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,
Anput, Egyptian dog princess,
Pharaoh dog, friend to Anubis.
strong willed and sublime.
(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?
We too will be scattered skywards,
dark skies and moonbeams,
And, out there,
awaits our Sirius,
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.
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.
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!Posted: January 25, 2013
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)
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
Home, the windows glowing
Chimney smoke signals our duskening guide
And still, as moonlit darkness hits its stride
Stealthily, greedily, it is snowing.