Snares: Fifth Allied Forces

Posted by ractrose on 21 Apr 2021 in Art, Poems

Pastel and ink drawing of face behind thorns




The Folly

Allied Forces







The woodland affords the falcon—

Where hedgish undergrowth shoots in voluntary tangle

augmented year by year from half-digestions

spat or shat by avian lodgers, nesting

a thicket permitted by the landowner

(Said to be the blighted Rory Tebbs)

to wax untrimmed

Has wove itself a Briar Rose’s castle

of clinging burs, of stabbing spines and thorns

Good for the grousing, good for the pheasanting

Good for whatever sport…as God alone can fathom, might appeal…

(To such people!)

Yet a worthy poacher stealthily has carved

away the lowest growth athwart a trickle

unable to decide if it be brook or spring

And hidden where success may favour him

are his snares… Falco trips them each


The woodland affords the falcon cover

and his spyglass scopes the undulous terrain

and his patience feeds on the contents of a Crispo tin


Dusk will do

Falco is a famous man; he is on society’s lips

The spellbindings of rumour weave beyond

Such nets as governments may knit

The Milburne is not clever

Yet like others, who will make no plea to expiate their guilt

She may be found as she deserves being left

Where is that? His mind falls into trance

(And what this trance invites, if he could guess!)

It lies far from coincidence

‘A thing like this…if it’s not against the law, I can’t see why!

What does she mean, using our names! That Miss Keltenham.

Her magazine’s nothing but sedition. She says if there’s war…

Here. And there, her picture. See the hair!

That wasn’t taken anytime too recent. If there’s war…here, Teresa…

the women ought to go, and the men stay at home!’

His mother said (nothing to this proposal): ‘Parish records. Or

something printed in the newspapers. They do print them, the deed polls.

And Thomas, when the army let him go, they printed that.

Miss Keltenham has not realised it matters. She thinks

it’s like pulling names out of a hat.’






Pencil drawing of folly on hilltopApproachable: Sixth Allied Forces
















(2021, Stephanie Foster)




%d bloggers like this: