His grandmother made us drink

before work began.

Sour wine and cough mixture

by the taste of things:

a poisonous warmth expanding

like a pack of nails inside.

It was seven o'clock

and cold fields had not woken

from their early dew.

The cat's called Socrates, she said,

because he ate the hemlock

in the garden, over there

past our broken tractor,

down by the chicken guillotine.


Picaroon Poetry, #16, May 2019. Kate Garrett






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john short

Tue 21st May 2019 17:10

Hi Ray

In the area of south west France back in the 80s this was a real item. They'd pop the chicken head-first into a kind of wooden funnel, pull the head out the bottom and slice it off. Don't know if that still exists, anyway I'm a vegetarian now.

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Tue 21st May 2019 12:09

A wonderful blend of nostalgia horror and humour , a real showstopper John. Is the guillotine a real item?


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john short

Mon 20th May 2019 22:22

Hi Martin

Thanks for that. So me and the cat both survived apparently. Looking forward to reading the rest of the new edition of Picaroon. Only read a couple of the others so far.

Cheers, John S

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Martin Elder

Mon 20th May 2019 20:18

'Sour wine and cough mixture' What an interesting concoction.
Love it John

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