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54 The Dog

hexagram-54-dog‘LITTLE FLAGS OF the type more usually seen on sandcastles have been left atop piles of
poo, bearing humorous yet caustic aphorisms.’

The heath is yours when upturned eyes implore. Outside it’s suddenly
your element. Grimly a weekday professional clutches his five-string
bouquet of hybrid athletes, as if vacuuming the land. Off the leash there
are hazards. You slink under a bush to lick your wounds, unwilling to face
the world till you’re whole again. Then you’re called before you’re ready.

1st – The Rain Dog
Our German forefathers, clipping close for swimming, left certain organs
and joints their insulation muffs. A continental clip has shaven hindquarters;
an English saddle clip has three pom poms down each flank and
hind leg. Rain dogs love to play in a sprinkler, on the lawns of the free.

2nd – The Dog Absolved from Blame
Hound of the dynasty of darkness: its two glowing eyes are fog lights of
bloodthirsty ambition for a fashionable West End address. A phosphorus
bath – indeed, the whole Gothic delusion – is the pathology of the
metropolitan enlightenment. ‘Elemental, my dear Watson, elemental!’

3rd – The Agile Dog
She clears an ascending triple-bar spread jump, then shows perfection
at the weave poles, the closed and open tunnels, the pause table, the
see-saw, the hanging tyre. But her handler used an umbrella on the walkthrough!
The challenge is dismissed: all points awarded are allowed to stand.

4th – The Half Lap Dog
She calls him Fortinbras, her ‘half lap dog’. A Great Dane’s half-
hundredweight rear end on the tartan shelf of a pair of human thighs,
forelegs like tree trunks on the brewhouse café cobbles. Byron’s début
Christmas dinner at Newstead would have been a fleeting snack to him.

5th – The Dog in Space
Catch a Moscow street mutt, used to extremes of cold and hunger
– a female (easier to manage the waste). Train her by progressively
reducing the cage size. Before the launch, bring her home to a hero’s fuss
from your family, heart-warming prelude to the cold confines of space.

6th – The Attack Dog
Ennobling the sequoia avenue, a limestone monument of wolves tearing a
hind apart, savaged by time. A perpetrator hurtles towards you – slavering
asteroid, released from the vanishing point. The owner’s reassurances of
play are as comforting as an offer of cocoa seconds before the blade falls.

All six – The Rescue Dog
It’s quicksand’s turn again but nobody has remembered the rope. They
weigh the options. Our heroine adopting a raccoon? Helping a farmer fill
in his tax return? In the end they plump for the fallen satellite. However,
the footage is mothballed – radiation has become an all-American phobia.

Introduction to Six-Way Mirror | The Index of Hexagrams and Cantos



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