Darwin's Beard

Often, he would trim it on a Tuesday,
lining up his accoutrements
from longest shear to alum block,
a man of grand ideas but simple pleasure
mesmerised by the blacksmith's art,
admiring the pivot and opposing grip,
the leaf-sprung tension and tapered blank.

With blades rustling through his outlands
he would imagine a predator, belly-down
in stubbled turf, perceive
the occasional flash of a hungry eye;
lantern light and stainless steel
conspiring to deceive a willing mind.

In his later years he would pluck
the few remaining blacks out
one by one, would trap them
between his tweezer's teeth and turn
them slowly over a candle's flame,
savouring the smell of death,
of time's brute confirmation.

Brian Edwards

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