Township Dog

One of the saddest sights in South African townships are the large number of neglected, hungry and maltreated dogs that roam around. 

TPOTG Township Dog with Frame

I don’t have a name,
No one ever loved me that much,
And from when I was a pup
I’ve known no gentle touch;
You see I’m a township dog
And ever since my arrival
My days have been spent
Fighting just for survival.
No bowls filled with food,
I scavenge scraps instead,
And I sleep where I can,
There’s no comfortable bed.
I’m often unwell,
But there’s no vet to arrange,
I’m covered in fleas
And my coat’s full of mange.
The long winter’s nights,
I find nothing is worse,
Those freezing cold winds
Are this thin dog’s curse.
I keep out of the way,
Or else I get kicked,
And for illegal dog fights
I hope I’m never picked.
At avoiding deadly traffic
I’ve become quite adept,
A parental skill
I’ve thankfully kept.
I don’t know another life,
Being part of a home,
Being loved and cared for,
Not being left just to roam.
As kindness is not something
I’ve ever known,
Then trust is not something
I’ve ever shown.
But who cares about me?
Why should I be saved?
I’m just a township dog,
Alone and afraid.

 

Dog Whistles

But how DO you know if a dog whistle works?

I think I have stumbled across one of life’s quirks
How do you know if a dog whistle works?
Dog whistle manufacturers, now how do they know
That a whistle will work when you give it a blow?

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Whistle technology is not that profound,
And you know if it works, you can hear by the sound;
But a dog whistle is silent to the human ear,
With a vibration and pitch we’re unable to hear.

So how would you ever be able to detect
If the whistle you’d bought had a defect?
When your dog doesn’t come when the whistle you blow,
Is it your dog or the whistle, how would you know?

Some dogs might object to the whistling sound
Made by the new toy that their owners have found,
So if your dog doesn’t respond, it may be through choice,
Preferring to answer only to their master’s voice.

“Respond to a whistle? Don’t you think I have feelings?
Maybe it’s time to review our dog/human dealings,
If whistling is something that cheers up your life,
Then don’t whistle me, go whistle your wife!”

Sadly all of my enquiries have been in vain,
So as one of life’s mysteries it must remain;
And while the manufacturers aren’t prepared to give us the proof,
Perhaps one day a dog “whistle-blower” might just tell us the truth?

 

 

Morning Walk

I take Jess, my border collie, for an early morning walk every day.. it’s a treat for both of us.

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Its six in the morning,
Bedford’s still sleeping,
The new day’s sun
Over the mountain just peeping;
The air still fresh
From its night time chilling,
A sense of utter peace,
Both eerie and thrilling.
A clear blue sky,
No clouds detected,
No sign of any breeze,
The stillness perfected.
And as Jess and I walk
The quiet, empty streets
I try to digest
All of the new day’s treats.
The best time of the day,
Of that there’s no doubt,
And we have it to ourselves,
No one else is about.
It’s like a gift we’ve been given,
Our own special prize,
Jess and I walking
Just after sunrise.

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Always Writing In Verse – It Could Be Much Worse!

I am always writing verse, jotting down ideas, sometimes on scraps of paper, sometimes on my phone. It can drive the wife up the wall, but I tell her it could be worse, much worse…!

The wife says I’m a nuisance always writing my verse;
But there are things I could do that I think would be worse;
I might have a car engine in bits on the lounge floor,
Or sit with a telescope watching the woman next door.

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I could buy a drum kit, try to be the next Ringo Starr,
Or imitate Queen with an electric guitar;
Or invite mates round and we’d all get quite drunk,
Being sick on her carpet, as we listen to punk.

Perhaps a DIY freak, carrying out home repairs,
With half finished jobs left waiting for years.
Or have a X Box, on which I’d play through the night,
Being invaded by aliens with whom I would fight.

I could be a model maker, sticking things I’d then paint,
With the smell of it all making the wife feel quite feint.
Or brew my own beer, taking over the kitchen,
Or sniff something nasty and form an addiction.

I could collect tarantula spiders that sometimes escape,
Or believe that I’m Zorro and wear a mask and a cape,
Maybe answer the door naked, giving callers a scare,
Or eat boxes of chocolates that I’d refuse to share.

I could be cyclist, wearing those tight Lycra shorts,
Or be a couch potato watching all sorts of sports.
So, you see, there are so many worse things I could be,
Than someone who sits quietly writing his poetry.

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