Title: Sport 33

Editor: Fergus Barrowman

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, 2005

Part of: Sport

Conditions of use



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Sport 33: Spring 2005

David Beach

page 153

David Beach

Self-portrait 4

A poem is an opening line plus work. My
forte is the opening line but I toil
too. I bang my brain upon the page, read
through as far as I have got again and
again. That might seem too tortuous for Keats'
'If poetry comes not as naturally
as the leaves to a tree it had better
not come at all' but leaves grow slowly and
experience who knows what erasures. And
I'm confident I pass the botany
test, a blossoming bough, in the throes of
writing liable to undergo something
like the arboreal fate which the Greek myths
relate could befall maidens feeing from gods.

page 154

Sheriff Devil 1

'You devil, Devil,' the girl murmured. 'How
can you say that when I was in church
just the other day?' 'That was to arrest
half the congregation, including the
man I was about to marry.' 'Did I
arrest people? I only remember
it as the occasion I met you.' Her
mouth avidly sought Devil's, who soon was
showing he packed more ammunition than
his six-shooter. 'So you forgot the fight
which destroyed the church?' she asked later—'if
it's a fight when no one's able to land
a blow on you.' 'I get hit by enough
women, I'm not getting hit by men too.'

Sheriff Devil 2

He was south of the border and south of
a ravine. South of him was about half
the Mexican army. He'd never had
the steed befitting his prowess and this
lack now saw him vaulting from the saddle
and sprinting at the abyss. His leap took
him to a tree growing out of the far
wall. It also almost uprooted the
tree, which did succumb as he lunged for the
cliff-face. The troops rode up to bare cliff-face
and Devil on the cliff-top. To the tree
had been astounding. All the way was a
miracle. The pursuit were too busy
making (aptly) signs of the cross to shoot.

page 155

Pet Food

There's a noise upstairs which he assumes is
the cat, returning before the storm. He's
engrossed in an article or would have
gone to check. Then something is knocked over
and he does put the magazine aside,
surer than ever that it's the cat. He's
slow to get to the door though, gazing at
the competing darknesses of weather
and early evening. There's a heavy creak
from the passage. With a quickening action
he reaches for the handle, which even
as he grasps begins to turn. The cat leaps
in the window and shakes itself, waltzes
down the stairs, sniffs the magazine, licks it.

Abandoned Novel

It was a dark and stormy day, at least
for the duration of the eclipse. A
huge leaf, resembling a man whose coat was
flapping in the wind, had been proceeding
along a road and the alignment of
heavenly orbs happened to coincide with
the piece of foliage's arrival at
its destination. This was a section
for which it might have been expected to
feel an affinity, abundant trees
concealing any house. The leaf halted
at the gate and then, horrified by the
interruption to photosynthesis
perhaps, began trembling … well, like a leaf.