What we are up to

Dog Days #12

by Nathan Jones

Dog Days is a serial about the plight of a dog walker, Richie Pen, and Kenny, his dog.

Dear Bob,

Sleep is special. You realise this when you wake up at 5.30am soaked in sweat with nearly 2 hours left to doze and you have been playing football with members of the England Italia '90 squad.

It seemed that many of the men and girls

in the middle of the park

were struggling to get their share of play

with David Platt winning much of the action in the air,

so I was happy to be out wide,

where I could provide regular service 

for the legendary nearly-men of my youth.

And only when I woke again, stingily drawing

out the already overdrawn minutes

did I have the notion to remove this moment from sleep

and examine it. Why now? Why me? Why this?

That is a poem, Bob. These are facts (if, indeed, one can have facts about dreams):

All your sleep is in the company of me and babies.

Mine, men that I admired when I was still coveting jammy wagon wheels: my Dad, Jesus Christ as a cartoon, Lee Sharpe, David Beardsley.

In your nightmares, you are saving babies from being crushed and having trouble taming me.

In mine, the central threat comes from the school boys I see in the park when I go out to walk the dog.

This bloody dog. I wonder where he sleeps when he is sleeping on our couch. A nightmare of being stuck in the garden for half an hour, while you and I piss-around with paint and giggle inside. A dream, where one of us comes home and takes him out for a run. You can see when he's having those because his feet do a twitter like he is dancing on clouds, isn't it Bob!

Ken is sleeping on the bed now. When you get home, lets climb back in with him.


Richie Noms and Kenwyn Yoms