Unlike those of us whose curse is to live
in interesting times, those who walk dogs
is to have their pampered pooch revert
to the wilderness and find body parts –
as there on the shore on the bonny loch
at Christmastide, just at the point
where the road turns sharp right from the shore
and up the bank, where Rob Roy drove the kine
he had ‘stolen’, the geological fault line
where lowland and highland meet, the frontier
of so much English sponsored butchery.
In the 3 star hotel with its wall-to-wall
tartan carpet, we spoke of little else
over yuletide lunch and buffet supper.
What dog? What owner? What parts? What killer?
On Boxing Day storms came, trees fell, guests left.
At home, in the south, we saw the bulletin –
a lad on a Christmas Eve piss-up,
seduced, dismembered, broadcast to the waters –
and wondered as so often before
what species we belong to. And thought
of the anonymous dog walker
alive to all that impartial beauty –
the stillness of the ancient pinewoods,
the snow on the mountains reflected in the lake
in that troubled, emptied land – calling the pet
gnawing at the pebbles.