Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Bordeaux Bay by Guernsey-based artist Tony Taylor

Sunday, 28 February 2016


During the autumn of 2015, I completed a quartet of poems under the working title Murchen, which is the Gaelic word for Hare, a creature that I find fascinating and charming in equal measure.
All four parts of the Murchen quartet are written as stand-alone poems that may be read in isolation or as part of a whole.
The one below, part four, is probably my favourite.



Stillness is her best defense.

So she becomes
a russet stone,
a dark tussock,
a clod of earth, upturned;
perhaps merely a shadow
there by a dry-stone dyke
on stony, open ground.
No shiver of wind
disturbs her tawny fur.
She sits, unbreathing,
stiff as an idol.
Only her eyes, bead-bright
in a fine-boned head,
travel like planets.

With leather-gaitered boot,
green Barbour shape,
tobacco reek,
and slow-departing tread,
danger passes.


Hare coursing is the pursuit of hares with greyhounds which chase the hare by sight,not by scent. It is illegal in Scotland, Wales and England and became illegal in Northern Ireland in 2011. Sadly, it remains legal in the Republic of Ireland. 
In England and Wales, illegal hare coursing has continued since it was banned by the Hunting Act 2004. 
A typical hare coursing event involves groups of two to twelve people walking in a line approximately 10 metres apart then letting their dogs loose to chase flushed hares. The activity is filmed so that the coursing can be played later, when betting occurs. 
Illegal hare coursing occurs on a large scale in Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, and gangs often travel large distances to course hares. Dogs are starved beforehand so the hares are often ripped to shreds when they are caught.
As long ago as 1516, Thomas More wrote: Thou shouldst rather be moved with pity to see an innocent hare murdered of a dog, the weak of the stronger, the fearful of the fierce, the innocent of the cruel and unmerciful. Therefore, all this exercise of hunting is a thing unworthy to be used of free men.


  1. Lucky enough to be shown this sequence. Fantastic work it is.

  2. A lovely poem Richard, just a shame that cruelty like this still exists. Thank you for raising awareness.