Roddy Williams – The Atheist Poet

Barbarism (2007)

There are some people who collect barbed wire
as others gather scars or butterflies.
There’s a magazine, and a museum
where neatly-clipped exhibits gleam, point out
their genesis; their swift evolution
in an age of worship of sharp objects,
this world of barriers and grim fences.

It was created to confine the cows
in Eighteen Sixty-Three, but has spread,
a blood-spined thread chicaning round the globe.
Small fingers thrust from fist shape out the horns
as they clutch the devil’s rope. Visitors,
no doubt, will see just ingenuity
as they are herded through to the gift shop.

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