Ashok Niyogi


(a German Shepherd, my wife and I are actually friends with, in Goa)


Joshua lives in a handkerchief


with master


and master’s son


Joshua pants

as he sweats out the grime

of this pitiful world

lolling tongue


and with his forelegs on the windowsill

he can see the sun

going down on ships at high sea

and seagulls circling a fishing boat


Joshua’s master is pot-bellied

as will his son be

because this is where

the river meets the sea

and the waters flow this way and that

to confuse

the obtuse fish

and life is rice with fish

and alcohol

from cashew in the hills


but Joshua has an urban

metro sexual problem

because he lives in an apartment

that some builder built

he goes up and down

in an escalator

so the beach front dogs

don’t think

he is a team player

they think he uses deodorant


now where the river meets the sea

just there

the water is salt and sweet

like a life that has been good

and Joshua frolics

where the water meets the sand


and prances back in


his master scolds

Joshua obeys

runs away to chase a seagull

he will never catch

Joshua comes back

looks at the incoming tide



Joshua sits

at his master’s command


Ashok Niyogi is an Economics graduate from Presidency College, Calcutta. He made a career as an international trader and has lived and worked in the Soviet Union, Europe and South East Asia in the ‘80s and ‘90s.   At 52, he has been retired for some years and has been cashew farming, writing and traveling. He divides time between California, where his daughters live, Delhi and the Indian Himalayas. He has published a book of poems, Tentatively (2005), and has been extensively published in the USA, UK, Australia and Canada.