Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0409 The Postman And The Dog, Or Plato's Fido - Poem by Michael Shepherd

There has to be a reason:
dogs bite postmen.

It's not just that they jump up the sofa to the window
and bark excitedly even when the postman's invisible down the street;
that's smart; but they don't stop at that. For those of us
who still have letterboxes in our front doors,
every one's a tasty finger-trap...and open the front door
to take the parcel - and all hell breaks loose.

You'd think that they'd catch on, that their owners
mostly like to have a dropp each day - even though
its largely bumf (and you can't even use it for that) :
it's not bills every day; no, postie's not our enemy
that dogs defend us from; or do they pick up thrilling smells
even before he's at noselength, of rival canines
all along his round? Can't the perfume industry dream up
a body-spray for postmen to please the canine race?
A kinda Mini Factor Inc., 'Make-Up To the Curs'...

I wonder if the answer's in the Hindu mould:
that this life is the sweet-sour fruit
of last lives' actions; even our living form:

Was the postman with the hang-dog expression
who won't look me in the eye - as if
we both remember some shared former life -
is he on the up: his last life, noble, faithful, obedient dog
with just one fatal flaw: he couldn't resist a juicy mouthful
of postman's ankle?
So now he's born - eternal justice so decreed -
a postman... tooth for a tooth...but carrying in consciousness
a hang-dog memory of that guilt?

Or (since it's said the number of created animal souls
stays constant) is he on transmigration's down escalator -
a human failure as a postman, who, out of public gaze,
aims a shrewd and secret kick at Fido... and
with that hang-dog expression....
yes, you guessed it.

I wonder if I should mention this to him?

Comments about 0409 The Postman And The Dog, Or Plato's Fido by Michael Shepherd

  • (7/26/2005 9:04:00 AM)

    Daily, I have the self same dog performance. Thanks for explaining its underpinnings. (Report)Reply

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  • (7/26/2005 9:02:00 AM)

    I agree with Max. This poem is so unique, so well-done that I will think about it every time I see my mailman. Good work, Michael!


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  • (7/26/2005 8:29:00 AM)

    I'm blearyeyed from reading poems morningnoonevening for daysweeks,
    But this is such fun, it makes it all worthwhile!
    My card says 10!

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Poem Edited: Saturday, July 15, 2006

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