The Dog Star

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For

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,

curious,

strong willed and sublime.

Inscrutable, imperious,

Ready beauty,

indisputable.

 

(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,

somewhere,

awaits our Sirius,

burning bright.

Phoebe,

ever

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

 


SPRING DRIVEN THING (written last weekend, before it got a bit nippy again!

Dogs in woods

Spring driven thing

 

It’s a spring like day

And we are walking

Three dogs, you and I

In Pengelly woods

Marvelling at the cathedral of trees

Stepping through the quickening stems of wild garlic and of Bluebells, pushing up promises

 

There’s a rough bench to rest on

And the chance to sit

Watching the stream slip by

Calling out its spring time song

Water music for the ear

Greened bark and worsened stone

Go gently on the eye

 

We talk, you’re writing once more

A matter of delight

Whilst spring adopts its rites alike

We recommence our Sunday hike

Kicking up a storm of last year’s leaf fall

Marshmallowed moulded woodland floor

Winter slowly shrinking back

As the new season slides through the quietly opening door.

 

 

 


Snowfall – on 23/24 January 2013 it snowed – hard. We took the dogs onto Carningli and all 4 of us revelled in the snow, after our own fashion!

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Snowflakes, fat and magical,

Falling fast upon our seaside town

We hot foot it up onto Carningli

Hiking at the odd angles

Which snow (and sand)  

Demand.

Newport Bay lies below

Muffled now, the silence of the snowstorm aftershock

A swarm of starlings split the leadened sky 

The eery wingbeats of this huge flock

Mingle with tobogganists careering cries

Nearby.

Home, the windows glowing

Chimney smoke signals our duskening guide

And still, as moonlit darkness hits its stride

Stealthily, greedily,  it is snowing.