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Blog - Richard Downes

Snuff Street Haiku


photo of a sign in Devizes advising disabled access via Snuff St.

A while ago (2010) I saw this sign. Disabled Access via Snuff Street. Having a somewhat twisted sense of humour I found the juxtaposition amusing. Though of cause there is a connection with politics, eugenics, and the Not Dead Yet campaign. Humour contains truths regardless of whether the truth is funny.

Anyway, I wanted to celebrate the photo. I wondered if I could do it in a series of haikus. I don’t think I got where I wanted to go. Adherence to poetic form wearies me. So, again in terms of works in progress, this is as far as it’s gone to date.

And i guess out of group loyalty I should dedicate this one to all the ‘Not Dead Yetters’ I ever stood with and all the ‘Not Dead Yetters’ that stood without me too.

Snuff Street Haiku

Turn out the street lights
Along the banks of Snuff Street
Eyes closed to murder

Entering deep sleep
A branch taps on the window
Can you see the pane

Beneath the mattress
A hand suddenly appears
This could be a dream

Except it’s too real
Snuff Street exists in Wiltshire
Unlike ‘Springs Faeries’

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