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New Hampshire Poet Showcase
From NH Poet Laureate, Walter E. Butts

At my request, the NH Arts Council is providing me with a link to the poet laureate page on their website in order that I may continue to showcase poems by a number of New Hampshire Poets. The poets will be by my invitation only, but I plan to include those who are seriously working at their craft from many areas of the state.

Featured Poet: John Perrault, North Hampton

John PerraultJohn is the author of The Ballad of Louis Wagner (Peter Randall); Here comes the Old Man Now (Oyster River Press); and Jefferson’s Dream (Hobblebush Books.) His poetry has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, Commonweal, Poet Lore,Blue Unicorn, and elsewhere.  He was PortsmouthPoet Laureate 2003-2005.
As a boy, the closest I ever came to having a dog was having Jack living right next door.  Summer mornings I’d fling the screen door open, scamper out on the back porch, and whistle for him—and he’d come flying, race up the steps into my arms, and wiggle us both silly.  His reward was invariably a hot dog or two fresh out of the frig with nary a no from my mom.  My reward was pure canine love.  I was working on shades and shadows in another poem when Jack unexpectedly popped into mind. I remembered how his game training somehow produced a new game:  chase the shadow and catch the ball, or shell, or stone.  We all thought it hilarious.  Never loved a dog like I did old Jack.  The poem appears in the recent anthology Dog’s Singing, from Salmon Poetry in Ireland.
The Neighbor’s Dog
Jack chased shadows.
His tail if the light was right.
Toss a stone, he sprung for the spot
Spotting the ground till it hit his nose.
Everyone cheered.
What a crazy hound they said,
Patting Jack’s head, fondling his ears.
His eyes, two gray wells that never cleared.

Jack chased cars too.
To be specific, the tires
So long as they shadowed the road.
One day he got close enough to chew.
Everyone came
To the burial in Jack’s
Back yard.  They stood around, casting
Shadows on the stone that bears his name.

John’s poems and ballads may be sampled at


Click here for a list of previous Poet Showcases

Last updated: November 30, 2011

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