Last week I talked about choosing love poems to read at a local event. In the end, I think I found nine short pieces that I ran together to produce a story of a kind, which seemed to go down reasonably well.
One of them has a dog in it, albeit unseen and at a distance, so makes a good piece to include in this first blog post of the new Year of the Dog. Continue reading “dog days”
A few weeks ago, I posted a picture of a cyclamen flower and pondered why I always forget the name. Today’s flower also begins with “c”, but for some reason I find it far easier to remember the word clematis.
Usually, I take pictures of flowers and plants because they’re pretty and they tend to keep still; just occasionally, though, a moving image is too delightful not to at least try and capture it.The photo doesn’t do justice to the reality: there were four dogs in total, and for a few brief minutes before their – unseen – owner whistled them back, they chased each other in and out of that muddy puddle with pure unfettered joy.
It’s not all fun spending a week in a house with a pedant whose current reading matter is the biography of a logical positivist (or that of any other philosopher, perhaps). I was told yesterday that describing someone as “a good poet” was meaningless, it was a value judgment, that what I was actually saying was, “she is a poet; hurrah!” (As opposed to “she is a poet; boo!”)
We did however manage to see eye to eye – or was that hear ear to ear? – when the news was on the other night, reporting on a disease affecting dogs in the UK recently. The disease remains unidentified, but the reporter said that some progress had been made after vets observed clusters of dogs dying all across the country from the south west to the north east.
It is probably sad but true that in the course of their work vets observe animals dying. But to observe clusters of them dying and not take action – as opposed to noticing the clusters of reported dog deaths – seems heartless. I think any vet who did so would be a bad vet and deserve to be booed.
Looking through my files for a poem with a dog in it to go with this photo, I am slightly surprised just how few there seem to be. There are plenty of cats. And then there are dog ends and dog shit, dog-tooth waistcoats and quite a bit of barking, but very few actual dogs. Continue reading “doggerel”