© Christopher Raine

This is the end,

deep down we know,

idly weaving nooses

while coarsely debating

the existence of hemp

our flagging flock

lead to demise

never asking where

wool comes from

or why the rack of meat

smells so delicious



A soiled T-shirt

two sizes too small

stretches loudly in gallows mirth

“It’s all coming to an end,”

it laughs, “it’s already too late.”

family smiles recede like glaciers

a white-shirted orderly removes

the offending garment

to be ironed and pressed


The hospice news drones on;

a background of unoffending,

manicured voices flirt

in quiet discomfort

we watch as reason drowns

in a bottle of piss;

pretentious pundits

pondering its vintage