Tag Archives: dogs

Potcake Poet’s Choice: Bruce McGuffin, ‘News Hound’

I sit and I stare at the TV and stew.
The news is so bad I don’t know what to do.
Then a dog nose appears and it rests on my knee
‘Til I look at my dog, who is looking at me.
And she gives a small wag. Her eyes silently say
The same thing they do at this time every day
“Why are you here in this room, on this couch
Watching the news and becoming a grouch?
There are dogs to be petted, with ears you can scratch,
Outside in the park there are squirrels to catch.
Let’s go for a walk, we should give it a try.
Bring a ball too, you’re a ball throwing guy”.
So I pet her and scratch her, it’s good for the blues.
And tonight we’ll go walking right after the news.

Bruce McGuffin writes: “My favorite dog poem is the one called ‘News Hound‘, above. It’s not my best dog poem technically speaking, but it captures the essence of dog. At least the better sort of dog, which I have been lucky enough to have owned a few of over the years.”

This poem first appeared in Lighten Up Online, on Dec. 1 2018.

Bruce McGuffin writes all kinds of poetry, but meter has a way of sneaking in even when it’s not invited, sometimes bringing rhyme along for the ride. His subjects range from the profound to the utterly frivolous with a decided tilt toward frivolous, which he justifies by claiming he writes for his own amusement. He divides his time between Lexington Massachusetts, where he has a day job as an engineer at a radio research lab, and Antrim New Hampshire, where he lives with his wife and pretends to be practical (when he’s not writing poetry). At work the practical engineers think he’s a theorist, and the theorists think he’s a practical engineer. His poetry has appeared in Light, Lighten Up Online, The Asses of Parnassus, Better Than Starbucks, and other journals. His poem ‘The Mad Scientist‘ appeared in the Potcake Chapbook ‘Robots and Rockets‘.

Potcake Poet’s Choice: Ann Drysdale, ‘Sleeping in Tongues’

Three of us breathing; me and dog and cat.
Awoken by a faint and plaintive mew,
I hold my own breath, ascertaining that
the sound comes from one of the other two.
I act upon an educated guess
and lay a hand on cat, who quickly twists
into a different pose of idleness
and settles, silent. But the sound persists.
So dog it is, who wheezes in a dream
that has bestowed on him the gift of tongues
and things both are, and are not, what they seem.
I let the captive air out of my lungs.
Three of us breathing, dog and cat and me;
companionable synchronicity.

Ann Drysdale writes: “This poem emerged from a situation that took a minute to happen and evolved into a sonnet that takes a minute to read. I can almost believe that it sprang fully-formed from my fingertips, now that the pile of sawdust, chippings and paintflakes generated by the making of one into the other has been swept under the carpet and forgotten.”

Ann Drysdale now lives in South Wales and has been a hill farmer, water-gypsy, newspaper columnist and single parent – not necessarily in that order. Her most recent volume of poetry, Vanitas, joined a mixed list of published writing, including memoir, essays and a gonzo guidebook to the City of Newport. Another collection is accreting nicely and is due to be published next year.

Her poems have been published in several of the Potcake Chapbooks:
Tourists and Cannibals
Rogues and Roses
Careers and Other Catastrophes
Families and Other Fiascoes
Houses and Homes Forever
… all available from Sampson Low for the price of a coffee.