September 2023

Back to Issue 14


By Justin Lowe


Dave, gentle blue-eyed Dave, tends to

walk troubled up and down outside my house

chasing his voices.


from what I can glean he seems

to be trying to get them to turn around,

listen to reason and see


the well-deep contrition in his eyes.

you see, the street is a gentle gradient here,

maybe 12 degrees to the horizontal,


enough to slow Dave a little, catch his breath,

and my little dog barks at the slowing,

wags her tail at kind Dave at the gate a little off kilter,


and Dave stops mid-expletive and gasps oh, hello puppy!

with that raspy voice of the shipwreck,

and then continues on his way not so much angry


as lost as a lost man seems angry

who can see the ship’s flare arcing

and will wrestle wildly with the bracken.


a little later, his carer Harry,

who drives a van and drinks like Sisyphus,

if Sisyphus could, arrives


two doors up where he calms his large dog,

also kindly, and goes in search of Dave,

whose echoes died away some time ago.


my little dog does not bark this time,

but looks at me with that look

of quiet consternation dogs develop of an afternoon,


or at least in my experience.


and so, I take this as my cue

to get off my arse and go look for Dave

who is only a block away and none the worse for wear


but who has crossed oceans