Who’ll Guard the Horse?


for Tim Cope, and his horseback journey from Mongolia to Hungary.


Sheered pig fat for the dog, and in his eating, a spirit passing continental drift toward another day revolving. The dog that is protection, the dog that is the anti-crisis. The dog descendent from what is firecracking in temporary fear from the fire.

Little is for the worse, little more than an abscess on the hoof. There are human sources of respite, and this is evidence. A horse, a dog, a wolf – a home, a motive to resign to the nearest place.

What is referred to locally as a glass palace, where millions of animals die eating the hair from their own bodies, to be naked come spring. Note this down, or remember it. A country without traditional knowledge in a difficult transition.

Protection from wolves is a body that keeps man going, making paths, repelling into mineshafts, our friends stolen for food must be won back.

When your time arrives it will come. Living with one hundred families, the Asov sea as pardon, the Crimea as relief. The road embryo to hundreds of us and animals.

Driven by prospect of not a thought but promise, to not forget, to the truth that that’s the transaction. For you they do this, portable, mobile, beckoned lifespan. Steppe remembered through one who met you.


Part of The Learned Pig’s Wolf Crossing editorial season, spring/summer 2017.

Image credit: Alan Fieldus, steppe in Uvs Province, Mongolia, 2014.
Via Flickr


The Learned Pig

SJ Fowler

SJ Fowler is a poet and artist. He works in the modernist and avant-garde traditions, across poetry, fiction, theatre, sonic art, visual art, installation and performance. He has published various collections of poetry and text, and been commissioned by Tate Modern, BBC Radio 3, The British Council, Tate Britain, Liverpool Biennial and Wellcome Collection. He has been translated into 21 languages and performed at venues across the world, from Mexico City to Erbil, Beijing to Tbilisi. He is the poetry editor of 3am magazine, Lecturer at Kingston University, teaches at Tate Modern and is the curator of the Enemies project.