Issue 27: James Coghill

Proliferous Pink

     something very small and simple — Charles de Foucauld


with some

irony: scant steppe relic or



from where de foucauld /

to carry me,

as she carried…


lights up

where the soil wanes

to a blemish.

having died & come back

half a dozen times,

your existence delimits:

tucked & /

eternal reprieve


save tota pulchra

when your stem waxes

& leaves

toss on the wind

like scalplocks

before the pedicels

breach /


lyke to that

wich made alle thinge /

your pastel rage


bloom by bloom,

shrived &



Each warren was managed by a warrener, whose task was to nurture, protect and trap the rabbits. He therefore needed to live on-site and his accommodation had a threefold purpose: living quarters; a storage space for equipment such as nets, traps and lanterns, as well as for the rabbit carcasses; and a lookout and defence against poachers—Anne Mason and James Perry



by habitual

forces: weather, harriers, foxes—


the ratio of bucks to does

then sources turves,

trudges the warren’s banks

looking to fix tumbledown, blown-furze,

the weak & todden slope— sign

of passerby

or poacher? He (for this craft is patrilinear)

sits up at night, watching

the interloping stars

pick across the sky’s cold smear

or clouds billowing like mud

through stirred waters.

Dawn voices

a thinking topography. The banks

stretch round, they hold like margins,

the burrows, the blown

sand, trapping bank arrayed

with snares pegged in. A squeal goes up.

The autumn cull in full swing:

ferrets jigging in their cages

as a lurcher lolls its tousled head

up, round   settles

back into the sling of its willow limbs.

Downstairs, the seasonal hires

breathe deep. The youngest whimpers. Soon

they will troop out

with precise choreography.

Some will tend the snares, pluck

the blood dazed

coneys out

with a snap of neck. Others will pour

the ferrets in, those spry and murderous little men

dressed for terror.

He will orchestrate, mostly, make sure

the furs are spared

too much damage   that nothing suffers

more than is necessary.


The squeal subsides.

When he goes to meet it,

he will be wearing


In addition to teaching English at Social, Emotional, and Mental Health school, James Coghill writes poetry on broadly ecological and religious themes. Most recently, he has had work included in 14 Magazine, Pamenar, and the Hythe.

Copyright © 2022 by James Coghill, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.