a ragbag sheepdog paced the yard

      scavenging tor things to do

now that time had blurred his eye

      and blunted his gait

his hinges arthritic, this farmer's mate.


I began the work i'd come to perform

      pausing first to stare him out

with a pat and a cluck, then I saw the ball.

      Like him it survived, well versed    in

the bounce and the scuttling across the farm.


Moments spent with the farmer no doubt

      a trick or treat that drew him out

and I threw it far.

      With a streak of purpose and a flattened pose

he caught the ball on his infinite nose.


Was it the smell, or was it the sight

      cultivated by day and night.

Those ears acute and more acute

      whilst owls and mice

told their stories of sky and earth?


His snout would twitch

      and his dreams would ride

on sickle moons     on doggy moons

      of sheepdog trials of guilty pride

silhouettes of static flight.


and now he lay just looking up

      the ball so delicately placed

and ready for the same old tricks

      of rounding the sheep he once had faced


      my work delayed

      my day complete.






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Fri 29th Jan 2016 12:09

Cheers Jim. I'm not a dog man in general but he was a special case. You're right it elevated me for sure.


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Jim Trott

Fri 29th Jan 2016 04:27

I really like this one, Ray. It conjures up wonderful images.

Therapy for both parties, I think.

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Mon 25th Jan 2016 15:51

Thanks for your appreciation Yvonne. I since found out he was injured in a quad bike (but that was before I saw him ) and I fell for him!


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Yvonne Brunton

Mon 25th Jan 2016 12:43

well drawn image of an old dog. I especially like
"With a streak of purpose and a flattened pose" a perfect sheepdog description.

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