LAP DOG – To John Bellany

Posted by in Blog, Poems on Aug 11, 2013

No whining tail-thumper, you,

no eager, barking, soulful-eyed best friend.

Who would throw a stick for you,

or rubber ball, sticky with your spit?


Your breath would rust gold rings,

rot the flesh slowly from the bones.

You haunt the desolation

from the dream-rooms to the quays,


and where the dead-eyed fishes

shine in cold embraces.

It was you, wasn’t it,

who snuffed and slithered


under the gate of the artist’s ribs,

winding yourself into his guts,

gnawing into his liver

to make your thirst his.


But creation triumphed over pain,

and he made a lap dog of you after all.

Now sunlight streams in the dream rooms;

carnivals and open-air cafes


are luminous in all their colours.

The artist is alive,

and you are his creature.