The haaf has crept inland. Now some will say
longtail instead of rat, thinking that they
are thereby honouring the ancient ban
by which the beast cannot be named by man
at all. Such observance is too keen.
The prohibition is purely marine,
and they for whom the sea is their resource
may speak quite differently amongst the gorse.
I do not suavely add “And, in a way …”,
like some smooth vicar on Thought for the Day,
drawing a specious moral out of it.
The tides are getting higher – where’s my hat? –
so call them what you like, longtail or rat.
We’re all going to have to budge up a bit.
If you have any thoughts on this poem, David Callin would be
pleased to hear them.