Slow them down, the comical horses.
Retard their jerky progress
down the Mall. Their riders,
shakos nodding, in doomed plumage,
are cantering towards
their own annihilation
as jauntily as Buster Keaton
accosting an awkward heiress.
It suits us, perhaps, to let them go
their way uncorrected.
It serves to distance them
from us. We watch,
as they jog towards Armageddon.
A Country House Murder
The urbane Inspector seals the area.
Under questioning, secrets are revealed.
Alibis crumble under pressure.
Strange tyre tracks are found in a nearby field.
In the servants' quarters letters are discovered.
Nothing's quite what it appeared to be.
A trapdoor comes to light, a hidden cupboard.
The Inspector loses his urbanity,
but solves the case. Order is restored,
like someone righting deck chairs on a lawn
after a summer shower. The sullen cloud
retreats, abashed, before the complacent sun.
What time is it? I make it ten to three.
While some play tennis, others bring out tea.
A Young Giraffe
When he talks of boyish things,
as he does, sometimes we look
up, not recognising that voice,
as though somebody else had
come in when we weren't looking.
So much restless energy,
such spring-heeled joie de vivre
spilling over: happiness
expressed in terms of movement –
sometimes he’s still seen skipping.
His legs are getting longer;
his feet outpace his shoes;
he gangles down the street like a
young giraffe, or someone
adjusting to earth's gravity.
David Callin lives on one of Britain's offshore islands but not, regrettably, for tax reasons. His poems have appeared in Orbis, Other Poetry and Envoi among others, and in a number of online magazines, including Message in a Bottle, Snakeskin and Antiphon.