“Please excuse my dog,” she said,

“It’s her night out as well.

“In fact, she wrote this opening poem;

“When you hear it, you’ll probably tell.

“The rhyming’s awry,

“It’s not quite finished,

“The metre’s all askew

“But if you’ll excuse its ‘ruff-ness’

(We groaned)

“It’s a kind of dog’s-eye-view.”

She reddened as she read it

But there was no need to blush

Even though she finished with her visage all a-flush.

For most of us were poets and we didn’t want to crush

The spirits of a fellow pen-ster.

It’s not easy with paws

To join the applause

But the dog helped the cause

As she sprang to all fours

Offered up her rough, grey bark.

Wrouf! Wrouf! Wrouf! Wrouf!

And so, throughout the evening,

As, one by one, we offered up our sacrificial verses,

Seeking redemption,


A smile,

A chuckle,

A pensive ponder,

Something to justify the “not-quite-long-enough”

It took to scribble.

Each ripple of congratulation

Met with canine affirmation

Of rough, grey bark.

Wrouf! Wrouf! Wrouf! Wrouf!

And then the ranter took the stage

(Grandad vest, felt fedora)

Not so much a poem, more a

Litany of rage.

Hunched in anger,

Hooded eyes.

Didn’t the rest of us realise?

Accused us all of not understanding



Angrily demanding …

… something or other.

Line after line after line after line,

Line after line after line after line,

On and on and on and on,

On and on and on and on.

Repeated refrain

Repetitive strain

Injurious to the ear

And to the brain.

Finally exhausted

(that’s us, not him),

He stalked back to his shadowed shell

To rapturous


Embarrassed canine lapped from her bowl:

Didn’t bother barking.

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