Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

‘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.