Jerome Betts : Lines For A Bovine Cynosure

To commemorate the Diamond Jubilee, a controversial one ton life-size bronze by Brian Alabaster of the bull ‘Border Rory’ was set up in High Town Hereford. According to the Mayor, “Every measurement has been checked and tested. It’s an exact replica . . . it’s brilliant.”


While not white-faced, huge monochrome
Bronze Hereford by Alabaster,
Let none begrudge your High Town home –
Three cheers for model, sculptor, caster!

Tested and checked, the city’s Mayor
Finds you no euphemistic swizzle
But, anatomically, all there,
Rump, haunches, proud polled head and pizzle.

They’d rate a genuine gold rosette
If budgets now were more resilient,
So please look gratified to get
His Worship’s merely verbal ‘brilliant’.

Great metal hunk, calm, still, well-hung,
O beast that scarcely could be finer,
You’ll not defile the streets with dung
Or threaten local stocks of china!

Long may you, Rory, mark the year,
Transformed from fleshly herbage-cropper
To 2012’s prime souvenir
Inciting cries of ‘What a whopper!’


Jerome Betts