For Jas When you told me you had lost Your dog, Baloo, you said he Left a void and life seemed Empty, it made sense. I shunted My car the day my dog, Roger, Died. I remembered your dogs, Baloo and Angel, who I knew as Part of your family. This poem is For all our lost dogs; because We miss them. My dog, Roger, was a satanic Black cocker-spaniel. A pure Party animal with rockstar Swagger and manners to Boot. He dominated every Social situation. And us, too. That was our fault. We fell Victim to his narcissistic Manipulation, his wheedling Whines, his luxuriant black Mexican bandit moustache And the thousand-yard stare Of his chocolate eyes. He Could have run a narco-ring From his basket and fled to Bolivia with a stolen credit Card. Now I work in forensics, I even wonder if he had Canine Personality Disorder. After all, He could growl and wag his Tail at the same time. He often Swallowed sharp objects and Made the vet a fortune with his Munchausens. He also took Household objects hostage Just like Charles Bronson. We Negotiated for their safe return Like the FBI with a ransom of Dog treats to keep our fingers. I still have scars and Stockholm Syndrome to this day. His rap Sheet was yards long; featuring Theft, GBH and Coercive Control. He lied to save his skin but hiding Under the desk and barking after Every offence gave him away. Holidays saw him confined in the High Security Boarding Kennel, Where he bullied his cell mate like A seasoned lag and struck-up Illicit liaisons in the exercise yard. We were in the doghouse for days After he was released back into Our care. But on his mug-shot, Butter wouldn’t melt. His hellraiser Lifestyle got him in the end. Live fast, die young; typical him. I still see him in every wayward Spaniel dragging its owner in a Zig-zag course from lamp-post To trodden sandwich, bounding Through the undergrowth like Tigger, flaunting a stick. Roger is my lost companion. Angel and Baloo are yours. They shared the calm safety Of their chosen home, as Adopted pack-brothers, who Bonded with each other and Your family. They witnessed Your human losses; Angel Was there when you grieved Your mother. He stayed by You, present with silent concern When no words helped. He Left first; but I still see him Stretched out in your lounge Like a polar bear bug with his Arctic blue husky gaze fixed On the door waiting for your Husband and son to come Home. At first he wasn’t so Sure about brother Baloo, With his brindle-coat and his Bear-like head; he had been King of his personal sofa for Some time. But as you did, He felt the pain of Baloo’s Mistreatment that had not Damaged his gentle heart And made him welcome. Now Baloo has gone to join Angel, his friend, in some other Place, where they will rest, Side by side, reminiscing, just As they always did, listening, Intent, for your voices at the door. Dog days are short but they Live long in memory. We have Shared our lives, since one Curious wolf-cub stumbled into The firelight and stayed with us Staring into the lonely dark. Our bones lie together in the Ashes of lost fires.
Kate Meyer-Currey was born in 1969 and moved to Devon in 1973. A varied career in frontline settings has fuelled her interest in gritty urbanism, contrasted with a rural upbringing. Her ADHD also instils a sense of ‘other’ in her life and writing.
County Lines (Dancing Girl Press, forthcoming 2021),
Family Landscape: Colchester 1957 (Not Very Quiet. 2020), Invocation (Whimsical Poet, 2021), Dulle Griet, Scold’s Bridle, Recconnaissance,(RavenCageZine,2021), Fear the reaper, (Red Wolf Journal, 2021), Stream: Timberscombe (A River of Poems, 2021), Not so starry night (SheSpeaks, 2021), Dimpsey (Snapdragon, 2021), Mask (Disquiet Arts, 2021), Magnolia Stellata (Constellations, Literary North, 2021), Challenge (Poetry and Covid, March 2021), Scorpio rising (Noctivagant Press, April, 2021), Scrapheap Challenge (Handyuncappedpen, April, 2021), Scrubber in PPE, (Skirting Around, April, 2021), New perspective (Planisphere HQ, April, 2021), Hilly Fields, (Pure Slush, Lifespan Vol 2, April 2021), Kintsugi (Aurora, Kira Kira, May 2021), Dregs (Seinundwerden, May, 2021), Trigger (Collateral, forthcoming), Minimum credula postero (Ponder Savant, May, 2021), Palisade: Seville Oranges, December (Odyssey, May, 2021), Morning: A38, Sunflowers, Devon Autumn, Dawn Chorus, Colours of Stars (Bloom, May, 2021), Rude awakening (Granfalloon: A Speculative Fiction Zine, June 2021), Restless, (Open Door, June 2021), Purple Jellyfish Shirt (Mono, June, 2021), Re-emergence (Her Inside: Women in the Lockdown, June, 2021)
‘Gloves’ was also listed in the top 100 of PoetryforGood’ competition.