Death on a pavement

by Jonathan Humble

On hard wet ground, exposed like a pulsing nerve,
half a yard from the comfort of grass,

it writhed unsteadily to unheard music,
while the connoisseur’s eye judged its girth from a bush.

Rainwater marinated and near wasted after a night
of passion, casting tired letter shapes as the sun split

clouds overhead, this foot long night crawler knew
of its place on the menu, coelomic fluid spurting

in jerked responses to the half perceived silent threat
of a hidden beak. Meal fixed in a yellow ringed eye,

target acquired, locked on, the beak cared not,
its sudden action initiating a hopeless animated letter S

on the pavement, as the sun denied witness to death
throes and buried itself back in the safety of clouds.


Jonathan Humble’s poetry has appeared in The Big Issue In The North, Poems For Freedom, The Dragon Poet Quarterly, Paragram, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Teacher, Obsessed With Pipework and on BBC Radio 4 and Radio Cumbria. His short stories and poems for children have been published in The Caterpillar, AmazingMagazine, The Looking Glass Magazine and The Stew Magazine.