Yellow Dog.

The ice peaks are green,
they stretch all the way to China
in the metallic moonlight.

The scabby yellow dog, with his fleas,
sits alongside on this moraine,
watching. I pull the lost one close
as we gaze to the south.

Gaze at the ridges we crossed,
now in sharp silhouette – teeth
against yellow sheet lightening
on the Indian monsoon plain.

It dawns on me that the man
who entered this high place will not
be the man who leaves.

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About Harry Nicholson

I'm an enameller who works with a kiln, fusing pictures in glass onto copper. I write a few poems and short stories. There is an eBook anthology of them, 'Green Linnet' on Amazon. Also a novel, 'Tom Fleck', set in the North of England of 1513 - the year of Flodden. A sequel to 'Tom Fleck' is 'The Black Caravel' published in 2016. My anthology of poems came out in 2015: 'Wandering About.' I've a blog of poems, stories and art at: https://1513fusion.wordpress.com/
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5 Responses to Yellow Dog.

  1. earlybird says:

    I particularly like that first verse, Harry.

  2. When was this, Harry? And when did you write the piece, was it on-the-spot, or after you returned home, or more recently that that? I warm to you, when I hear how you treated the “little one”.

    • I met the dog in 1986, the first version of the poem is dated 2007. It seems a poem might be 21 years in the rising up – and even longer in the case of ‘Tramp Ship’ (on another page here).
      The poems are occasionally revised, but I keep watch on the early versions so as not to lose their raw vitality. Revisits are good; new meanings sometimes come.

  3. Hello, Kat – good to see you here. That dog (I called him Chota Wallah – little one) approached us timidly as we entered the Himalaya. He was hungry, thin and scared. He followed us for days as we climbed, and went into Zanskar with us. In Zanskar he was often hanging around the monastery with the other strays – the Buddhist monks gave them food. I made sure he had a full stomach on the day we left. I often wonder how he got on. He’s in that picture – the others are Zanskari porters.

  4. Awe-inspiring! I’m thinking of Mallory. Your last stanza is like something out of the mouth of the Dalai Lama. Really like this piece. Poor old scabby dog!

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