Wesley Finch, Dogs


I walk the dog else he gets restless
and damages things.
Daily I walk the dog. It must be done.
I have no dog. My dog is large.
A large, grey, handsome wolfhound.
He is beautiful, strong, moves gracefully.
In my mind he is trotting, ahead or behind,
always off lead, with me all the time.
Like the ones on the cover of Van Morrison’s
Veedon Fleece, and the beautiful beast that
that poshly spoken young man brought into
that small coffee shop in Norwich, so full of
delicate breakable things, cakes, and steam.
What a beautiful face he has, this dog of mine.
Shaggy bearded, slender snouted. Handsome fella.
Paws the size of my fists.
Strong enough to knock me down
when he gets worked up. Probably strong enough
to carry me home if I needed.
Never in altercations with other dogs.
Can go anywhere I go. I have no dog.
He came with me to Spain. We walked 500 miles;
no problem on the ‘plane, no eyebrows raised in bars.
No issues in the hotels and hostels.
No fussing and cooing from strangers.
He would not enter the cathedral, however.
He’s cheap to feed, takes up no room.
There are no vets’ bills and no stray hairs
or muddy paw prints on the bed. I have no dog.
No name. Doesn’t need one.
Do you understand how a daemon works?
Everything is fine as long as he is walked.
Once a day is enough.
Through the streets to the
pockets of parkland, woodland,
permissible field footpaths.
There, he waits, patiently outside
the supermarket or the clinic.
Hoping silently for sandwich scraps
or a crisp beside the wet bench.
His eyes loyal, loving dark marbles.
His breath clouding in the cold.

Castle & Tidal Mill

No curlews at Carew today,
but damp mallards and hushed gulls.
The castle cries in the rain
shot through with stone framed holes.
Gates locked.
Turrets nibbled away at the top.
I stand in front of the Celtic stone cross
riddled with patterns and mazes,
in time taken for granted
and ignored by the inn
just a stone’s throw across the thin
wet road.
People walk dogs. Dogs walk people.
Chubby boys skin up in a blue Ford estate.
An orange traffic cone breaks the surface of the water
to warn of some submerged hazard
or in mock monument to some long-drowned wizard.
No breaks in the cloud.
The mill makes nothing now.
The crows sit. The crows fly.
The water laps like it always has,
and I leave.

Wesley Finch is a UK Midlands based writer and musician. He works with local arts charities and at a natural burial ground. His attempts to stay sane in 2022 involve using regular walking, meditation, reading and the sharing of words and music. ‘Castle and Tidal Mill’ appeared in Spellbinder.

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