Please Take Care of the Valuable Livestock

by Ian Dudley

I was taking a walk,
(I thought)

but the walk
had second thoughts

and abandoned me in the middle of fields of unseasonal wheat,
trim, knuckled hedges, and English grass, passive-aggressive green.
It was so quiet you could hear the pins dropping in your head.

It wasn’t natural like the city, unkempt, sprouting, doing its thing:
the land was so worked it practically sat up and begged.
A sheep stared at me. My eyes followed the tear tracks down

its long snout
to a restless mouth

sadly consuming
the universe.


Ian Dudley’s most recent publications have been in LossLitInk, Sweat and Tears, and The Rialto. He has won the Oxonian Review (2015) and Aesthetica (2017) poetry competitions, and featured in Eyewear’s The Best New British And Irish Poets 2016.