EMPIRE OF STRAYS—a haiku sequence by Doc Drumheller

ancient theatre
orphaned kittens perform
amongst the ruins

breaking dawn
a stray dog is startled
by his shadow

ancient oracle
a stray cat meditates
about the future

monastery strays
give away their possessions
to become holy

the friendship bridge
two stray dogs
cross the border

medieval town
stray cats in the roses
re-enact battle

Dog Town strays
saved by the spirit
of Bridget Bardot

street cats meow
under the café table
talking politics

lost in the park
a pack of stray dogs
picnic with gypsies

ancient Roman baths
stray cats in the ruins
expand their empire


“Empire of Strays is from a forthcoming book called: Beyond the Borderlands. I wrote these haiku on my travels through Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, and Turkey”—Doc Drumheller. 


Doc Drumheller’s poems have been translated into more than twenty languages, and he has performed in Cuba, Lithuania, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Japan, India, Nicaragua, USA, and widely throughout New Zealand. He lives in Oxford, where he edits and publishes the literary journal Catalyst and teaches creative writing at the School for Young Writers.

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