Treasure Island

Jonathan ROBIN

(22 September / London)

A Dog's Life


Sixteen years, now almost seventeen,
I've played at stick and ball, stayed seldom still
until good master's call would whistle shrill
to lead me back - no need to smack. Sight keen.

Sixteen years tail's wagged as faithful friend,
as boon companion, running round fun years.
His mother passed away, I shared the tears
that fountained forth and never seemed to end.

Sixteen years round each revolving moon
from hearth and home I pick up slightest sound,
ears prick, eyes bright, in sight I'm always found
to hold my ground, though often play buffoon.

Sixteen years, come rain or shine, we walk
twice, sometimes thrice a day, I sense each smell
around the house, tell friends from rascals well,
and after dinner hear the table talk.

Sixteen years from pet to family,
from playful pat to priceless kith and kin,
I vet as threat who'd twins' affections win,
can smell a rat or chase cat up a tree.

Sixteen years I've watched the children grow,
suffered unruly hands that now caress,
I guard them still, still at the same address,
as I will willing till my turn to go.

Sixteen years saw summers shedding hair,
saw autumns' colours charm birds from the trees,
saw winter whiteness whose bare branches' frieze
prepared for springs unbounded, weather fair.

Sixteen years, milk - nap - home-made pap brew,
from toothless start, heart full, until depart,
toothless, heart filled beyond all man may chart,
life's cycle spins till ready to renew.

Sixteen years that gambolled life away,
with water, beef and bone, I've played at will.
Scents seem less sharp today, and soon I will
make my last bow - still in thrill dreams I play!
Revised 6 August 2007 Previous Title Sixteen Years

(5 January 1992)

Submitted: Saturday, March 10, 2012
Edited: Saturday, March 10, 2012

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  • Diana Van Den Berg (9/25/2013 4:57:00 AM)

    My tears for the fears and my joy in his happiness today and all his nearly seventeen years. My beloved horse, Flicka, went to Heaven on 28 April 2002 - he was 37½; my beloved Maltese Poodle, Daisy joined him on 18 December 2010 at the age of 14½; my beloved tabby cat, Tigger, joined them on 16 October 2010 at the age of 15½; my beloved granddog (my son’s dog) , Ciro, joined them this year on 14 July at the age of 13; and I tried to save Ben, a darling Boerbul puppy belonging to a neighbour, from gross neglect, but he was whisked away to I don’t know where and it is tearing me apart, along with missing Flicka, Daisy and Tigger who found me Benji-woof and Cleo-meeow on 31 December 2010. Please give you dog a hug from me and please tell him from me that he is an excellent poet. (Report) Reply

  • Valsa George (5/22/2013 5:53:00 AM)

    A beautiful poem, the soliloquy of a dog! ! A look back into sixteen years of his faithful service to his master! ! Enjoyed much! ! (Report) Reply

  • Roshni D'Souza (10/21/2012 6:08:00 PM)

    Haven't been on poemhunter for a while, but came back to browse a little. Mr. Robin was the first poet I looked for. This one is an old favourite of mine. Thanks! (Report) Reply

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