London Poetry: The Fox And The Skyscraper By Tim Cresswell

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 61 months ago
London Poetry: The Fox And The Skyscraper By Tim Cresswell

soiltimcresswellTim Cresswell's new poetry collection, Soil, looks at where geography and language collide. A number of the poems focus on fleeting moments of urban life – that moment when evening turns to night, nature poking through into the city, the surprise of parakeets in London parks, a semi-obsession with airports. Here, he writes an ode to the fox that made its home at the top of the Shard while it was being built.

You can buy Soil for £8.99 + £2 p&p from its publisher, Penned in the Margins.

The Fox and the Skyscraper

Oh fox, in Japan they speak of Kitsune,
with nine full bushy tails, who waited
one hundred years to turn into a woman,
a beautiful lover to encounter alone
in the twilight. And in Arkansas,
Uncle Remus wove yarns of the trickster,
Bre’r Fox, who mixed tar with cloth
to fool a rabbit. Here we sing you,
oh Reynardine, the ware-fox, who wandered
late with shining teeth, luring
farmers’ daughters to his castle
in the mountains. And the nameless fox
who went out on a winter’s night
and prayed to the moon
to give him light before he reached
the town-o. And the fox who ran
as fast as he could and caught and ate
the gingerbread man. And the fox
who couldn’t get the highest,
sweetest grapes. And Fox in Sox!
And the fox in Southwark
who climbed the stairs and ladders
seventy-three storeys to
the top of the Shard, grazing
on half-eaten kielbasa and jellied
pork-pie crusts discarded
by the carpenters and glaziers,
and every fox cell in hairs, nose
and notched ear hummed
as he sat, exhausted, rank
as any fox, gazing
out across London.

Last Updated 02 July 2013