Retired as Shakespearean, alone now,
in a cottage on the mid-Wales coast,
with his dogs, Cobweb and Mustardseed.
Mornings, the wide swing of Borth beach,
the dogs raced hell’s long circles,
while he sat reading, on his canvas chair.
Later, as he read, detective stories, Dickens,
the dogs growled, barked, at gate and garden.
Never a nip, but noise in spades.
He spoke to them, Elizabethan verse,
Gaelic endearments, and some Spanish
he’d learned at UCL. Encouraged them
in fecklessness. Presto, senorita.
The postman was ‘Macduff’; the jogger ‘Iago’,
the meter readers ‘cream-faced loons’.
They found him, the day he died,
the dogs quiet at his feet,
seemingly a comfort.
If you have any comments on this poem, Robert Nisbet would
be pleased to hear from you.