Heavy men hunched where the halfdoors swing
slap woolly rumps and make them trot
round like acts in a circus ring
showing the punters what they've got.

Feed, field, fodder - it's all solid matter.
Everything's weighed in scales of brass.
Farmers nod to the auctioneer's patter:
time is money and flesh is grass.

Strong rams, fat lambs, sheep and cattle
process through to a huckster's clamour.
Pounds are a cranked-out gatling rattle.
Fate's as cold as the crack of a hammer.


© Brian Fewster,
Published in Poetry Nottingham 54/2, Winter 2000

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