Ben’s second Coronavirus Chronicle

Friends, collies, canine key workers,

(For anyone new to my blog a very big welcome; I’m Ben, a young Border Collie. You can find out all about my big adventure here Ben’s Blog but, this particular post is my second record of such v. v. v extraordinary times)

This Coronavirus epoch that I seem to be living through is, for Ben, good and bad in parts. I must say I like having David and B hanging around all the time and, on balance, I’d say there’s a bit more activity in the treats department. Of course, all the extra calories, alongside a drastic reduction in the walkies outings, will have to be paid for with a one heck of an exercise regime later, in the freer peri coronavirus days to come; I’m up for that.

Even then, it seems like I’m going to be banged up close to home for sometime and I’m sooooo missing my  pals in the forest; that’s the bad part. I haven’t had a run out in my car for so long and the Munro project has ground to a halt. I do get walks but they are so much shorter and, what’s more, there isn’t a ball to be seen, as far as the horizon.

Admittedly, Shieldhill never was a mecca of night life (more’s the pity) but this is just plain weird. All around us nature has sprung into life as normal, which means: our daffs were blown to smithereens, the tulips had their one, and only, day of standing tall, and David has the lawnmower on it’s back, trying to coax the rotary blade into action. Elsewhere, lambs joyfully bounded and my kinsfolk tried their best to bring them into some sort of order, while quad bikes stationed nearby, were ready to take these canines home for a spot of dinner, after their day of hard labour.

Ben doing a spot of social distancing

In fact, those four wheeled drovers represent the full extent of motorised traffic populating our  lane. Someone has pressed the pause button and all is silence. Every now and again something in a vivid shade of lycra passes, propelled by the human personification of science – where a meeting of bio mechanics and physics – accounts for the brief and repeated moments of levitation that appear above my hedge, punctuated by pounding feet on tarmac. Then, as if this wasn’t enough excitement for one day, my ears resound to a cylindrical whoosh as the Bradley Wiggins gang, out in force, give our lanes the once over.

Now though, at last – horrah – there seems to be talk of some relaxation and all is confusion. I’m not good on change myself, as anyone regularly reading my blog knows, and the butterflies have grown to their full maturity in my tummy, making for a very unsettled Ben. Apparently, I now have to adjust again, from what had become my temporary new normal, to – navigating the pace of change carefully – a medium-term new normal, and all that might – or might not – involve. The wings of those flapping butterflies are creating havoc deep inside, in these winds of change. I’ve heard tell of a vaccination and I’m not big on needles either, so that isn’t helping matters one iota. However, I’m practicing my mindfulness and finding solace in the natural world around us.

While waiting for the latest news I try to keep abreast of word from the dog on the street, not that there are many of them about these days. Different opinions rebound amid all the speculation, and what the response of the human species might be. Serious concerns have been barked about any slackening of lockdown. One commentator suggests that, once they are let out there will be great difficulty getting them back in again. Clearly, we are fearful of a nation of wild hooligans running amok with their new freedoms. Quite on the contrary, a number of studies – by clever people – paint the reverse picture, suggesting that everyone is now too frightened to go out at all. Having scared them witless, with endless healines about the very worst of the virus, our people have been successfully imprisoned in their homes. Where will it all end?

Time will tell, but I hope you like the lockdown pictures I added in, and now for my very favourite photo of this time.

And so to bed!

Love Ben xx

 

 

 

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It’s a mad world, my masters

Friends, collies and all companion animals, stepping up to the mark.

(For those new to my blog I’m Ben, a young Border Collie on a big adventure, you can find out about it all here: Ben’s blog )

“Well I never, actually none of us ever… what uncharted seas we are tossing about in (that word, unprecedented, is getting me down a bit). Uncertainty isn’t one of my strong points and circumstances here are very strange. I haven’t had a clue what is going on. This is not good news for the butterflies in my tummy which, now it is spring, are just about to hatch.

The first thing to happen was that my person, B, stopped going out in the morning. Now she sits at our table all day long – with MY laptop – tapping away, or else putting that speaker thing to her ear, having totally meaningless conversations because they never include words like walk, or ball.

The next thing was that, at 5.00pm on a Saturday night, David, my male person, was still stroking me. Now this was a momentous change, all “changed utterly”. Lovely and scary at the same time. David always, ALWAYS, goes out for an hour or so on a Saturday, when we are at our caravan (as well as a Friday and a Sunday too) and, it has to be said, comes back really quite jolly. Oh my goodness me, what was going on.

Now, I’m normally a pretty level headed sort of canine and I do try to keep a sense of proportion but, when I heard about all this panic buying, and no one was making a move to top up my food store, it was the last straw; all those butterflies went in for a bit of premature birthing and started flapping about uncontrollably in my tummy. Apparently, we’ve got someone called Covid 19 coming for a visit. At first, I thought we were putting up our defences in case an unruly teenager was putting in an appearance but, apparently, I’d got the wrong end of the lead. It turns out that the unwelcome guest is a horrible little infectious disease, a real carbuncle on our lives. But, v. v. v big BUT, I’m not at risk at all. Oh, great relief for Ben.

However, I’m not off the hook that easily. It seems I still have a big part to play and I’ve got to be with my people through thick and thin to help them out. Suddenly, all that responsibility seems a bit scary. I don’t even know how to turn the oven on yet and I’m more than a bit concerned about something called stock rotation, it sounds very complicated and David is a real whizz at it. Still I’m going to step up to the mark and do my best…  tomorrow.

In the meantime… head, bury, sand.

And so to bed

Love Ben xx

 

 

Ben’s Munro poem

Thank you so much for coming to visit a dog-poet.

My poems for Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge are a take on life from a canine perspective. We poets – and to date I seem to be the only dog-poet –  write one of the structured poems permitted and have to integrate, as synonyms, the two words given as a prompt.

On the first week of every month we get to choose our own words. Mine are food and climb .I am doing a Haiku

You can find out about the form, and have a go yourself, by clicking below:

Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge

I’m doing lots of walking in Scottish mountains for our charity challenge. You can read all about it here:

Mucky Boots and Flawless Paws

 

Looking north and a bit east

Back on the Munros

Steep ascent on mountain hike

Reward of Sausage

By Ben the dog-poet © 2019

 

 

Balls for Ben – #Senryu

Thank you so much for coming to visit a dog-poet.

My poems for Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge are a take on life from a canine perspective. We poets – and to date I seem to be the only dog-poet –  write one of the structured poems permitted and have to integrate, as synonyms, the two words given as a prompt.

This week the words are plan and spend. I am doing a Senryu.

You can find out about the form, and have a go yourself, by clicking below:

Colleen’s poetry challenge

 

 

Only one project
Lots more tennis balls for Ben
OH, joyous purchase.

Ben, the dog-poet, 2019 ©

 

 

 

Ben’s new Munromobile #A Tanka

Thank you so much for coming to visit a dog poet. My poems for Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge are a take on life from a canine perspective. We poets – and to date I seem to be the only dog poet –  write one of the structured poems permitted and have to integrate, as synonyms, the two words given as a prompt.

This week the word are spring and sing; I am doing a Tanka.

You can find out about it all, and have a go yourself, by clicking below:

Colleen’s poetry challenge

 

Photo of Ben's van no available in this format.

Last week I had to relinquish my van, which had been our friend, transport and accommodation, as we climbed the first 50 mountains on our quest to conquer the 282 Munros in Scotland; they are the mountains over 3000 feet. While I had grown to love the character of my van it seems that’s it’s unreliability was a bit of a liability. I had very mixed feelings about this transformation and wrote about then in this blog:

Ben’s new Munromobile

You can read all about our v. v. v big challenge here. Ben’s adventure

However, look at what I’ve got now and, of course, I had to write a poem about it.

 

IMG_4234

Bought near Pentland hills –
My rising star, shinning bright –
Tanka-Kangoo beams.
Like the promise of sunset
Or a boyant, joyous song.

Love Ben, the dog poet xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sensational

Oh golly gosh,

Thank you so much for coming to visit a dog poet. My poems for Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge are a take on life from a canine perspective. We poets – to date I seem to be the only dog poet –  write one of the structured poems permitted and have to integrate, as synonyms, the two words given as a prompt. Though, for the first poem of each month, we can choose our own words. This week I have chosen the words scent and sad and I am doing a short Haibun , followed by a Tanka. The Haibun is a piece of prose, with a title, written in the first person canine singular, and it occurs in the present moment. The poem that follows – never seeks to repeat, quote from or explain the prose. It should reflect some aspect of the prose by introducing a different step in the narrative through a microburst of detail – seemingly different, yet somehow connected; gosh!

To be honest, I’m not sure I’ve captured all that but, then again, I’m only a dog and I’ve done my best for my first attempt. The Tanka that follows is structured in 5 lines, with a syllable count of 5, 7, 5, 7, 7. I’m pretty sure I’ve managed that, which isn’t bad for a dog, even a dog poet.

You can find out about it all and, have a go yourself. by clicking below:

Colleen’s poetry challenge

Sensational

sensational

She entered my life as a burst of starlight on a winter’s night, igniting my senses. The sky is now bluer and mown grass more fragrant, while autumn leaves laugh and crackle under foot. Our walks in the forest inject my heart with joy and – with soft steps – I dance, trying to catch moving shadows on the path. Here, verdant trees – swaying in the breeze – filter sunlight.

When she goes away, as she sometimes has to, a despondency numbs my senses and then a grey mantilla shrouds my life. I am reminded of lines from the poet, Yevtushenko:
“ The colours in my eyes will fade, when your face sets.”

Though – of course – being a dog, my senses will be extinguished when her smell is gone.

Her smell fading now
Each moment a crying shame.
Disrupted, my world –
Like neglected flower heads –
Drooping, lifeless, sees no sun.

By Ben, the dog poet ©2019

Additionally, you can read all the poems from last week here: Tuesday poetry challenge recap

And, if you need a little bed time reading to send you to sleep, you can read lots of my poems ever, here: The dog poet’s poems

You can also read all about my big walking charity challenge here: Mucky Boots and Flawless Paws, but that might keep you awake at night, or possibly give you nightmares – hee, hee!

Love Ben xx 0

Ben’s weekly poetry, #Haiku

Gosh, thank you so much for visiting my blog.

This post is for my main man – David 😊😊😊

My poem is in response to Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge. We poets, even dog poets, write a structured poem containing synonyms of two words prompts which Colleen usually provides (Click here for the guidelines). However, for the first poem of each month we select our own words. This week I am using the words rock and roll. I’ve chosen them for two reasons. Firstly, because I’m in a good mood. My male person came home from hospital on Wednesday and we are a complete unit again. I like to do a bit of dancing about when I’m happy. Then, when I went outside today I saw our Willow tree rocking and rolling in the stormy winds at our house; they were awful. When I tried to play ball, I had no way of knowing where my ball was going to end up. I got v. v. v dizzy 😓

This is my Haiku, I so hope you like it.

one-man-and-his-dog-willow-sculpture
One man and his dog, reproduced by kind permission of  willow sculptor Caroline Gregson.

Link to Caroline’s work

Watch the willow bend
Swaying arcs in reeling wind
Supple fronds for art

By Ben, the dog poet ❤ 🐾 xx © 2018