Jerome Betts


Jacks by the Hedge

“Alliaria petiolata . . . Jack By The Hedge
—Collins Pocket Guide To Wild Flowers

Who strewed the verge with polythene,
And greasy bags, the fish and chipper’s,
And stuff to turn a censor green?
Distinctive droppings, Jack the Tripper’s.

Who, after plants to fill his plot,
Grubbed up two precious Lady’s Slippers,
Then came next year and took the lot?
Ask for them now at Jack the Stripper’s.

Who, trimming twigs to film a nest,
Went much too far with clumsy clippers
And left what crows could then molest?
Such lethal deeds are Jack the Snipper’s.

Who dumped his gas-stove in the lane
Not far from where the brook holds dippers,
Switched on, and drove away again?
This little gift was Jack the Tipper’s.

Jerome Betts lives in Devon, England, where he edits the quarterly Lighten Up Online. His verse has appeared in a variety of British magazines and in several anthologies as well as UK, European, and North American web publications such as Amsterdam Quarterly, Angle, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Better Than Starbucks, Light, The Asses of Parnassus, The Hypertexts, The New Verse News, Parody, Per Contra, The Rotary Dial, and Snakeskin.