Lest We Forget: Remembrance Day coming up soon ...
The Turkish Trench Dog
by Geoffrey Dearmer
Night held me as I crawled and scrambled near The Turkish lines. Above, the mocking stars Silvered the curving parapet, and clear Cloud-latticed beams o'erflecked the land with bars; I, crouching, lay between Tense-listening armies peering through the night, Twin giants bound by tentacles unseen Here in dim-shadowed light I saw him, as a sudden movement turned His eyes towards me, glowing eyes that burned A moment ere his snuffling muzzle found My trail; and then as serpents mesmerise He chained me with those unrelenting eyes, That muscle-sliding rhythm, knit and bound In spare-limbed symmetry, those perfect jaws And soft-approaching pitter-patter paws. Nearer and nearer like a wolf he crept — That moment had my swift revolver leapt — But terror seized me, terror born of shame Brought flooding revelation. For he came As one who offers comradeship deserved, An open ally of the human race, And sniffling at my prostrate form unnerved He licked my face!
Note: During World War I, Dearmer fought at Gallipoli and on the Western Front. Most of his poems dealt with the brutality of war and violence.