Forty Shades of Green

I am green with jealousy
of poets younger than me,
cleverer than me,
doing better than me.

This poison-green bile,
this cud that I chew
over and over,
erupts out of my
hundreds of stomachs
in a logorrhoea
requiring whole forests
of paper to mop up.

I’m beating my brains
against their delicate
peppermint freshness,
until my nose runs Mars red,
and I’d like to stop
their greening, lop
their sap-happy branches,
cut swathes with my mower
through their emerald swards.
The forty shades of green,
those forty thieves
of my reason,
trudge me up hill
and down dale,
hiding in the bottle green
I’ve been wearing since school.
I missed my chance, got
stuck as the child
with the jade eyes glinting
at old ladies cooing
over the new baby
with his curlier hair,
his treacherous smile,
his place in my house,
in my cot, in my pram.
I saw so red then
I took the Stork scissors
and cut off those curls
to make the ladies coo at me,
tell me again I’m
the belle of the ball.
So watch out,
you guys in the green room,
who think I’m
a sweet little old lady
with crème-de-menthe eyes:
snip-snap, snip-snap,
your confetti’d poems
will huddle in gutters,
as syllables and letters
fly away in the wind
to rest in the trees for
any woodpecker or finch
to line its nest with,
while I peacock past,
lumbering to take off,
my tail making a long
useless trail behind me.