Two More Poems by Nick Ascroft


I Coo Haiku High, Eh

(For Ames)

One Use a toothbrush, eh,   to clean your goose-
flesh ballbag,  then icewater it.

The use?
Sweet fuck all.  Momentary relief perhaps.
The itch, eternal.

Two Then Jesus claps:
Oi!  Throw no stones, you hypocrites!  (The king
Of killjoys.)

Pilate’s wife’s repulsed.  A thing
so brutal. Why? Yet …  It’s just so right now.

Three Always, we bring plagues:  in the cacao,
Minute mites;  moths, mice, flies and ants.

How scabies
crazed me.  Like fleas that bite the baby’s
brow, the unseen seethes.

Four His fluorescent
shite,  I scoop an iridescent  crescent
round his bits.

Am I infectious?   Are these
Disease-borne fingers?  He wees, sighs: oh please.

Turn to Camera in the Birthing Suite

(for Kate at 35)

At this – attaching a maternity
pad’s sticky wings to either side of your
gigantic knickers – I wink, turn to the
omniscient camera and say I am sure
that none submersed in postmodernity
as low as you have soared above their raw
and unrelievable eternity
of pain, fought unironic through the flaw
bonanza of the hypnobirth, the TENS
placebo and such taciturnity
or absence as the stand-in midwife lent,
and stayed so measured. I discern indeed
the greatest heroism in your labour.
And here’s to Entonox to blunt the sabre.

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