There was always something on his mind,
that Dougal, that curious wee dog,
his head like the head of little Florence
invariably cocked to one side, or the other…

Each week something lost had to be found.
Mystery would descend like a fog
on the world they knew, but Dougal’s innocence
if not stupidity would visit even more bother

on his friends, in truth strange folk themselves, inclined
to going round in circles, to monologue
and soliloquy, but showing complete indifference
to the voice that came from the sky. Plodder

that Dougal was, evidently colour-blind
to the hallucinatory smog
the others passed their time in (hardly a fence
in all that countryside and, even odder,

mushrooms throughout the year, outlined
against the backdrop greens and greys) , and slog
that adding two and two became, or telling the difference
between night and day, a rock and some small creature,

rather than take a break to let the plot unwind
in all its perfect nonsense, all its bog
logic or woodland magic, with the impotence
of a hero he’d persevere ever further

after a meaning he could never hope to find
in the scheme of things. He should have played a log,
stretched out and waited for Zebedee’s late appearance,
his ‘It’s time for tea.’ The poor tutter,

to use my family’s word for a fool, could he not find
a nice soft spot to lie back on and, like the mere cog
in the machine he was, seize the chance
to glimpse, even once, the hands of god the father?