The Master’s Dog

The Master’s Dog

Guilty looks from left to right,
glancing over sunken shoulders,
ensuring fitting purity for the words,
filthy black bastard,
it rolls out of yellowed mouth,
hits the deck like a seagulls shit,
always seeking their approval,
like a dog aching for the Master’s hand,
such a common thing,
delivered with the snigger swagger,
the raucous guffaw,
like unto a carrion crow,
perched on a ripe carcass,
wet from beak to breast,
with the filth and rot,
of this maladjusted humanity,
side spitting down upon broken,
any kindness just a token,
a play before the watching,
fat pockets filled with silver,
empty of compassion.

by Ruairí de Barra

Kindly published in Live Encounters Magazine in their Special 10th Anniversary Edition, Volume II, December 2019. You can read the four poems in this special volume on the Live Encounters website or download a free .pdf copy just by clicking here.

Live Encounters is a wonderful publication and all of its issues, as well as special editions, may be found on its website at

I would like to thank Mark Ulyseas for seeing fit to include my work again in the same pages of some truly talented people.

‘These words are not just my own experiences, they are also the stories & memories of my friends and colleagues.  The crew of LÉ Eithne whom I was privileged to be part of rescued nearly 3,600 people in 64 days in 2015. The Irish Naval Service since that first mission has rescued over 18,000 people. These poems are also the stories of the migrants and refugees, in particular, these are written in memory of those poor people who never made it. They lie along the trail of bones in the desert or were lost at sea. I write these words to say that I saw you and that none of us will forget you.”

Image is be the extremely talented Lar DeSouza.

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