Dung Beetle

by Ann Drysdale

Here he comes, dribbling singlemindedly,
concentrating, keeping control of the ball.
And there he goes down the wing,
the wing actual, the wing ephemeral,
beating half-hearted defenders who don’t really go for it.
Nobody wants possession of his ball
only the cheap thrill of the actual tackle,
the nom-nom nourishment stuffed up his shiny shirt.
See, off he goes, on he goes, while the ball swells and slows,
gathering unto itself the shit of its conception
the aim of its only begetter
as he dribbles, dribbles, heading head-down for the line.
And he scores!


Ann Drysdale is an expatriate Englishwoman living and writing in Wales. Born near Manchester and brought up in London, she has lived on a narrowboat in the Midlands, a smallholding in Yorkshire and, for the last twenty years, in the highest terrace of a small town in Gwent.  Along the way she has published six poetry collections as well as memoirs, essays and a guidebook to Newport.