A woman crossed the road

                         when she saw my Staffy
and I wanted to call out she’s a honey!
she only bites her food, and she loves
to lie on her back, let the sun delve
into her belly, and when I watch her,
I feel happy, almost as happy as when she
sees me, and her tail wags her body,
but I could not help but feel punctured
by the woman equating this dear dog with
violence, I could not help feeling anger,
and realised she had turned one part of me
into a poor imitation of how she sees Staffies,
for I felt like chasing her, shaking the nonsense out,
out of her head, and instead I reached down,
and patted the keg of a dog that she had spurned
just because dog-she carries a sad history 
written by some thoughtless people
upon her plump body and her muscled breed.

She wagged her tail, oblivious.
My lips stretched to a smile.

PS Cottier


Pretty self explanatory, that poem. We’ve been in lockdown in Canberra for a couple of days now, and walking the dog is the only exercise worth doing.

I stole that title from Wordsworth, of course. I was out for exercise yesterday, and noticed how many birds there are in Canberra, particularly sulphur-crested cockatoos and corellas, with lots of young birds begging to be fed.

corellas

The sun was out, and I found myself plainly happy, totally forgetting about coronavirus for a short while. Of course, just for a moment, and soon it was back to skirting around any other walkers and cyclists. I felt almost guilty for feeling so good, thinking about the many older people stuck inside, and the crew of the cruise ship Ruby Princess still confined aboard, and, of course, the people who have died from the virus.

The hundreds of dogs so delighted that their owners are home so much more now have no inkling as to the virus, and I envy them their lack of knowledge.

My mind wagged
my thoughts spaniels
licking the air

We are lucky that we can still get out and stroll around here in Canberra for necessary exercise, and even buy a takeaway coffee, and observe the natural world that reaches right into suburbia. Helps keep one relatively sane.

Tuesday Poem: Two dogs

December 6, 2016

Two dogs

Young dog cups warmth
into her belly —
lots more where that came from

Old dog limps towards the fire
dreams, remembering bones.
We know of the bones to be.

PS Cottier

This poem first appeared at the Project 365 + 1 blog for which I wrote a poem a day in June.  And yes, I have an old dog and a very vigorous middle aged dog.  People always whinge about how quickly their children grow up, but a fourteen year old dog is not an adolescent!

Now I’m off to attempt to write something, and to paint my nails a vivid sparkly green. Christmas demands it.

old-dog-young-dog

Greyhounds release

Let them run —
but run as they would
chasing the wind or their mate
not a screeching curl-tailed baton
flung round the track
in a circular curse.

And let them live —
just as long as greyhounds live
not dispatched for slowness
and spaded into the bush
in a quotidian slaughter
nose to tail, tail to nose.

P.S. Cottier

 

greyhound

So weird to find myself agreeing with a Liberal government…But the Baird Government is right in banning greyhound racing.  (As is the Labor — with a sprinkling of Green — ACT government.)  No decision is ever totally pure, but this ‘sport’ is undeniably cruel, and the sooner it is abolished, the better.

To all those whinging about the attack on the working man (and it is usually categorised in that gender specific way) that the ban represents; note that there is something incredibly insulting in this thinking.  Working class does not mean cruel and unthinking, and unable to act ethically. Most people with pet dogs would shudder to think of them being treated in the way this industry has treated greyhounds (and other animals used as live bait) for years.

My PhD on images of animals in the works of Charles Dickens touched on the history of the RSPCA, and around the time it was created, there were people mounting exactly the same arguments against bans on cock-fighting and the like, categorising such activities as important recreations for the working man.  Implying that the ‘working man’ is necessarily a brutal moron.

The NSW Labor Party, in defending the greyhound racing industry, is showing that it is pathetically out of touch with anything progressive.

The ban, which comes into effect 1 July next year, does open up thinking about how we treat other animals, and that has to be a positive development.  Go, you good thing!

(I know there probably should be an apostrophe in the title, but it looked so bad I removed it.  Fussy.)

UPDATE: October 2016

The Baird NSW Government has changed its mind and decided not to ban this cruel and outdated ‘sport’. Weak and very sad.

Tuesday Poem: Up

February 15, 2016

Up

To look up from cracks
to see two joined
fifty years by love,
cemented into couple,
completed by time;

To feel sudden sun’s lick
render you gerbera,
face stroked by light petal
eight minutes old
caressed by time;

To see dog raise hairy flag
of flesh and wag
a fan in smell-poem air,
simple and clear,
careless of time;

is joy.

P.S. Cottier

mango with stick

I wrote this ages ago and can’t remember if it’s been published. Not on My List, so probably not! (My List is all the publications and awards I’ve had, and is a kind of memoir. But listier and with rather less angst.)

A simple poem with a bit of repetition for those who like that sort of thing.  The dog in the photo likes the same line of poetry being thrown out again and again.  We’d call it a stick.

Click this link to see which poets are posting on Tuesdays.