too hot for hats, actually

there was freezing fog
so I got togged up
to take the dog
for a jog
over the woods
(I wanted to say ‘bog’
but although it’s muddy
it’s short on frogs)

over my clothes
I pulled a cammo waterproof I chose
because it made me look like one of those
rough n tough commandos
I suppose
the kind of do-or-die
what-the-hell, all-weather guy
who, given the choice, would rather be dry

Stanley watched me, well-rehearsed
his expression that of a lurcher cursed

then lastly I took
my favourite beanie off the hat hook
like some kind of arty identity cook
mixing ingredients from a recipe book
to arrive at the perfectly balanced look

and with my ears nice n’snug
clipped on his lead and gave it a tug


I know you think I’m an exaggerator
but barely twenty minutes later
I was gasping hot as an alligator
in an overheated swamp around the equator
(if that’s where you find those toothy perps;
if not I’ll come back and redact the verse)


Stanley likes to wear
his right ear
draped across his head, flat
like a flashy, fleshy kinda hat
instead of an actual example of that
(although speaking quite factually
I’ve never seen a lurcher in a hat like that, actually)

why he does this is a mystery
just part of his particular auricular history

maybe he’s part of an underground craze
how whippets and lurchers wear their ears these days

maybe it means he hears a lot better
(though when it rains his earhole gets wetter)

but I digress
it’s not worth getting stressed
they’re Stanley’s ears and Stanley knows best
there’s no rule saying you can’t walk around
one flap up and one flap down

let there be lurcher

1: In the beginning Dog opened his eyes, and there was the heavens and the earth.

2: Now the earth was formless and empty, as it was only around six thirty, and Man hath not descended yet for breakfast, as it was not his day of work, so was sleeping in late, which for him was great, but not so much for Dog, and the Spirit of Dog, forlornly yawning on the sofa.

3: And Dog thought Let there Be Light, and there WAS light, because FINALLY Man appeared looking a fright, scratching his head all wild from his bed, yawning, saying unto Dog ‘Good Morning’

4: Dog saw that breakfast was light, and the chances of a walk were bright.

5: Dog called the light ‘Walk’ and the darkness ‘Not Walk’. And apart from ‘Food’ and ‘Not Food’, and a few other things, that was about the sum of it, for he was Dog, and not known for his conversation.

6: And Dog said: ‘Let there be a Vault to separate Walk from Not Walk.’

7: So Dog allowed the Vault which separated Walk from Not Walk. And it was so.

8: Although… to be honest…. I think he meant ‘Harness’ not ‘Vault’. But he’s a rough-haired lurcher so it’s not his fault.

9: And Dog said: ‘I don’t care that it’s pouring with rain in one place, for dry ground will appear’. And it was so. Because Dog hath special weather forecasting skills, you know.

10: Dog called the dry ground ‘Great’ and the gathered waters he called ‘Shake’. And Dog saw that it was good.

11: Then Dog said, ‘Let me stop at every scrap of vegetation, every seed bearing lamppost, tree with seeds, in fact anything vaguely seedy, for my bladder is grievously full and needy, and I must mark my favourite spots most diligently. And it was so.

12: And for a land with SO many seedy spots, impressively so.

13: And Time speedeth up, and Dog lost track. And only came back when he couldst be sure of a snack. And Dog had a good and godly run. And Dog saw his Bowl, laden with all manner of things to eat. And his tail didst beat. And Dog didst scran till his tag on the bowlside rang.

14: And so ended the morning of the First Day. And Dog saw all he had done, and was amazed.

another wet one

poor stanley
reluctant to go out, understandably
staring at me behaving randomly
dressed like a gore tex survivalist’s fantasy
waving a snorkel, grimacing manfully

(just to explain:
it’s absolutely pouring with rain
at levels Niagara couldn’t sustain
the street a uniquely aquatic domain
Noah on the blower shouting God – not AGAIN!)

so of course – we get wet
wetter than wet
absolutely the wettest yet
if anyone’s been wetter I haven’t met ‘em
and if they say they’ve been wetter well go ahead let ‘em
I’ll tip my dripping hat and forget ‘em

Stanley soaks it up like the finest of sponges
loses a gallon whenever he lunges

I say hello to the people we pass
a floundering flounder, sniffing the seagrass
a dogfish, pollack, mackerel and huss
waiting in line for a number nine bus
which pulls up, driven by an octopus

it’s a very, VERY short walk of course
the shortest walk ever by all reports
we strip in the kitchen down to our shorts
and as I towel him off I can read his thoughts:
What d’ya think I am, a goddamn seahorse?


My terrifying experiment’s almost complete!
(Igor’s ignoring it but I think it’s neat)
I’ll fetch it out for you – Please – Take a seat…

The head I commissioned from a taxidermist
rather unorthodox, terribly earnest
basically a cow skull totally refurbished

The body I fashioned from a furry settee
one part yak, two parts yeti
the penis I wove from wholewheat spaghetti

The legs are basically kitchen mops
hinged at the knees with Grolsch bottle tops
goes along nicely but struggles when he stops

You may find the next bit scrotum tightening
as I activate the monster with a bolt of lightning
(not strictly necessary but I think it’s exciting)

Behold! I call him Stanlenstein!
My creature of infernal design!
No photos please, the copyright’s MINE…!

[I left the Doctor to caper in his cape
Stanlenstein smiling with a gawpous gape
as I hurried outside for a calming vape

I heard he entered the beast in Crufts
The Horrors Group or some such stuff
I could say more but that’s enough

Happy Halloween 2022!

the wonderful world of nature

I read a remarkable
migration article
about the Arctic Tern
which, as far as birds are concerned,
travels the most
not just coast to coast
but pole to pole
an aerial stroll
that runs the gamut
of every known weather system on the planet
and just to be clear
not just once but twice a year
22,000 miles or so
Why do they do it? Just bored, I suppose

on the other handley
is an inveterate loafer
barely migrating from the sitting room sofa
twice a day, north to south
to hoover biscuits into his mouth

stanlet, Act III, Scene I

To pee, or not to pee, that is the question:
Whether it is nobler in the hound to suffer
The tugs and drags of outraged humans,
Or to lift a leg against a range of objects
And by sprinkling, wet them. To pee – to wee,
And more; and by a wee to say we end
The bladder ache and thousand natural spots
That dogs are heir to: ‘tis a micturition
Devoutly to be wished. To pee, to wazz;
To seep, perchance to stream – ay, there’s the job:
For in that leak of length what hounds may come
When we have shuffled along this mortal trail,
Must stay our paws – there’s the respect
That marks the territory of so long a walk.
For who would bear the cats and squirrels of time,
The weather’s wrong, the delivery man’s contumely,
The pangs of owner’s love, the snack’s delay,
The absence of sofas, and the spurns
That patient moan of the late walk takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare foreskin? Who would gardens bear,
To run and fetch with frisbee light,
But that the dread of something after supper,
The bare blanket’d basket from whose bourn
No hound returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear the owners we have
Than fly to owners that we know not of?
Thus rambles doth make bladders of us all,
And thus the straw coloured hue of micturition
Is trickled o’er the cast iron lampost,
And enterprises of great piss and moment
In this regard their currents go a’spray
And wet the name of action – Woof you now!
The fair Brodie! Nymph, in thy haunches
Be all my sins remember’d.

The Legend of King Stanley

Part the First
Wherein King Stanley doth receive his knights at Barkalot

And lo! did a myriad dogs run hot
making their way to Barkalot
to see the newly anointed king
who drew Snaxcalibur from the tin
And lo! Did every mutt and stray
from Munsterlander to Bichon Frise
journey there to pledge their fealty
(and check out the impressive realty)
And a great round basket was duly set
in the Hall so all dogs could lie in it
arguing amongst them who doeth what
who wouldst go fighting and who wouldst not

Part the Second
Whereby the Welsh Terrier Merlin adviseth Our Lurcher

And gravely did Merlin approach the sofa
where lyeth King Stanley after supper
and growlingly counsel about Snaxcalibur
and flicketh through pics on his pixie camera
to show the place the King must take
the magick treat though his heart doth break
and stand upon that fateful shore
and howl as he never howled before
then toss it out in one smooth shake
for the Lhasa Apso of the Lake
and then the prophesy will be complete
and he can go back on the sofa if he wipeth his feet