The car headlights jumped up over a small incline. We ducked down in our
chunky jackets in the dark scrub. There had been the choice of leaving
the car down the street, or parking well out of the area and then hiking
across swampy paddocks, with bulls at one end and barbed wire fences at
the other. We hid for sometime thinking that the house lights were car
lights. All the dogs had gone. Only one old beagle bitch remained since
the confiscation. She was chained up to a steel pole at the far end of
the property. It was redneck backwater territory, a few kangaroos loose
in the top paddock of the mind country. There was a man on the other
side of a road shooting at a possum up in his front yard tree, the crazy
dog running circles beneath the branches, half mad with fear and the
kill. The owner reached for the old rifle on drunken Saturday nights
alone. One day it would be the dog's turn to go. The old codger who
owned this dog farm was senile. He had a shot gun and could have fired
on any one of us in the dark. If I was him and eight people in black
were in my yard, then I'd grab for the gun as well. The place was just
about closed down. He got up and the lights came on, all the activists
running and tripping over the debri. Someone twisted an ankle and yelped
to stifle the pain, but he was only cough and phlegm on his way from the
bedroom to the bathroom. Weeks before when the place was being
inspected, we drove right up to his loungeroom window, and there he was
his bare hairy chest looking straight out at us. He was the man who kept
dogs in pits, who blinded puppies under upturned ten gallon drums, then
after showing a council inspector, suddenly he dropped the drum back
down, so that one of the puppies who had poked his head out was slowly
decapitated. He was a moron, a cruel old bastard, a stinking specimen of
a human being. We met them all the time, we see the bad work they are

Mist, pine forests, darkness, valleys in flood by fog, looked like lakes
but they were paddocks, cold, barren, unnamable, five hundred tiny
fluffy terriers and soft warm brown cockaspaniels, just love to run my
hands along the side of them, the dogs were caked in mud, straw and
their own shit, grey and white runny shit all up our clothing, sticking
to our legs, prolapsed uterus's from over breeding, that is when the
uterus just caves in and falls out of the anus, the tired old breeding
mother trying to shit out her own organs, because her life has become
shit, hundreds of neglected barking dogs in the mist, the two managers
inside the house, in the city if one dog barks, the entire street is
opening its windows in annoyance or concern, yet these people hear the
boredom, the distress, the loneliness, the physical pain, the freezing
winter, the lack of shelter, in the barking of hundreds upon hundreds of
disease ridden dogs, still they manage to sleep through it, they live
through it, they live surrounded by it day in day out, they shovel shit,
hit dogs on the head with shovels and make their slow profit, their
psyches must be shot, somewhere they must hold the troubled guilt
inside, to mistreat and farm a dog, pet shop owners love the puppies
produced from these farms, they hate animals and love money, they know,
like the dog farmer knows, the average public want small and fluffy
puppies, but just look at the origin of them, the grey shit steams and
melts in my palm, the straw is wet, it is raining, mist below zero, they
sleep on cracked wet wooden boards, concrete or mud, food bowls are full
of straw, sloppy dog food and shit, dogs are racing to the backs of the
pens, some cringe, others still wagging their tails, the one beneath the
old box with the chain buried deep into his neck will attack, his
insanity buried in there with him, he is beyond hope, this place churns
out products, shit and uterus's, it is a puppy factory, the dogs in the
pet shops come from it, meanwhile 30,000 dogs a year are killed at the
lost dogs home, we have surplus dogs, we destroy life, but still be
churn out more, in chasing the eternal profit, with each troubled bark
our psyches are shot, tonight we had to leave five hundred dogs behind,
eating shit and rain     

I see the country in a different way. Rural is a machinery for breaking
down life into human consumption. Yellow paddocks cleared and holding
early morning mist are Victorian. Trees have been broken down. A magpie
sitting along the fence post was preening himself. It was called a
common bird but he was persistence. For now he has managed to avoid the
crop harvester that sweeps up everything of the land into itself. The
magpie was a rare survivor amongst the prickly yellow gorse, that moved
across the fields as impenetrable as rocks. This rampaging gorse growing
so much, as though it tried to dig its way back to the United Kingdom.
The country was industry waste, farm chemical, and prickly gorse. All
those sheds and suffering animals locked inside them. There was a huge
human made reservoir that had flooded the valley, clearing paddocks by
drowning them. This toxic water was grey beneath a grey sky. One of the
things that ran into this reservoir was cat shit and piss from a cat
breeder. There had been complaints about her locking the cats in a tiny
tin shed. We saw the shed in the distance, and they way that it shone
silver even on the dull days. We could hear all the cats meowing inside.
A racket went on as the tin door scraped along cement. We didn't stay
around too long, as we didn't want to push our luck. Many cats were
trapped in cages. They would never see sunlight or breathe the open air
at night. The shed was full of junk. A lot of the junk obscured our
view. The cats were literally crazy. The stench of cat urine filled the
air like paint stripper. My throat was burning as we crossed the
paddocks in the dark. Cats yowl really loud in the night with their
flattened back ears, and their huge unforgiving eyes as big as planets.
We could hear them meowing in the sheds surrounded by prickly gorse,
calling out to something that never came close. There is something about
all that empty land and all those sheds full of animals. Where I live
anymore doesn't matter.

Volume Three Index
The East Village Poetry Web
Coral Hull