The Vultures of Prometheus by Ruth Aylett

Nobody asked us if we liked liver
especially a man’s,
especially a demi-god’s.
Eyes are much tastier,
but we aren’t allowed to blind,
part of the punishment is to see us coming.

And this diet is disgustingly
monotonous, the damn stuff
grows back each night
for our morning edition,
we can never clear the plate;
and he’s so stoic
that he never complains
not so much as a grunt though
you have to assume it hurts
or how would it be a punishment?

Why don’t our divine proprietors
do their own dirty work for once?
Are they afraid of taking the blame?
Because yes, they were out of court
on this one, if you ask us.
Which they don’t,
given we are at their beck.

Here’s our protest letter written in blood.
Have us finish the man off or let him go
and give us someone else to tear at.
Not liver, maybe heart?


Ruth Aylett has published widely in magazines and anthologies – including The North, Prole, Interpreter’s House, Agenda, Envoi, Southbank Poetry, Scotoa Extremis and Umbrellas of Edinburgh. Joint author of Handfast (Mother’s Milk 2016), her first single-author pamphlet, Pretty in Pink (4Word), is due out in 2021. For more see