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Turkish Trench Dog - Geoffrey Dearmer

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Mal Murray View Drop Down
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    Posted: 14 Mar 2013 at 11:28

The Turkish Trench Dog

 

http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/the-turkish-trench-dog-26818914.html 

 

Geoffrey Dearmer wrote many animal poems and edited a rewarding anthology of other people's. The encounter with the dog was evidently between the Allied and the Turkish lines in Gallipoli during the First World War. The poem has a slight touch of the parable about it but it successfully avoids sententiousness.

 

Night held me as I crawled and scrambled near

 

The Turkish lines. Above, the mocking stars

 

Silvered the curving parapet, and clear

 

Cloud-latticed beams o'erflecked the land with bars;

 

I, crouching, lay between

 

Tense-listening armies, peering through the night,

 

Twin giants bound by tentacles unseen.

 

Here, in dim-shadowed light

 

I saw him, as a sudden movement turned

 

His eyes towards me, glowing eyes that burned

 

A moment ere his snuffling muzzle found

 

My trail; and then as serpents mesmerise

 

He chained me with those unrelenting eyes,

 

That muscle-sliding rhythm, knit and bound

 

In spare-limbed symmetry, those perfect jaws

 

And soft-approaching pitter-patter paws.

 

Nearer and nearer like a wolf he crept --

 

That moment had my swift revolver leapt --

 

But terror seized me, terror born of shame

 

Brought flooding revelation. For he came

 

As one who offers comradeship deserved,

 

An open ally of the human race,

 

And sniffing at my prostrate form unnerved

 

He licked my face!

 

To protect our history, we must secure it's future.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MichaelBully Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Apr 2015 at 20:59
A very touching poem indeed. 

Geoffrey Dreamer's obituary in 'The Independent' is now available on line

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/obituary-geoffrey-dearmer-1310563.html
The Ancient Sages said, 'Do not despise the snake for having no horns, for who is to say it will not become a dragon'.
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