‘Purple Pintle’ – a poem by Rory Waterman


    Purple Pintle

About and by Dr Bob Pintle
Associate Professor in Professional Creativity, Peterborough University
and for Dr Andrew Taylor, who did not inspire it


His end-of-term Zoom seminars were fine.
Students logged on, saw that he was there
but no-one else was, then logged out again:
their logos would appear then disappear

and then he’d go and make another tea
or gin, watch girls on TikTok on his phone.
He flicked through Plath. Pound. Georgian Poetry.
And then came summer, time to write his own.

He couldn’t quite make ‘Covid’s shit’ sound good
in verse, he found. On all else, he was mute:
becoming woke was not his strongest suit
and marked the age. He trudged off to the wood

and sat ’neath bosky leaf-lace o’erhead,
unclicked his fountain pen, withdrew a pad,
furrowed his brow to summon up the dead
and filled a page with every thought he had:

The tit comes fluttering helpless to the ground,
Pecks a worm and knows not where she goes,
Then plays the bees his cheerful chirping sound.
It’s like the world’s not mad. We make it so.

Oh fuck off birds, you happy little twats
Feeding, fucking, frolicking round the trees,
Beyond the reach of wind farms, or my cat,
And more loved, somehow, than my poetry.


Summer 2020


Two previous Pintle poems were published by Wild Court in 2019, here. More Pintle poems can be found in Rory’s recent collection Sweet Nothings, published by Carcanet.

Rory Waterman

About Rory Waterman

Rory Waterman's collections are 'Tonight the Summer's Over' (Carcanet, 2013; a PBS Recommendation, shortlisted for a Heaney Award), and 'Sarajevo Roses' (Carcanet, 2017; shortlisted for the 2019 Ledbury Forte Prize). His third, 'Sweet Nothings', was published by Carcanet in May 2020. His other books include 'Poets of the Second World War' (Northcote House, 2016). He is Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Literature at Nottingham Trent University, writes criticism for several publications, and co-edits the pamphlet press New Walk Editions.