By Nicholas Starkey
I once seen a sheep praying,
like a woollen apostle. I was on a bus,
grazing in Carmunnock, floating through the white
river, livestock-angels on either side of the road, locked in by fences.
A fence held them, and a gate somewhere. The gate wooden, oaky and silvery white;
somewhat furry. Within the fences, white fluffy dressing gowns
and so they should be.
The meditative sheep had its pillow-white bottom pointed
upwards to the clouds in the sky whilst it’s black face dived
down to the muck of the earth.
This is how it prayed.
It looked scared, a little bit
constipated. It looked torn,
torn between believing
and believing in fear.
Taking the plunge. The long drop.
The mercy of G-d and Men
was what it prayed for, like the flock
from No Mean City, hoping they
aren’t next on the chopping block. The sheep
rubbed the grass with it’s charcoal-face
like a lamp and wished, screaming it’s wish the only way sheep know
how, Baaaa, baa’a baaa ba –
Please, don’t kill me
Nicholas Starkey studies English and Law at Strathclyde University and enjoys reading and writing poetry, occasionally writing short stories. He was published in issue three of Quotidian Magazine and has been published in online literary magazines such as The Fiction Pool. Nicholas also writes songs and performs at open-mic nights and gigs. Nicholas’s influences include Jack Kerouac, Alasdair Gray and James Joyce.