DUNCAN GILLIES MACLAURIN





Hedgehog


for Niels Holm Olsen


Why go to work in winter

when it’s time to go to sleep?

Why wrestle with a splinter

when it’s penetrated deep?

Why aggravate a giant

when it’s guaranteed to fall?

I envy the defiant

hedgehog curled up in a ball.


Why hesitate to tarry

in the shelter of the trees?

Why volunteer to carry

more and buckle at the knees?

Why strive to be compliant

when the benefits are small?

I envy the defiant

hedgehog curled up in a ball.


I’d like to be the master

of my individual fate.

If only I were faster,

not the guy arriving late,

I’d soon be self-reliant,

not at people’s beck and call.

I envy the defiant

hedgehog curled up in a ball.


Why risk becoming barmy

chasing one more stupid prize?

Why pay to feed an army

whose endeavours you despise?

Why argue with a client

over nothing much at all?

I envy the defiant

hedgehog curled up in a ball.


Now all this endless bustle

leads to loneliness and stress;

it’s like a Willy Russell

play, or two in one big mess;

imagine Dr. Bryant

driving Shirley up the wall.

I envy the defiant

hedgehog curled up in a ball.





Duncan Gillies MacLaurin was born in 1962 in Glasgow. He went to school in Perthshire. He studied Classics at Oxford but dropped out halfway. He subsequently spent two years busking in the streets of Europe. He met a Danish writer, Ann Bilde, in Italy in 1986 and went to live in Denmark. Since 1995 he has taught English and Latin at a college in Esbjerg.

In the last ten years his poetry has been published widely online. In December 2011 he had a collection of 36 sonnets published by Snakeskin as an e-chapbook: I Sing the Sonnet. The sung versions of the first 28 of these can be accessed via his blog, gists. A selection of his poetry is up at The Hyper Texts. He was at StAnza in 2011 and wrote a report of his visit. Other essays he's written include An Anglo-Scot in Denmark and Teaching Poetry Nowadays. His poetry and song cycle, From Moonrise till Dawn, with 128 pieces, is to be published as an e-book with audio files by NordOsten Forlag (winter 2013/14).

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