Works in the Herald 1933
He came into the bird-shop where I stood --
   A hulking giant, monumental, grim,
A paragon of muscular manhood.
  "What is sold here," I thought, "that could serve him?"
His heavy brow, his grat, prognathic jaw
   Spoke brooding truculence; he wore no vest;
And, where his shirt flared one side, I saw
   The matted hair upon his mighty chest.

I thought of Gog, Carnera, Hercules,
   As he stood by me, breating like a gale.
"What can he want," I wondered, "'mid all these.
   Pet dogs, birds, goldfish offered here for sale?
Bulldogs at least."  The parrots watched him, tense;
   The yelping pups grew still to see him pass;
All sensed his presence, dominant, immense.
   Even the goldfish goggled thro' their glass.

He scared me.  Hastily I made my choice
   And paid my cash.  Yet loitered by the door,
Longing to hear the thinder of that voice
   Rumble and break into a sudden roar;
Longing to know, amongst these playful folk --
   Pups, parrots, love-birds -- what could be his need.
Sharks?  Panthers? ... Then his piping treble spoke:
   "Please, miss, three pennorth of canary seed."

Herald, 27 March 1933, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2005