Sunday, 16 October 2011

The Sunday Post



PRAISE OF A DOG

 She was a small dog, neat and fluid –
even her conversation was tiny:
she greeted you with a bow, never a bow-wow.

Her sons stood monumentally over her
but did what she told them. Each grew grizzled
till it seemed he was his own mother's grandfather.

Once, gathering sheep on a showery day,
I remarked how dry she was. Pollochan said, ‘Ah,
it would take a very accurate drop to hit Lassie.’

She sailed in the dingy like a proper sea dog.
Where’s a burn? – She's first on the other side.
She flowed through fences like a piece of black wind

But suddenly she was old and sick and crippled....
I grieved for Pollochan when he took her a stroll
and put his gun to the back of her head.

Norman MacCaig
January 1974

14 comments:

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

Really evocative.
So sorry about the puir dug.
Feels like me.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

the title of yer blog caught my eye on Indigo's blog. Thought I'd pay you a visit and now I'm your newest follower.

Alistair said...

TSB - it's a sad one right enough. {and you and me both!}

DSL - [I may not call you that again - after all you're not a delivery service} Thanks for signing up. The more the merrier. Feel free to stick your oar in anytime good or bad There's always room near the fire......

Kat_RN said...

Nice little tribute. Sad ending though.
Kat

Alistair said...

One of MacCaigs traits. He had a way with the malancholy side of things didn't he?

Glad you liked it Kat.

Nicky Parry said...

Aw, so sweet and very melancholy. Hope you are well Alistair. Trying to catch up after a busy few weeks…..

Alistair said...

Hi Nicky - doing fine at this end. Hope you are too. Busy is good - frantic isn't.....

dbs said...

With all these posts, you've made me love another poet. Thanks.

Alistair said...

Can't be bad then!

Can't quite reach round behind to pat my own back so just take it as read that that's what I've done.......

Cheers!

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Alistair! I was quite shocked at the end there. But I hope someone will do the same for me when my time comes. Indigo

Rebecca S. said...

I could really 'see' the little doggy, and was sad she had to go to the field beyond.

Alistair said...

Thanks both - it's a sad wee tale well told isn't it?

Antares Cryptos said...

Bit of a surprise ending.:(

Alistair said...

It got me too.....

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