Wednesday 30 October 2019


I create ghostly pictures of death, officially sanctioned.
I have to believe this mass sacrifice of animals I love is worth it.
Or is it the farmers who are the real sacrifice?
Like the animals, they take it meekly and obediently often thanking me for doing it
After I had killed all 356 cattle in one family’s dairy herd they sent flowers to my wife.
These are the people who are giving up all, in the hope it will save others.

But don’t get me wrong!
I have now seen plenty of this plague and it is no common cold.
The animals suffer horribly, as the skin of their tongues peels off and their feet fall apart.
We must try to kill them quick and clean, as soon as it appears in a herd or flock.

The farmers’ suffering does not end with the visit of the
Slaughter men.

I must continue to do my duty in these Cumbrian killing fields, quickly, efficiently and effectively.
Yes, the official papers must all be in place.
Yes, the Health and Safety man must be happy.
Yes, the Environment Agency is only doing their job as best they can.

It is 6am. Today I go out to kill again.
The worst is the young stock.
I thank God the lambs are not yet born with these ewes.
Today I will have to kill a calf born yesterday, the first beautiful calf from the farmer’s pride and joy – his new Charolais bull.

This is not what I trained for.
I hope familiarity will never make me immune from the trauma of killing.
But I do hope – for the animals sake – to be good at it

It is the virus we are trying to kill!
With our disinfectants and culling policy our imprisonment of farmers in their own homes
All they have left is the telephone.

Perhaps today there is hope.
One soldier will meet me at the farm gate,
I hope he, not me, will quickly arrange the funeral of the animals I love.
Before their carcasses get so bloated they fall apart.
Adding more to the farmers’ anguish, trapped amongst them.
I should be free to move on quickly, find the virus and kill again.
The countryside I love is bleeding to death.

Monday 28 October 2019

Tuesday 1 October 2019

Lean, lightly gamey, moist, and succulent so our ethics and our judgement never stop (DRAFT/UNFINISHED)

Meet at a slender point to retain 
   strategic views to the dead world
         it will be like a tiara on
      the head of our fabulous city,
a domed temple, flanked by an
 avenue of Corinthian colonnades
it will set hearts racing
 and calm troubled minds
 it will enchant everyone who uses it
 through windswept scarp,
 to a cultivated glade
crab trees from china 
lets go for blossom season,
     lets go for berries 
in a corridor of greenery 
knights Templar figs, roses, pomegranate 
a topiary cafe hangs from
 two vast apartments
light filled and spacious
 on a shimmering canopy
                     two copper toadstools rising 
watching two kissing buildings 
 the clubhouse 
with blood money verdant 
tufted surrounds,
 it is a pleasure to walk against
a wonderful environment for a crafty
 cigarette or a romantic assignation