The Dog Star



Phoebe, the dog star.


(i) The joy of running.


A bolt from the blue,

A golden arrow streaking , skirting Newport bay

Effortlessly matching sand sail and surf.

A pimple, possibly canine, on the farthest horizon

was enough to take you away,

bullet running, wide pawed dancing.

Find the fiercest dog you could – and make it chase you!

You and Maisie rising and falling like dolphins

in the meadow sweet, long grass of summer.

In Wiltshire woods the intoxicating frustration of putting up deer,

glad running into the copses,

thundering through bramble and bracken,

off, into the dim distance.

Leaving us with the panicky emptiness of the long wait.

half an hour, maybe more,

then you would appear, purple tongue, seemingly a mile long,

hawking for breath, flat out on the green downs.


(ii) A wolf god.


Eyes, soul pooled,

kohl lined.

Anput, Egyptian dog princess,

Pharaoh dog, friend to Anubis.

Easy humoured,


strong willed and sublime.

Inscrutable, imperious,

Ready beauty,



(iii) The ghost dog.


Nothing here of your decline,

just the final, dreadful, sting.

Hot teared night, tumbling on your velvet snout.

Earth drenched, she sleeps, soft blanketed.

A grave peppered with violas and first daffodils.

Now, a ghost dog walking with us.

Through Pengelly woods, wintered, mulched and mudded.

Teifi Lakes spiced with snow.

The estuary, silvered, flat calm and kind.

The pine forest near Lampeter, muffled.

Is that you?

A shivering movement amidst the trees.

A backwards glance, somehow you fill the space.

A muted howl of greeting, a murmur on the breeze?


(iv) Someday.


We too will be scattered skywards,

dark skies and moonbeams,

flung afar.

And, out there,


awaits our Sirius,

burning bright.



our dog star.


Phoebe was a lurcher, saluki, greyhound cross. A Battersea Cats and Dogs rescue hound. A huge character, acknowledged as a beauty by pretty much everyone she met. She was really quite regal, did not offer her affection lightly, and had a wicked sense of humour and mischief. A dog, yes, but so very much more. She lifted and lightened our lives for some 15 years or so, and we miss her terribly.


This poem is the best I can do. 7/2/17. 


Post Script.

It has been said, “time heals all wounds.” I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy.


Phoebe and Maisie, Pengelly Woods, Pembrokeshire.

Dogs in woods


Poetry Event: Marc Mordey, Mel Perry and Fiddlebox

Saturday April 29th at 1pm at the Horeb Chapel, Cawdor Hotel Marc Mordey and Mel Perry will read from their poetry with musical intermissions by Fiddlebox. Marc Mordey – author of ‘Marcism Today’ M…

Source: Poetry Event: Marc Mordey, Mel Perry and Fiddlebox

Poetry Event: Marc Mordey

Saturday April 29th at 1pm at the Horeb Chapel, Cawdor Hotel Marc Mordey – author of ‘Marcism Today’ Marc Mordey lives in Newport, Pembrokeshire, in a house overlooking the sea. Many of his poems a…

Source: Poetry Event: Marc Mordey

Win! Win! Win!

Now this is beginning to look a lot like Christmas – 10 lucky people have a treat in store…..


As you may know my latest Lavender Road novel, LONDON CALLING, came out in paperback last week.

london-calling-high-qualSet right in the middle of the Second World War, LONDON CALLING follows the lives of a number of people living in street in London.

Lavender Road is a perfectly ordinary south London street. But in wartime ordinary people find themselves doing extraordinary things, and now, in LONDON CALLING, actress Jen Carter  and nurse Molly Coogan are about to take on their biggest challenge yet.

*To celebrate the paperback publication, my publishers, Headline, are offering 10 free copies of LONDON CALLING.*

All you have to do to be in with a chance is pop over to my /helencareybooks facebook page at and write a brief comment under the competition post about why you would like to win a copy.


For more info on LONDON CALLING or to look at my…

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A guest post for the holidays – by Craig Beadle.

Dear friends

A friend and colleague of mine, Craig Beadle, has written this alternative take of a classic Christmas offering. I like it, and hope you do too. If you would like to learn more about Craig (who is a funny guy) then please visit and he is on Twitter @CraigJBeadle

And, from me – a huge thank you for following themarcistagenda and for sharing, supporting, encouraging, I really appreciate it.

This has been a year (perhaps, ultimately, as they all are) of magic and loss…let us hope that 2017 will treat us all with more kindness.

For those of you who celebrate it – Happy Christmas – and for you/us all, a peaceful New Year.

Yours Aye!



As it’s the first of December I thought I’d send you a nice festive story I’ve written to help kick-start the festive spirit. It was for a competition to find a new version of T’was the Night Before Christmas.. 

Hope you like it!

The Night Before Christmas (or, A Visit From Miss Nicola)

 T’was the night before Christmas, but no quiet for us,

As we join two children causing all kinds of a fuss.

Their father tried bribery, he begged and he pleaded,

Before thinking “I know, a story’s what’s needed!”


“I’ll tell them a tale of magic and wonder,

to send them both off into a blissful night’s slumber”.

“But stories are boring, why should we listen to you?”

“Because this story,” said Daddy, “is 100% true.”


“Once upon a time,” he said, for that’s how stories begin,

“At the North Pole lived a man with all of his kin.

But it’s not Santa we join, it’s someone much fickler,

For this is the tale of his daughter Nicola.”


Nicola was a touch greedy, and obsessed over things,

Each Christmas she’d cry “where are my French hens, my rings?”

So one day Santa told her of the nicest of boys,

In his 20 years he’d wanted nothing, not chocolate, not toys.


Now Nicola was confused and appalled at his taste,

How could he let Christmas go to such waste?

Santa said “Each letter he sent would have the same end”,

“I don’t want any presents, but I’d love a new friend”.


“I demand that we meet,” Nicola screamed with all might,

Until Santa conceded on Christmas Eve night.

When first they met the conversation guarded,

She focused on him, and with questions bombarded.


But slowly she softened, she just couldn’t help resist,

Her heart felt aflutter, her stomach atwist.

“Is there really no gift you want?” Nicola asked, feeling humbled.

“Just to see you next year”, was the answer he mumbled.


Come that following Christmas Nicola had not demanded her gift,

Until on Christmas Eve night she asked her dad for a lift.

When she met with the man again, they joked and had fun,

As it dawned on Nicola, that he might be the one.


“Is there nothing in the world you’d like from me next year?

Something big? Something small? Something fancy or dear?”

“If I’m honest,” he answered, “my one and only wish,

Is that next year you choose me a personal gift”.


A gift for someone else? That was new to Nicola,

But she had to get something for the faith that he’d put in her.

She thought long and hard and the answer seemed clear,

A plan was emerging for what she’d get him next year.


Christmas arrived, and with it visit number three,

And when he saw her the boy lit up like a tree.

“What gift bring you this time, oh pray tell me this.”

So she gave him the most magical gift, the gift of her kiss.


When her father returned he said with a worry,

“You’ll give up a lot for him, so with this decision don’t hurry”.

She replied “the unknown doesn’t scare me, and I hope that you’ll see,

It’s not him I’m doing it for, I do it for me.”


So Santa looked down with a tear in his eye,

Remembering his daughter from Christmases gone by.

“I see you speak truth, and it makes me so glad,

That your heart for once wants something free to be had”.


At their wedding Nicola gave up magic and wealth,

To have him beside her, in sickness and health.

They soon had two children and each Christmas brought Santa,

(But the kids, of course, knew him only as Grandpa).


At this point their mother arrived and said “Time for bed”,

But the older daughter, Sally, had a question instead.

“But you said it was true, so I’m rather confused.

Did you lie to us, daddy?” the daughter accused.


Father replied “magic’s alive on Christmas eve night,

Enough to give Nicola strength to conjure a light.”

And then out of nowhere, with a wave and a flare,

the mother made fairy lights which danced in the air!


The children’s jaws dropped and they looked at each other.

But, it couldn’t be… was Nicola their mother?

“Now get you to bed,” said mother, “and I don’t want a fight,

For Grandpa Claus won’t come if you stay up all night!”


The End

By Craig Beadle



‘London Calling’ by Helen Carey

It will take more than Hitler’s Luftwaffe to break the spirit of the residents of Lavender Road. If courage and resilience could win wars, the conflict would already be over. It’s not a…

Source: ‘London Calling’ by Helen Carey

Exciting news – Helen Carey is off on tour! Going to be great!