Leading questions

‘Only us dog-walkers out today!”
She says brightly as she passes.

The Downs are drowned
In a drizzle thick and grey
As battleship paint, and yet,
Yes, here we all are:

My new friend with her King Charles,
Shiny boots and pointless shades,
Two Gore-Texed women with five fizzing
Where-now-what-next-let’s-go Shelties
Gambolling round their legs like dolphins
Shadowing ships into a harbour, and a feisty papillon
With a heart and voice ten times his size.
A man, head down, hands deep in pockets,
Trudging the hard track round the field
Like a convict in an exercise yard
With a sofa-fat golden retriever
Wide-eyed, wheezing, at his heels.
Merv and Bailey, Ange and Leo.
Sid and Henry, Pete and Alfie,
And me, with the hunting-dog
In his red coat, smiling at the weather.
The familiar crowd of hardy souls,
All wondering as the rain redoubles
And Sunday yawns, goes back to sleep,
Just who is walking whom.

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6 thoughts on “Leading questions

  1. Hi Nick,

    ‘In a drizzle thick and grey
    as battleship paint, ‘ that’s a very good one.
    I like those simile’s in this poem 🙂 Those jumping dogs, they do look like dolphins! And the convict is a good catch too. You did a great job in those dog descriptions

    This poem tells me dog lovers must be rain lovers as well. A regular gang walking the dogs, different but one during their brave stroll!

    (My mother had a feisty papillon, it looked cute but would bite your fingers of if given the chance 🙂 )

    Your dog wears a coat, I can imagine whippets need a bit of shelter from the elements!

    Lovely poem that made me smile esp. ‘ Sunday yawns, goes back to sleep ‘ 🙂
    Have a nice Sunday evening.
    Ina

  2. This is just the most wonderful poem! Another true dog lover poem!

    I was going to quote my various favourite lines but I would be as well quoting the whole poem! Although I must mention the Shelties; what a terrific reference , and “gamboling like dolphins” is perfect!

    I am trying very hard to prevent my Golden Retriever from becoming “sofa fat”! (I think he craves to be just that!) Brilliant!

    I am unable to join the crazy dog walking brigade now, unfortunately, but your poem was a great reminder of the many mad walks I had with Jack and his many friends. One way of joining them again would be to invest in a wheelchair. Watch this space! I am going to print this and keep it!! You have made me laugh out loud even though I am full of cold. I can’t be feeling quite as miserable as I thought I was this morning!

    Christine

    • So pleased you like it – and I’m really honoured that you’d want to print and keep it. As good as being published! I haven’t really written much about dogs so far, but I’ve just started work on a collection of canine-inspired nonsense; you have been warned! Hope your cold is better soon, too. N.x

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