Gifted Puppet - Poem by jim hogg
I can see them now: invisible wires
running directly into the minds of your dogs.
You’d beat the drums until you found
their frequency of fear and fixed them to it.
Or shot them if deafness kept them free.
That wasn’t fine by me, but I didn’t
have the air for barking sympathetic pleas.
The fine cabling firmly fixed in place
your animals needed no leashes to speak of;
so keen did they seem to do your bidding
out on the moors, like distant extensions
of you and your intentions, obediently running
circles round dogs deprived of the protection
of your approval and throttling inhibition -
piano wire bound to some old darkness.
“Highly strung” was always a puzzling phrase
to a boy harnessed by thought strangling steel.
But I couldn’t be shot, and I couldn’t be sold
for the fortune that fear made your dogs worth
to men who craved the power in your forehead
to kill the light of my late afternoons.
Crunching tyres down the track, and the crack
of a door snapping shut, tuned a terrible tension
into your gifted puppet cowering low
behind the hills of my dreams.
31 12 08
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