The Interpreter’s House; The North; The Rialto; ink sweat and tears, the compass magazine and many other places. He is in LiTTLe MACHiNe (described by Carol Ann Duffy as ‘The most brilliant music and poetry band in the world’), performing their settings of well-known poems at literary events in the UK and abroad. His fourth collection, Sunshine at the end of the world, was published by Indigo Dreams Publications in 2017. Roger McGough said about the book: ‘A guitarist as well as a poet Chris Hardy consistently hits the right note, never hits a false note’ and Peter Kennedy, in London Grip says, ’Chris writes vivid, expository poetry often heavy with portent and mystery. Each of these poems is a story as beautifully muscular and slippery as an eel’.

 

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