When this is all over
Let’s imagine a hill
tall enough to see everything from
and we’ll sit on a bench, red
if you want it, look out
at parks just so full of people
that it will make you smile
without meaning to.
And we’ll watch streets thronged,
yes! thronged will be the proper word.
And shops will have doors wide open
to allow all the people, also smiling,
out and in.
And there will be people
eating their favourite foods
in restaurants, sat side by side,
cheek by jowl (imagine!)
and no one will mind the crush.
And the music will be playing everywhere
and the dancing –
oh! the dancing
will be infectious and we’ll tap our feet
up on our red bench on tall hill.
We’ll be so happy,
everyone will be so happy.
When this is all over.
Reynard, not dog nor wolf,
slides through other worlds
in-out-in-between, never other
than what he is, nothing less
could do as he is, being
that which is alone in dark-light.
His musk scent-nose is touch.
Sight is as you can’t feel-see-be,
have or can. And as he is, he lives.
The Island Dogs
Watch out for us!
Lone canine or running pack
we get what we want.
Our hunts will be long,
stealth comes easy
to island bred hounds,
you won’t ever see us come,
us island dogs and bitches.
Oh, puzzle over our guttural growls.
Never know how much we tell
with each draawn out vowel
and nipping consonant.
Marvel at how we homespun things,
spartan, uncomplicated creatures,
seem to get
what it is you are thinking.
We do, oh we do. We think
you have no clue.
We’ve already encircled you,
our teeth bared, ready to spring.
*Author note: it’s hard to believe it now, but when I first swopped the Shetland Islands for the west coast of Scotland I encountered quite extreme prejudice, including being called an ‘Island Dog’. I was even physically attacked in a pub toilet and told to ‘Go back home’.