Wednesday, March 4, 2009

322. Guard Dog.


ABC WEDNESDAY letter of the week is 'G'.

See my PLUS blog for my 'G' photograph.

These two illustrations do not seem to be connected. Our city was dominated by a huge, dirty steel-mill for decades. When it closed, an anthology of poetry on the subject was published and the following poem of mine was included. I compared the ugly steel-works to an unattractive old guard-dog, since the works had brought security to the city.

GUARD DOG.

Splay-pawed, crouchful,
Head down but watchful,
You have sat at our gate for many a year,
Your immensity sprawled at the end of our garden.
Dark, canine,
Knowing your place;
Guarding us.
You have protected us,
Our dignity, our sense of worth,
Our livelihood and our pride.
True, you have been no beauty,
Your fur rust-stained,
Your teeth tarnished,
Your claws blunted by time.
Your breath has clouded our skies;
It has hung, like a malodorous curtain,
Veiling our horizons.
Our lives have been your diet.
Into that great mouth at morning,
Spewed out at sundown.
Your hunger has been insatiable.
Even at night you have demanded, constantly, to be fed.
Your stomach has rumbled;
Your eyes have gleamed watchfully.
There has been no let-up.
You have been both servant and master.
Yet such a comforting presence you were.
We listened to your breathing in the dark
And were secure.
Your kennel is shabby now.
Your garden worn and patched.
Your old bones scattered
By your old bones.
Now comes the end.
The kindly needle,
The last yawn.
You will be replaced,
But you will be missed.
Goodbye Guard Dog, Old Friend.

15 comments:

Winifred said...

I love that poem it evokes memories of the shipbuilding and mining era here too.

naturglede said...

That was a good one for the G. Love it all:)

Dogwalkmusings said...

You have no idea the emotions that went through me as I read this.

ChrisC and JonJ said...

I always look forward to your posts.Brava!As usual.

Babooshka said...

It does hark back to another era.

photowannabe said...

You really know how to spin words. I really liked this poem.

Life with Kaishon said...

I love your yesterday song : ).
This post made me miss the dog we had when I was growing up. Lovely.

Sylvia K said...

Beautiful poem for the "G" Day, sad but beautiful. Your poems are always beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

Femin Susan said...

How awesome! Thanks for sharing!
may god bless you !

Pat said...

Excellent poem! I enjoyed it very much! Good analogy.

Carolina said...

Analogy! That was the word I was looking for. It's a good analogy (thanks Pat). Sad. But beautiful.

Jay said...

I love the picture of the dog, with his skull! A dire warning, indeed! LOL!

gone to the dogs said...

I love the connection between the two pictures. Very clever. I enjoy your poetry. Thanks.

Granny Smith said...

I'm so glad that you published this previously published poem on you blog, because otherwise I would have missed it. To me, its effectiveness is enhanced by your use of metaphor rather than analogy.

Kat said...

Industry is essential for people to work and earn. This huge steel
mill sure must've provided that. But then, the upgradation seemed
to have been missed - It being called 'dirty'.

Felt sad reading

Now comes the end.
The kindly needle,
The last yawn...


and felt cheered up reading..

You will be replaced,
But you will be missed.