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Bill Allen, Poetry Corner

Prairie Blues

You’re rolling in at sunset with a truck of restless dogs
And the whistling wind comes, sounding rather scary.
Unlock and open camp, then light the lanterns and the stove.
And we’ll face another summer on the prairie.

Tomorrow we will cull them. And you’ll say your string’s the worst,
But, of course, it’s far from extraordinary.
Some mornings on the check-cord and some hunting of young chicks,
And they’ll carry all their days the mark of “Prairie.”

You’ll wrench an arm—and bounce—when your brainless nag departs
After dropping you kerplunk—(you were unwary)
A skunk gets you from one side and a porcupine the other
If you dismount haplessly upon the prairie.

Your best dogs point them, too, and there’s little you can do
To correct their “varmint finds”—unnecessary.
If hail and twisters lay and you find the birds today,
You may still get something done out on the prairie.

The summer speeds away and you feel you’ve come to naught.
Then your dogs show form that’s due next January.
When the money trials come up, you don’t place a single pup,
So you fold your camp and vow to shun the prairie.

But, dreaming, longing nightly for the blue flax fields in bloom,
When your Junetime state-side life is sedentary,
You’ll jam the truck with gear and set your wheels for northern roads,
Toward the hopes, dreams—and mirages—of the prairie.



Running Dog


Strideaway is an online publication founded in 2008. We are dedicated to promoting the great sport of American pointing dog field trials, in particular American Field sanctioned trials for pointers and setters. Our objective is to present the voices and ideas of experienced trainers, handlers, breeders and other knowledgeable participants and enthusiasts from the past to the present — amateurs and professionals alike. Whether All-Age or Shooting Dog, Horseback or Walking Trials, we place particular emphasis on wild bird field trials and the dogs that compete in them. We present richly illustrated articles and stories, podcast interviews and other types of media on a regular basis with the hope of providing an ever expanding, searchable archive of information relevant to pointing dog field trials.Read article

This website is dedicated to our ever faithful friend, Bill Allen who passed away peacefully and surrounded by his loving family on January 25, 2022 at the age of 96. We will miss him but he left us the greatest of gifts, his wonderful writings in a book we published for the 3rd time in 2021: The Unforgettables and Other True Fables.

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