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poems of the month

orpheus in soho

a seriously sexy man


measuring my face

old clothes

modern iranian poems

my hero

face at the bottom of the world

perhaps (maybe)

the diogenes sequence

where to store furs

i am and am not:
      fragments of rumi

destiny and destination

the zen of no-enlightenment

the iraqi monologues

already backwards

a light in ruins

separate amputations

the sexy jihad

awaiting the barbarians

the smell of possibilities

ultimate leaves

rejoice in the dog

post-millennium maggot

dispatches from the war against the world

albanian poems

french poems in honour of jean genet

the hells going on

the joy of suicide

book disease

foreground trouble

the transcendental hotel

cinema of the blind

lament of the earth mother

uranian poems

haikai by okami

haikai on the edge

black hole of your heart

jung's motel

wine and roses

confession from belgrade

gloss on rilke's
ninth duino elegy

jewels and shit:
poems by rimbaud

villon's dialogue with his heart

vasko popa:
a shepherd of wolves ?

the rubáiyát of omar khayyám

genrikh sapgir:
an ironic mystic




good riddance to mankind

the maxims of michel de montaigne

400 revolutionary maxims

nice men and
  suicide of an alien

anti-fairy tales

the most terrible event in history

the rich man and the leper


art, truth and bafflement




the three bears

three albanian tales

a little creation story





an occitanian baby-hatch

ancient violence
in the amazon

home sweet home no longer

helen's tower

schopenhauer for muthafuckas


never a pygmy

against money

did franco die ?

'original sin' followed by
crippled consciousness

a gay man's guide to soft-willy sex

the holosensual alternative

tiger wine

the death of poetry

the absinthe drinker

with mrs dalloway in ukraine

love  and  hell

running on emptiness

a holocaust near you

a note on the cathars


londons of the mind
& dealing death to the caspian


a muezzin from the tower of darkness

kegan and kagan

being or television

satan in the groin

womb of half-fogged mirrors

tourism and terrorism

the dog from sinope

in britain & america

this sorry scheme of things

the bektashi dervishes

a holy dog, a dog-headed saint, and the dog as islamic role-model

fools for nothingness

death of a bestseller

vacuum of desire: a homo-erotic correspondence

a note on beards

translation and the oulipo

the dogs of old stamboul






Nuadú, God of War

field guide to megalithic ireland

houses for the dead

ireland & the phallic continuum

the sheela-na-gig conundrum

french megaliths

a small town in france







In Sheffield, Yorkshire, a small charity trains dogs (mostly mongrels, of course) to give epileptics almost-normal lives by observing pre-seizure signs, and signalling to the epileptic that s/he will shortly have a 'fit'.

The dog will also sit on the epileptic during a seizure, and place his or her front paws on either side of the patient's head to minimise the risk of hurt.

Some epileptics might have as many as eight seizures a day, which, without a dog, means complete incapacity - for a 'fit' might happen without warning (except to a dog) at any moment: while bending down, while cooking, filling a kettle, carrying something breakable, or walking downstairs...


Farther south, in Surrey, a charity called Canine Partners for Independence trains dogs to enable disabled people to live normal lives. A dog called Indi, for example, can load and unload a washing-machine, remind his wheelchair-bound owner to take her pills and bring her the telephone. He helps her at supermarket check-outs and at ATMs, picks up things she has dropped, and does many other jobs that she cannot do because of her disabilities. The dog is supported by the state for the simple reason that otherwise his owner would have to go into a residential home.

How much longer can the word dog remain a term of abuse by the abusive ?

were mediæval dishwashers.

Stupid people
now have
stupid machines.

Dogs can never slink or sink into the glutinous banality of language.


Dogs have a more intelligent interest in us than we have in them:
so much for evolution!

The best thing about cities is the dogshit.
Up to the end of the 19th century it was collected from the streets and used in the tanning of fine leathers - to make exquisite ladies' gloves, for example.

In Spain, at the end of the hare-coursing season, quiet greyhounds are hung from the lower branches of trees so they scrabble the ground as they die very slowly. This is known as Playing The Piano.





'western values'


Every minute of every day in the United States a coyote is killed.
But the coyote population is rising, and the costs of futile and cruel attempts at extermination far exceed the costs of depredation of cattle and sheep by coyotes.

This is civilisation.

'western values'

What I most admire about dogs is the openness of their minds.


Who would open a vein to save her dog ?



goodnight, sweet prince..
























holy dogs & dog-headed saints

















In Sicily, elaborate fiestas are held for dogs and cats - whose name-days are also celebrated.

Essential reading:

by Roger Grenier
indifferently translated by Alice Kaplan

University of Chicago Press 2004
ISBN 0226 30828 6

by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
(author of
Against Therapy, etc.)

Cape 1997
ISBN 0224 04465 6

by Dima Yeremenko
and Emily Randolph

Piatkus 2004
ISBN 07499 2506 X


we do not deserve them.


One of the 20th century's great French writers, Raymond Queneau, refused a literary prize because his dog, Dino, had just died.









































"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."

- Immanuel Kant








"A man has no pre-eminence above a beast, for all is vanity."
Ecclesiastes, or The Preacher, chapter III.

Rejoice in the Dog



Anthony Weir

Oscar and prehistoric standing-stones.

"If I have any beliefs about immortality,
it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven,
and very, very few persons."

- James Thurber

the most admirable being that I ever knew

Oscar smiling, and showing his magnificent tail.

Click on the picture to find out where dogs come from.

Whoever kicks a dog kicks himself deeper into Hell.

Non sum qualis eram boni
sub Regno Oscaris.

Our world, for dogs, is like a bewildering film in which they are brave and trapped.
The difference between us and all other animals
is that our consciousness is intentive
whereas theirs is attentive.
Dogs are trapped by our intention
- and by our inattention.

In many places on this earth
cruelty to dogs is considered meritorious -
and in some dog-meat is considered tastier
if the animal is beaten to death
as it hangs from a noose.

But in Media (later Persia) the Zoroastrian priests would bring a dog to the bedside of a dying person, to be fed a morsel so that it would lead the deceased across the Bridge of Separation to be judged. The dog was the leader of the soul - the psychopomp - to life after death, and the wild or feral dog was (along with the vultures) the devourer of the exposed corpse's flesh in the wonderful Towers of Silence which Parsis still use.

For the Egyptians with a mortuary practice directly opposite to that of the Zarathustran Medes, Anubis the jackal was the god of embalming - that is to say of preparation for and introduction to the Otherworld.



I care not for a man's religion
whose cat and dog are not the better for it.

- Abraham Lincoln


religious dogs and heaven battles


"Take my pups. You will raise them and call them Dog. They will be your
guardians. They will alert you to danger, keep you warm, guard your
camp, and even lay down their life to protect your life and the lives of
your children. They will be companions to you and all your generations,
never leaving your side, as long as Mankind shall survive. In return,
you will share your food and the warmth of your fire. You will treat my
children with love and kindness, and tend them if they become ill,
just as if they were born from your own belly. "

First Man and First Woman agreed. ... Before she disappeared into the
darkness, she turned and spoke once more to First Man, "My children will
honor the pact for all generations. But if Man breaks this pact, if you
or your children's children deny even one Dog food, warmth, a kind word
or a merciful end, your generations will be plagued with war, hunger,
and disease, and so shall this remain until the pact is honored again by
all Mankind." With this, First Dog entered the night and returned in
spirit to the Creator.

from The Pact of the Fire - Lakota Sioux Legend




The nearest to joy
I have known
since I was a boy
on my own
in an attic of junk
is seeing the joy
in my teacher,
my therioracular dog
as he gnaws at a bone
or romps in a field
or plays tug-of-war with a brush.


“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent.
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden,
where doing nothing was not boring - but was peace.”

-Milan Kundera




This other being
so different, distinct,
so intimate - he is
"my dog" !
And in the fog
of awareness he is my longing,
my light,
he is my saving grace,
he is the joy from which
the other joys progress.

Humans don't say how they feel -
does this mean they don't feel
or don't know how to feel
or don't know how to put words to
how they feel ?
Dogs show how they feel
but few humans bother to notice.

Even though they live in the moment,
even in leaping and bounding joy
they display the inconsolable sadness of being.

What I love about dogs (apart from their loveliness
companionablility, amazing tolerance)
is their Theory of Mind.
With every human I am more or less guarded,
but with "my dog" I can be
my silly self.
In the world of humanity
I am the Owner of Oscar -
this other,
this humble, enthusiastic, transparent
superior being.
But in the real world
the world of awareness
he is a Master of Life.

Now the Lord of Truth (my vassal !)
the Terror of Lawnmowers,
the puller of yardbrushes, comes
in his smiling humility to tell me
how much he enjoyed the pear-skins
and rather old hummous
he had for his dinner.

Oscar in my garden - CLICK FOR MORE

Click the picture for more and bigger.


A well-behaved dog is an absolute delight,
but an ill-behaved dog is a tragedy.



(To my Doctor - and my Dog.)

I spend each day
recovering from the dread
disappointment of waking up
from addled sleep.
At night, exhausted
I creep back to bed.

Along with Schrödinger's cat
I am a hole
inside a hole
staring out at a fog.
O to have the brilliant
connectedness of a dog!



There is an Islamic saying:
"When a dog barks, angels flee"
- which does not say much for angels
or their inventors.
Nor can one pray where a dog has been.

As Oscar (who never barks
nor licks anyone but himself)
lies on a fine Beluchi prayer-rug
I consider how comparatively tolerant I am
even to talk to carnivores and breeders.


Islam and Dogs >


Gnawing my bone: a poem
of life about death
about time and continuation -
a connection far beyond words
in its fine satisfaction.

There is only an O

between poet and pet.
I am just a spineless
kind of dog.

My dog-choice is to sniff
the arse of every
truth and mystery.



In the prison of our power
the deep philosophy of dogs
is to behave as if
we are going to be half-decent to them,
as if we were worth knowing -
indeed, even as if we were worth serving.

Every one of them who spend
most of their lives waiting for us to
do something beautiful
is holier than Jesus
or St. Francis of Assisi.

Oscar crapping
beneath the crucified Christ's cast-iron pain
briefly redeems the Calvary
from millennia of unwholesome banality.

In every human prance and prowl the shadows of our shame.

In his
'Book of the Hunt' (begun in 1387), the Gascon
Gaston Febus de Foix-Béarn had great praise for dogs:

The dog is loyal to his master with the best and truest of love. The dog hath great understanding, knowledge and judgement. The dog hath great fortitude and goodness. The dog hath a fine memory. The dog hath a great sense of smell. The dog hath great diligence and power. The dog is valiant with great valour and is greatly subtile. The dog hath much nimbleness and power of perception. The dog receiveth orders well, for he learns as quickly as doth a man. Much frollicking is in a dog. Dogs are such fine creatures that rare is the man who desireth not one for this purpose or for that...


Click the picture to see the Spirit of Oscar


When dogs become olfactory photographers
they will surely capture
carcasses and each other's genitals.



Before connection-

After connection-

Oscar and I


Detail of 9th century Irish cross at Ahenny.

at last - someone
I can respect.

Practising omniscience
dogs talk mainly with their eyes

Language makes us blind.

Dogs are not creatures
of habit - but thus
correctly they interpret us.

Oscar and I:
two halves of the same consciousness!
he wanting to be in the woods
I wanting to be close to the woods
and the cliffs and the river Aveyron.

People are no more autonomous than dogs
but dogs are much more wholesome.


Collage by Artyom Kotyenko



Pure joy:
the sound of a tail wagging
aerating briefly
the inconsolable sadness of being.



I'm me.
Let's go.


"In the beginning, God and his Dog
created the world."
- Kato Indian Creation Story



The soul of a dog will fill a field
while human spirits bloat in ditches.



Though Edward Elgar included a portrait of a friend's dog in his Variations on an Original Theme (Enigma), and Fauré described his dog Ketty in his Dolly Suite, the only composer I know to have written music for dogs was Erik Satie, who wrote Deux Préludes pour un Chien; Préludes Flasques (pour un chien) comprising Idylle Cynique, Chanson Canine, Sous la Futaille; and Véritables Préludes Flasques comprising Sévère Réprimande, Seul à la Maison, On Joue.

Two poets who sympathetically observed dogs more than most were the Czechs Rainer Maria Rilke and Miroslav Holub. And another Czech, Milan Kundera, is a cynophile.

homage to Vasko Popa

Apart from everyone
I listen to the crows
And admire the blood-red
Japanese Quince flowers in April

The long-tailed dancer
With Cyrillic teeth
Is laughing
While I practise Howling

Which is poetry


My dog is a Bodhisattva
and, like all true Bodhisattvas,
recognised only by his


from 'The Observations of Oscar'

Cats also return to their vomit

and cats eat cats.

reprinted by kind permission of

Osservatore Canino.





If you need Religion
rescue a dog and worship him (or her) -
there is nothing more worth worshipping than living fur.

But god said: To be worshipped
is to be put upon.

In Tibet there is a Dog Monastery
, a special temple for wayward monks who have re-incarnated into dogs. The grounds are covered in dogs of every size, shape, breed and hue, silently pondering the cycle of birth and rebirth.

Squirming litters of puppies wriggle underneath their mothers and their distinguished elders nap in the patches of sun breaking through the clouds. There is no barking, no howling, no fighting, and - miracles of miracles - no fæces: nothing but the quiet meditation of dogs and monks. You are allowed to feed the dogs small pieces of dough, and they actually wait in line!

When I think of Tibet, I remember the politeness of the dogs, pulling back their dog lips and ever so gently taking the food from my hand with their open teeth, not wanting to bite my hand accidentally - and then looking warmly into my eyes with a silent thanks.

A longer version of this account by Margaret Chu can be seen at: http://www.fleetfiretimbers.com/FFT/Articles/TibetanDogMonastery.htm




"And the subtle animals sense surely
that we aren't at all at home
in our description of the world."

- Rainer-Maria Rilke.

The dog chained up
amongst his shit: his freeing
less a kidnap than an elopement.

Birds nesting.
Oscar and I are together
all the hours of the day.

Morning erections:
Were my dog and I dreaming
of each other ?

Now my foreskin-cheese
sought out by Oscar
no longer goes to waste.

Windy day;
a croissant-tail droops
as I read haiku to my dog.

Quiet rain. Dogs express
so much silently - why must
we make so much noise ?

The Year of the Dog
has come and gone unnoticed
by his divinity.

Our lives intertwined
Oscar and I check up on
each other's fæces.

Inseeing: a dog
becomes a window through which
I view my blindness.

Click to read about the Dog of Sinope.

Community of luxury:
I drink the wine
while Oscar chews the cork.

Sun behind mist.
Oscar howls piteously:
his ball is stuck in a bush.

Woods in May:
The glory of a dog,
The shadow that is man.

Ruined castles:
our only creation as beautiful as dogs.

Hiroshima Day:
remember that dogs also
were roasted alive.

My dog rolling:
None of the menace of men
enjoying themselves.

Dog on the beach.
Seagull feather scuds along
and almost flies.

Oscar: the liberty to tell him
of my love twenty times a day.

Remaining perfect,
my dog failed to see
two butterflies on his bone.

(A perfect being
of which there are millions
and were millions of millions.)

Canine and capitalism:

the best in my life costs the least.

Failing to find the divine
in any human or pseudo-
superhuman, I found it in my dog.

photo by Artyom Kotyenko

Oscar and I gaze
at each other - each recognising
a god.

The only God
is Dog and there
are wonderfully many.

Rain on the window -
and Oscar's claws are scratching
on the thick front door.

Reassuring dog music:
Oscar is in touch with
his mobile bone.

Unless they see it
no-one believes that he picks
blackberries alone.

For a saint or dog
what is not mystery
is revelation.

Romanesque Irish ithyphallic dog

Oscar and I
asleep together
each dreaming of bones.

Better than sex:
Sniffing Oscar's
never-washed fur.

Jewish Spring Shekinah:
I celebrate the moulting God.

Wet nose on my pillow:
holy matrimony
suits me and my dog.


Rolling in another dog's shit -
Oscar is doubly divine.


Summer afternoon:
Oscar bites the lawnmower -
such purpose in life!


In the world we've turned to pain
his beauty is almost


Not the poet, and not Oscar
This is not a picture of either of us.


Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent.
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden,
where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace.

- Milan Kundera




Crunching a plastic
bottle, Oscar almost remembers
the bones of newborn mammoths.



the car
a romp
and snuffle
in the
back to
the car
of avocado
and pearskins
in his bowl
and then
his belly
and then
to bed
on top
of me



Our treatment of dogs is such that when they are not suffering from our neglect or cruelty (or both), they are bored out of their minds.
They are the only animals who can leave the Real World and enter ours with compassion and eagerness;
they have a more intelligent interest in us than we do in them.
We, on the other hand, governed by intention rather than attention, make no concessions to them and can't even read their faces, much less enter their untainted minds.
Thus 'lower' intelligences may have 'higher' consciousness.

Higher indeed in a moral sense, because, as Jeffrey Masson points out, dogs are infinitely forgiving. The average dog is more forgiving than the most forgiving human who has ever lived:

"A young man brought his dog with him into a boat, rowed to the middle of the Seine, and threw the animal overboard to drown. The poor dog kept trying to clamber back into the boat, and his 'master' kept pushing him back into the water until, overbalancing, he too went into the water. As soon as the faithful dog saw his master in the river, he swam from the boat and held him above water until help arrived from the shore, and his [nasty, cruel] life was saved."- from Animal Biography, anonymously published in 1842.

They treat us like gods.
We treat them like things.


In the Physiologus, the early-mediæval source of the late-mediæval Bestiaries, dogs are praised for "having more understanding than any other beast" - and for knowing their name and loving their master. Dogs "are like preachers who by warnings and by righteous living turn aside the ambushes of the Devil...As the dog's tongue heals a wound by licking, so the wounds of sin are cleansed by the instruction of the priest when they are laid bare in confession" !





Why do so many humans crave Magical Beings
when magical beings are all around us
as we exterminate them ?
If you will not worship animals
you will never experience the Divine.

Oscar was "just a dog" only in the same way that I am
"just a human being". He had such character and personality
that losing him was like losing my hearing or my sight.



My horrible, bloated, wife-beating Christian landlord, who hates me but cannot legally evict me,
saw Oscar one morning go on his regular morning howl down the badger-sett
just 100 metres from my old, unrenovated farmhouse -The House of the Four M's:
mildew, mould, mice and moths. Unfortunately that morning, I delayed
our departure for a romp through the woods, and Oscar trotted off for another howl.
Stockdale & son had taken note that Oscar was virtually blind and deaf while howling down a hole,
so all they had to do was pull him out by the tail and bash him to death
with the sledge-hammer they were using to drive in new fence-posts close by.





a poem by Aidas Marčėnas, translated from the Lithuanian by Laima Sruoginis

Ugly black dog named Sonnet,
each day at three you scramble
over very literally to this spot.
It is Autumn, but just take one step -

don't rush, stay - every day at three
the dog comes and three jays fly over
through the sun's rays, beautiful as a visitor
from the other orchard. Over the blank

landscape the lightened soul kneels at the thrown;
petting the old dog, Anubis, who loves everyone
just the same, comes, sniffs her over.

And suddenly it is brighter, even October ends;
the king dies frozen into himself,
and the sun's rays radiate away
from the lame dog.



A Curiosity


Rudyard Kipling

from THY SERVANT A DOG (1930)


Master, this is Thy Servant. He is rising eight weeks old.
He is mainly Head and Tummy. His legs are uncontrolled.
But Thou has forgiven his ugliness, and settled him on Thy Knee...
Art thou content with Thy Servant ? He is very comfy with Thee.

Master, behold a Sinner ? He hath done grievous wrong.
He hath defiled Thy Premises through being kept in too long.
Wherefore his nose has been rubbed in the dirt,
and his self-respect has been bruisèd.
Master, pardon Thy Sinner, and see he is properly loosèd.

Master - again Thy Sinner ! This that was once Thy Shoe,
He hatch found and taken and carried aside, as fitting matter to chew.
Now there is neither blacking nor tongue, and the Housemaid has us in tow.
Master, remember Thy Servant is young, and tell her to let him go !

Master, extol Thy Servant ! He hatch met a most Worthy Foe !
There has been fighting all over the Shop - and into the Shop also !
Till cruel umbrellas parted the strife (or I might have been choking him yet).
But Thy Servant has had the Time of His Life -
and now shall we call on the vet ?

Master, behold Thy Servant ! Strange children came to play,
And because they fought to caress him, Thy Servant wentedst away.
But now that the Little Beasts have gone, he has returned to see
(Brushed - with his Sunday collar on -) what they left over from tea.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

Master, pity Thy Servant ! He is deaf and three parts blind,
he cannot catch Thy Commandments. He cannot read Thy Mind.
Oh, leave him not in his loneliness; nor make him that kitten's scorn.
He has had none other God than Thee since the year that he was born !

Lord, look down on Thy Servant ! Bad things have come to pass,
There is no heat in the midday sun nor health in the wayside grass.
His bones are full of an old disease - his torments run and increase.
Lord, make haste with Thy Lightnings and grant him a quick release !

street dogs of Bangkok

now read about the dog as islamic rôle-model



bears also are dogs >>


When his Newfoundland dog Bo'sun died, Lord Byron had an impressive monument to him built,
which still can be seen in Newstead Abbey.
Inscribed on it was this epitaph:

Near this Spot
Are deposited the Remains of one
Who possessed Beauty without Vanity
Strength without Insolence
Courage without Ferocity
And all the virtues of Man without his Vices.
This praise which would be unmeaning Flattery
if inscribed over human Ashes
is but a just tribute to the Memory of
Who was born in Newfoundland May 1803
And died at Newstead Nov. 18, 1808



the dogs of old stamboul >>


street dogs



Time flies
Time heals
The poor in spirit
The meek shall inherit
Time lies
Time lies
All the time
Time feels
We lie
All the time
We feel
Only feeling

Nothing feeling
Nothing doing
Throw discretion to
Gone to the dog
Give him a bad name
And hang him
Nearer my Dog to thee
Pure in heart
Timeless humility



download 1. most of the poems on this page as a printable pdf file


dogs and heaven


'If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you;
that is the principal difference between a dog and a man.'

- Mark Twain


saving dogs


download 2. an e-Book of over 150 more poems, indexed, in PDF format


Bangkok dogs and heaven Street Dogs


Click on Gromit for a fine
collection of dog-pictures.

He shall not grow old
as we who are grieving grow old.
Age shall not rack him
as our memories grow dim.
In the bleak afternoon
and the fine morning
we still remember him.



What Dogs See, Smell, and Know

Alexandra Horowitz

353 pp. Scribner
$27 Hardback


'Letters of Note' : She is my best friend.



more about Oscarwonderful dog photos more wonderful dog photos

the 'imprinted' duck who thinks she's a dog riot dog choosing a dog

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