Woody and Tango at Ynyslas, mid Wales



Saved from going muzzle to muzzle

with a final gun,

I watch over you


stroke the creamy softness of your throat,

marvel the arch of your neck,

deep chest, sprung spine,


all your alertness tucked into twitchy sleep.


Racer through and through

you fly the trap,

cut corners, compete for the best bed


but it only takes a vivid dream

to leave you too hot,

strained heart misfiring.


I caress to counter cruelties

and offer the dull thud of my pulse

as a backing beat to steady yours.



(For R V Bailey)


I dismiss the face in swirling waters

like a figure in knotted oak.


A watcher stills me; disbelief resolves into:

whiskers, webbed toes, rudder-tail stalling the current.


Stealth-gazers all,

this otter’s already out-sensed us.


Ahead of your greyhound stare,

it dissolves into a pulse of silver bubbles,


turns somersaults inside my head,

works your nostrils with growing doubt.

First Sighting
Chris Kinsey has worked in collaboration with Gordon Yapp RBSA of Clun Valley Local Meeting.

The illustration above, reproduced by kind permission of the artist, is one of several in First Sighting, the collaborative artists’ book they produced this year.


First it was the barn behind our house –

I’d get breath from old hay and conjure a horse,

ease the blinkered bridle over his ears,

back him, snorting, into wood-wormed shafts

and ride down the sunlit track.


Next it was going nowhere

on the old railway track, horsetails

from another age feathering the sleepers.

I’d den in one of the cattle trucks

that rattled my baby dreams.


Then it was mines: muck stacks, scrapers

and stoned blind engine houses.

All things, but what of people

made redundant?


Dogs not winning their keep,

turfed out, abandoned, or shot

by the barrow load and tipped

into foundations?

~ Chris Kinsey ©

Re-printed from Chris’s second collection Cure for a Crooked Smile, Ragged Raven Press, with kind permission of the author. Thank you, Chris – you are indeed the poet laureate of greyhounds!

QCA note: First Sighting is for Chris’s friend, our patron, Rosie Bailey.


A government e-petition to end commercial greyhound racing in the UK has recently been set up. Huge numbers of dogs are left homeless at the end of their careers. 100,000 signatures are needed to have the chance of having this issue debated in parliament.
Let’s give the greyhounds a voice!