This Morning

According to Dog

dog & cat poems

 

On the cover: Taco

(Kuskokwim Taco v Flohr)

age eleven and a half years

 

 

click on selected poems:

This Morning According to Dog

Weather Watch

Leaving the Cat at the Vet's

Keeping the Home Order

Dogs, Coming Home

 

This Morning According to Dog

Weather Watch

Leaving the Cat at the Vet's

Keeping the Home Order

Dogs, Coming Home

 

This Morning According to Dog

Weather Watch

Leaving the Cat at the Vet's

Keeping the Home Order

Dogs, Coming Home

 

This Morning According to Dog

Weather Watch

Leaving the Cat at the Vet's

Keeping the Home Order

Dogs, Coming Home

 

This Morning According to Dog

Weather Watch

Leaving the Cat at the Vet's

Keeping the Home Order

Dogs, Coming Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Morning According to Dog

Weather Watch

Leaving the Cat at the Vet's

Keeping the Home Order

Dogs, Coming Home

THIS MORNING ACCORDING TO DOG

 

Dogs don't speak in syllables,

but surely he convinced you,

sent you rushing

to open the door. Himself

walked out, and in

tramped morning.

What you dreamed in your sleep

all tries to come through:

the real color of sky

and a whiff of a semblance

of changeable matter, clouds.

Amazing

if you never watched weather

pass across an eye, a puddle,

a fragment of window-

glass. Did you never

sniff the parts it came from,

imagine its destinations,

did you never

arc a stream of greeting

as it all passed by?

 

 

WEATHER WATCH

 

Smoky rides shotgun, old-man's side-

kick on an afternoon when clouds

build anvils. But a dog

must have the windows rolled right down,

tempest full in the face.

Phantoms of the scrub, invisible

deer and quicksilver birds

cannot pass incognito, he counts

them on the fly.

Under a sky-gray hammer, iron

changes form. Somewhere

catastrophe's about to happen.

Somewhere is wet grass

for snuffling. Everything

is news to a dog's nose.

 

LEAVING THE CAT AT THE VET'S

 

How strange to set her,

who loves the folded dark

of secret places, on this blank

steel table of reflective

science, to allow the man in brisk

blue scrubs to probe the wound. 

 

How strange to leave her ---

child of lashing treetops,

lizard tails and slate-

gray junco feathers ---

to a metal cage, to scalpel,

sutures and the cleansing drain. 

 

And will she come back

with the same cello vibrato

to her purr, the midnight

window-scapes, solitary rooftop

tango, dive for daylight

that's precipitate and sure?

 

 

KEEPING THE HOME ORDER

 

Never let the beasts on the furniture.

In particular, the bed.

A cat allowed at any time the comfort

will cease mousing; will stretch

in a long black concavity

mocking the idle phase of the moon.

Waking to the itch of mouse,

she'll stalk instead your toes

under sheets. A dog is worse.

Measuring his spine against yours,

he finds the center,

leaving you the edge

for answering phone and doorbells.

He learns your dreams;

with his nearer language

by daylight he recalls.

And instants before the alarm goes off,

he takes this discipline

to your waking:

breath more insistent than the clock

ticks, and the pricked eyes.

A dog knows no Sundays.

His devotion drills you out of bed.

Later you'll find

a ghost of dogform on the spread,

pillow subtly out of place.

But the dog

is waiting at the door

to walk you.

 

 

DOGS, COMING HOME

 

People are bringing them back,

this litter's puppies

and dogs from the last,

whether or not they've learned

good manners. Grown-up dogs

from puppies past. Ancient

dogs with their wide,

maybe blind but always trusting

eyes. Dead dogs disinterred.

Bags of the bones of whitened dogs.

All the dog-life we've brokered,

20 years of dogs.

 

We'll make arrangements.

Dig a trench for carcasses.

Bring in truckloads of kibble,

a hundred stainless bowls.

Sticks and socks and balls.

 

But they'll be wanting

more hands than we can grow

for petting, nursing,

for putting back

to earth, putting someplace

into memory. More time

than a man imagines

for loving and undoing.

 

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