Stan and Bette Solomons

Poetry and Artwork

Category: Animal Poems

Outside Safeways

A mournful sound ,
dreadful and beautiful,
fit to bring tears to any eye,
evoking the black pit of Hell..

Oh woe! Oh woe! Oh cruel
doleful, awful harmony!

A concord of discord
that fills the courtyard.

A dirge by creatures
rent from their owners,
anxious and alone,
tied to the bars
of some timeless limbo.

Bassets, and Red Setters
in a clear brown baritone;
Bloodhounds just below
intone a bleary profundo;
and Labradors and Boxers
mellifluous with tenor.

Terriers and Yorkies barking mad
in a fine soprano passion
vie to hit the topmost C.
with coloratura Poodles clad
in highest fashion.

These are soft creatures, left
outside Safeways every day,
every breed and pedigree
some of them no breed at all
tethered just like animals.

So they sing in agony,
left in mutual misery,
feeling they must be bad,
to be thus bereft and torn
from their adored
mum or dad.

Saturday, 30 June 2001

A Sloth – A Perspective

You would be loath
if you were me
to blame so readily
the Sloth

Granted the way
in which he lives
may seem pejorative,
to some degree.

Leisurely in extreme
at least compared with us
whizzing around
in a perpetual fuss.

In sweated labour,
ending up distressed
with peptic ulcers,
and completely stressed.

You must agree that both
the two toed sloth
and three toed sloth
have the right frame of mind.

They take their time,
and live a swinging life
from tree to tree
gentle and carefree.

No sin in being lazy!
Letting it all hang out

We are the crazy ones,
rushing around
seeing life
upside down
or even inside out.

Swans in Perspex

I remember:

I came across the brooch years afterwards,
drowning in the depths of the drawer
and took it up, feeling it like a jewel.
The stream flowed deep within the crystal
and the swans swam proudly.

And as I gazed Ladislaw came to my mind,
with all his peasant friendly force,
and certain knife carving, whittling away.
I felt the clash within his clumsy elegance,
understand as never before how his art,
may endure, not in bronze, but in Perspex,
swans in perspex

swans in perspex

I remember:

I gave it my love as a first gift,
a symbol of grace and of serenity.

But for old Ladislaw exiled from his home
like many Polish Air Force,
trapped in the time and the events of war,
with no ending, except in beauty
it was a threnody.

And now I see:

What then I would not,
brash as I was with young ego.
I see the sad contours of the Swans,
and hear his Swan Song.

Thoughts on Tigers

Tiger, Tiger, in the gloom,
Of the silent living room,
What was the greed and what the hate
That led you to this sorry state?

Tiger, stretched out on the hearth,
Fangs bared in a snarl of death,
Framed in a savage symmetry
And an immortal ecstasy.

Tiger, Tiger, once so bright
In the forests of the night,
Prostrate now upon the floor,
A decoration, nothing more.

Tiger, with your subtlety,
Hunting skills, and cruel beauty,
Never to be seen again
Save for staring eyes and skin.


This owl sits in his own
Gleaming mahogany peace,
Swaying without movement,
Thrusting his talons
Deep into his dais.

Perched upon the mantelpiece
He views the living room,
Gazing around with the old wisdom,
The polished menace of the totem
The psychic power of the moon.

He swivels saucer eyes,
Takes the occasion
To preen his sculpted plumes
Waiting for night.

Then takes to muffled flight,
Swooping around the house,
Stooping upon the mice
Delivering death


Welfare State

He lies in the sun,
roaring insufferably

Rippling with strength
and beauty
and testosterone
he lazily surveys
his kingdom.

While by his side
his females lie
waiting his whim
with downcast eye,
adoring him.

He may be macho
but, when all is done
behind the throne,
behind the king
is his pride.

Far be it from me
To draw analogies
With those who wait
their Giro cheque
in our society.

But come the crunch,
whose job is it
to go and hunt
for lunch?

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