Bird-dog, Bird-dog

by Margaret Hemme
The Waters
Honorable Mention, September 2009
Judged by George Szirtes


he’s a god
fur flapping
racing frantic
circles
leaping earth
green and gravel
fringed
by wired walls

he hears
the blackbirds
inky
digging dots
coating oaks
fluttering far
no fences
free, and one

has landed
startles
rises
from his lawn
too late

the rubber ball
is black now
bouncing
and he’s trained
to grab it
from the sky

bird-dog, bird-dog
good catch, but
I’d rather
watch it fly


It's the writing rather than the whole shape here that seems particularly good, the second verse with those inky blackbirds. I think the last verse thins the poem a little, the tone maybe a touch flip. It is the observation that is the strongest element of the poem. --George Szirtes

  • March 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Cuttlefish
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      Wings
      by Bernard Henrie
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      gutterball
      by Brenda Morisse
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • February 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Nebraska, Summer
      by Greta Bolger
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Goldback Fern
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      Negotiatin’ Wi Demons (For wee Rabbie Burns)
      by John J. Williamson
      PenShells