Two fairytale poems from ‘Mother Goose’ by Bernard Gutteridge with a little twist, first published in The London Magazine in 1971.


She is like the Grimms
And all that evergreen black forest
Of all our childhoods
Warned. The hair drawn back.

The small black ribbon. The small
Black smile
(I can eat them better than
Their mother could’).

And she does.
And eats their



His hands blubbering away
In the empty oak chest.
Victim of a fairy tale,
Wags each cropped wrist.

He can’t even have his
Fingerprints back,
The sucked wart on that thumb
Or his heartline back.

But tomorrow they’ll
Prop up his glass of gin,
The weepy hands. They’ll gristle
Back again.

Do quite remember
He believed the story,
Turned the key quickly,
Dipped in his hands.

sken-1-kopia‘Mother Goose’ poems from the June/July issue from 1971

Transcribed by Anna Červenková


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