"Sheep Dog Guarding His Flock" by Eugène Verboeckhoven‘Unfit for Purpose’ by David Watt The Society April 7, 2021 Culture, Humor, Poetry 9 Comments . Our neighbours bought a sheepdog: a heeler brindled blue, And all was well (or so it seemed) until his faults showed through; For when it came to penning sheep, he lost a large amount, And bit the hand which fed him when taken to account. They use him very seldom—he fails to take command. For what use is a working dog who doesn’t understand? But worst of all the many faults this mutt is known to keep, He hangs around with bitches, and often falls asleep. Because for now they’re stuck with him, like gum beneath a shoe, Our neighbours built a kennel—a white house sparkling new; And there above the entrance, in letters painted matt, For reasons known to no one else, they named him “Democrat.” . . David Watt is a writer from Canberra, the “Bush Capital” of Australia. He has contributed regularly to Collections of Poetry and Prose by Robin Barratt. When not working for IP (Intellectual Property) Australia, he finds time to appreciate the intrinsic beauty of traditional rhyming poetry. NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 9 Responses Susan Jarvis Bryant April 7, 2021 David, I love ‘Unfit for Purpose” (excellent title) for its rhyme, rhythm, message and highly amusing there-is-many-a-true-word-spoken-in-jest punchline. I also love it because it reminds me of a scene from Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd whereby a rogue sheepdog drives sheep into a field of clover which poisons them, and over the edge of a cliff to their death. Your poetic analogy makes me want to keep an even keener eye on our current administration. Reply David Watt April 8, 2021 Thanks very much Susan. I happened to watch on T.V. the film version of Far From the Madding Crowd just two weeks ago. The sheepdog scene reminded me of the poem I had recently written. It really drove home the point that incompetence can destroy lives and livelihoods. Reply jd April 7, 2021 I like it for the same reasons Susan does and for the surprise and very apt ending. Reply Gail April 7, 2021 You all are making me laugh out loud this morning! Reply David Paul Behrens April 7, 2021 Very clever and humorous! Reply Margaret Coats April 7, 2021 Although it is fun to finish the poem and discover the dog’s name, the brilliant takeaway line here is, “Because for now they’re stuck with him, like gum beneath a shoe.” I’m going to try to remember it every time I see a picture of the individual to whom it refers–and I don’t mean one of the canine kind. Reply David Watt April 8, 2021 Thank you all for your appreciation of my humorous poem. Margaret, the simile of gum beneath the shoe seemed highly appropriate for describing such an unwanted clinging attachment. Reply Jeff Eardley April 8, 2021 Great stuff David. A proper shaggy dog tale with a belter of a punchline. I am sure that the dog didn’t regard hanging around with bitches prior to falling asleep as a fault. Most of my friends do this and always regard it as a skill. Thanks for the smile and hope this one lands in the in-tray of the great Sir Les. Reply David Watt April 9, 2021 It’s true Jeff that hanging around with bitches and falling asleep isn’t generally seen as a fault. The problem only arises when duties and responsibilities are forgotten. Sir Les would probably use a few choice adjectives in sympathizing with the dog. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.