The Running Dog

For all bifurcating branches
Sublime in their simplicity,
A dog has very little need

Indeed, yet with joyous barks
No less retrieves
Inherent interventions

Between what we deemed
Essential, or inbetween,
Or instead invented;

This contrast is at times
A subtle one,
Like sunlight through

Doppelganger-dappled leaves,
Ever since antiquities
In these dark-shaded parks

Of our entwining souls;
Yet if not for that twisted,
Rotten tooth of birch

In boggy undergrowth,
There would be no us,
Nor any running dog at all.

Countryside Scylla

She wore clothes in the country way,
Waxy coat with stoat-skin underlay,
Cottonopolis cloth in Wellington boots
Appearing behind the hawthorn roots.
This landed lady lost two of her dogs
Somewhere beyond the dream-line fogs,
My task to pursue both near and far,
I could not see her Isabella fur-hidden scar.
Traversing hills and greenfinch lanes
I searched through snow and seven rains,
Crossing torrents, the Fells in spate,
All memories she would eradicate,
Until I crossed a last long moor
And found the exhausted Labrador
Alongside a shadowing Sheltie.
I returned to my love bareback on a Kelpie,
Imagined rewards, her embrace and her kiss,
But I had wandered far from such bliss,
For her head had since turned a form of darker:
A country lady’s body bound to an Ovcharka.