Here’s a poem that I wrote between my BA and my MA, but with a new edit. I had taken the references to the miner’s strike out. I bought the print from an antiques shop on Derby Road, Heanor, when I was a teenager.
You Crazy Cats
For Louis Wain.
The cats, in uniform shades of black,
march to work in single file
carring a paper of ink black news for daily views
and a bowler hat.
Cast in similar size and shape
they zigzag their way through similar streets
that span the circumference of the earth
like a good belt that keeps things up and in.
It is a procession of sorts, they mourn
the passing of our lives. Some smile, some frown
look up, look down, but none will wear a crown.
And indeed, never spats.
No underground hells shelter them.
Each cat has lost its voice: their last fight
lost eight lives and all mines.
So the cats file past in sombre black
waiting to be turned back.