The Border Collie of the Apocalypse – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

dVerse Poets – Meet the Bar

Amaya at dVerse has invited us to write a poem as one sentence about using three rules: (1) The poem must tell a story in one sentence; (2) the poem must explore the theme of the end of civilisation, and (3) the poem must be improvised; all around the theme of the end of civilisation, while including an embarrassing moment.




“This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but with a whimper.”  T.S. Eliot

The Border Collie of the Apocalypse

I walked the lake
as the four horsemen gathered,
portent of distance conflated,
the future was here
but we’re handing it back,
too bleak for our eyes to adopt,
but the dog cared not for an ending,
and treated himself to this walk,
the water was lower than ever before,
fewer birds than last year,
and just as I’m contemplating a
parousian finale
the dog found a friend,
and with his lunge
I’m suddenly airborne
split seconds pass me by
and I land with a thud
pride spewed over the path,
I rise with aplomb and
dust off my ending
as the young one
enquires of my health.

©Paul Vincent Cannon



Filed under environment, Free Verse, life, love, nature, philosophy, poem, quote, relationship

21 responses to “The Border Collie of the Apocalypse – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

  1. Nice line: “dust off my ending”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love it–and what a title!


  3. Do you know what the opposite of melancholy is? watermelon border collie.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. a few years ago I went flying off through the air after an incompetent sudden braking maneuver coming down a steep hill lunged me forward. I still can feel the visceral terror and suspension from going through the air without control, it really did feel like the end, and when something ends for a person, that is an end of a whole universe of civilization within that skull. I was left with a big crack in my left scaphoid bone and a large crack in my bicycle helmet. Luckily my civilization remained intact for the time being, until it all went spiraling out in Fall of 2016.

    Liked by 1 person

    • One I never had to face, I was always worried about coming off. Fortunately you had that helmet on, but yes, you have certainly changed in more serious ways. In some ways perhaps your story is a metaphor in some ways. Thank you for sharing that.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Paul this was a great reminder that apocalyptic thoughts are not in the minds of everyone (though one wouldn’t know that from digesting so much media) and that there is still plenty of life abounding. This says it well:
    “pride spewed over the path,
    I rise with aplomb”
    and then of course the blessing of the pup to check on your well-being showing how compassion is very much alive and well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I enjoyed reading this Amaya, thanks for your thoughtful response. It was quite a challenge, but a very welcome and creative one, and I was looking to use that personal experience in a poem too.


  6. I almost feel like the humiliation of falling saved you (a while) form having to ponder disaster… maybe we need those small disasters to forget about the big ones

    Liked by 1 person

  7. lync56

    😆that is hilarious – I just wish I had seen it


    Liked by 1 person

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