Bestiary by Peter J King

in Poetry

Peter J. King was active on the London poetry scene in the 1970s, but was seduced into the academic world by philosophy.  Returning to poetry in 2013, he has been published in numerous journals and anthologies; his latest collections are Adding Colours to the Chameleon (2016, Wisdom’s Bottom Press) and All What Larkin (2017, Albion Beatnik Press).





there’s a nightingale braying
in Jerusalem (its cross,
splayed black across its back,
indicates the furry Midas ears
it hears with) — rabbit of the
equine tribe; see, look at
those two (deepest of) eyes,
windowing some solemn, sad, and
solitary knowledge of the
crossed black bars it bears,
its sole reminder of hosannahs.



tentative, just the tip curls
enquiringly, seeking some
scent of friendship — great
grey and simple, old
lumbering reminiscence of
thunder-footed fossils; but
the eyes are turned outwards.



black, hanging, swinging
sometimes in a stray breeze that
whispers grasses on the moorlands.
maybe ten of them; the first
is hardly (isn’t) recognisable.
the second scarcely more so.
they silently and statically
progress, until the last, the latest
suddenly becomes a fresh-killed
soft and velvet blood-streaked whole.


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