Neu!Boots DAY TWENTY – W.N. Herbert

Remains of Doggerland

In Doggerland the sunken trees
bear filthy rotten fruit,
and mammoths float in slimy herds
to chew on fossil roots.
The hip-bones of Neanderthals,
the sopping hides of Picts,
collide in dogged frottage though
the North Sea has them licked.

O Doggerland beyond the strand,
you Eurobridge that sank,
you link gone lank where King Log planned
to break the Dogger Bank:
you’re anti-this and anti-that
and pre-diluvian –
though doggerfish don’t love les chats
they’re poissons sans a plan.

Your drowned, unsound, and shrivelled heads
still circle sodden hearths
of coprolithic hill-fortlets
and wiggle lugs in wrath.
The princely corpses crawl from wrecks
that nosedive from the waves
and feudalise the fungoid crabs
that scavenge in their graves.

O Doggerland between us like
Pierre between his peers,
from beers to fears your pilgrims hike –
let jellyfishmen steer
your anti-history fist of a ship
against the flowing stream:
you doggers’ dinner of the rich
who let them misdemean.

The Admiral of Doggerland,
split shot wound round his feet,
with razor-shell dividers plots
to resurrect his fleet,
and raise the ruins, rocks and roads,
the time that land forgot,
the politics improved by woad,
the opposite of thought.

O Doggerland, beneath us all
but not too low to stoop
you soup of gloop where Ned Ludd stalled
the Euro’s loop de loop.
You’re anti-regs and pro the dregs
of sub-humanity,
the doggerheads who’d bite the legs
of children lost at sea.




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