The Dalliance of Dame and Stable Boy

Incen­di­ary was her gaze

Burn­ing lips with fevered kiss

A brand that set his parts ablaze

The scorch of desire

Hor­monal bush fire

Con­science’ death pyre

Its last siz­zling ember quenched with a kiss


Did it melt, the wan­ton heart of her?

Or roast, char, buckle and burn?

On that infer­nal bar­be­cue for ever

Is she done to a turn?

Torched by the sots and thralls of lust

She sighs, ‘I am dead meat. And it is just.’


Ham-fisted, cack-handed, cock-sure

Her front­let and ver­tu­gale he boldly tossed aside

Rocket-fuelled, intem­per­ate, ungoverned, impure

Pre­cious Lady* will play

With a roll in the hay

When her lord is away

The sta­ble boy jock­eys his bride.


Bosch and Breughel knew his plight

Half man, half fish in a sea of flame

Inven­tively tor­tured for eons infinite

Grilled for eter­nity, black­ened with shame

Pri­apic fire­works long since doused

A sorry sole that would be soused

*Mar­garet Hickey had some won­der­fully trashy mag, in which this was a euphemism for women’s sexy bits – which made us all snig­ger a lot.

A bunch of us wrote poems while we were stay­ing at the Riad — the sub­ject we tack­led was Fire Down Below.

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