Postcards from Malthusia DAY THIRTY-NINE: Paul Stephenson

The Downside of the Upside


It’s like that dachshund online

having the best week ever

with everyone home from work

until its tail went into overdrive.


Rolo is currently on pain relief.

It might take a week. Apparently

there’s some movement from side to side

but he’s struggling to lift it in the air.


Which reminds me of my father

carrying on with his rusty jack,

trying to raise the Mitsubishi 

up to inspect the chassis.


Chassis. Which makes me think

of Chas & Dave, the opening verse 

of their song ‘Rabbit’ used in ads

for Courage Bitter and beginning


Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit

Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit

Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, 

rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit 

(rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit).


My father got us a rabbit. White.

Bugsy, after the only bunny we knew.

It was a Sunday. We let it out the hutch

so it could enjoy the grass.


The dog could work the back door 

and chased it round the garden.

I can see it, not hopping but swerving,

the tail wagging. Heart attack.




Paul Stephenson has published three pamphlets: Those People (Smith/Doorstop, 2015), The Days that Followed Paris (HappenStance, 2016) and Selfie with Waterlilies (Paper Swans Press, 2017). He co-edited Magma (issue 70 ‘Europe’) and co-curates Poetry in Aldeburgh. He interviews poets at Twitter: stephenson_pj / instagram: paulstep456


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