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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 


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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MichaelBully View Drop Down

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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
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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