Snipping for England*

Cutting things out of paper
Is a fascinating caper:
To go from A4
To a model (or more)
An inglorious pastime
In this life of mine,
Unable, it seems,
To resist the challenge
Of anti-gravitational revenge.
The raising of forms
With the simplest of features
A test indeed
For my 3D creatures:
The whether-they’ll -stand
Or whether -they’ll -fall
A practical challenge to enthral,1
The state of paper dignity
A matter of accurate symmetry,
The standing strong a crucial act
To keep the artefact intact,
Always assuming the grain is laid
In the correct direction for the model made…
A single architectural fact
To keep the structure fully intact,
Hours of idle self-occupation
Emphasising this correlation,
Snippings falling like off-white snow
And crumpled failures in a pile below,
But nothing able to deter
The finished products I’d prefer
(Anyone who knows me well
In receipt of such on each Noel,
The three-dimensional Christmas Card
An annual challenge by most ignored,
Giving the most peculiar excuses
To avoid the challenge its arrival produces…
Bring me back to the heart of this business
The adult fear of ‘making a mess’
The tallest of barriers to suppress
A little bit of child’s play
To pass an average weekend day…
*…and St George!


A therapeutic indulgence/habit evolved over years, following a random encounter with Michael Grater’s book in a school library…



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