Isaac Walkley
(1785 – 1840)

Isaac Walkley, an ancestor of the poet, was accused in 1828 of  "feloniously cutting and maiming [...] Hugh HAYNES in the face with a knife the said Hugh HAYNES  there acting as a constable of the parish of Horsley." Walkley's trade was butchery.

A notched knife unzips the glistening meat,
Nipping at the marbled ligaments,
Separates the snowy fat from spongey flesh.
His clumsy sabots click upon the tiled floor,
He hangs the crimson cuts on upcurved hooks
From a low ceiling coldly curling down.
A cat slides through the door to lap at blood
Coagulating in tiny lukewarm pools
Beneath the counter’s oaken immensity.
The village church is cranked into life,
The bleating bells nag us to damp prayers
Within those clammy walls, and the braying priest
Who’s locked in jackdaw suit and white collar.
And maybe later in the woods a fumbling
Attempt at tree-obscured congress with
The furniture maker’s reckless daughter.

Saul Hughes

If you have any comments on this poem,  Saul Hughes would be pleased to hear them.