Retrieving is uncertain work

Creative Commons license.
Creative Commons license.

Lab Lines
Robert Benson

Retrieving is uncertain work.
Fetch him bright fragrant feathers dead,
He grins and pats his gratitude.
But barf a scented toad beside his bed,
He screams, slams doors and me.

A still warm, gay and bloody duck,
He kneels and gathers like a grail.
But bring up week-old possum warm,
His voice goes grim; his face turns pale.
It’s all retrieval; reactions vary.

Balls or bumpers, birds and toads,
I think it should be none or all.
Last night I urped a knot of tennis net;
Picky bastard won’t ever get the ball.
I’m keeping the next duck too.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

Dog poems = always good for a Friday laugh. But it’s also catalyst for a bit of reflection: Isn’t it interesting how vastly our perceptions of appropriate/inappropriate vary when compared with our dogs? It’s all retrieval; reactions vary.

Mongrel Heart

Mongrel Heart
David Baker

Up the dog bounds to the window, baying
         like a basset his doleful, tearing sounds
             from the belly, as if mourning a dead king,
and now he’s howling like a beagle – yips, brays,
         gagging growls – and scratching the sill paintless,
              that’s how much he’s missed you, the two of you,
both of you, mother and daughter, my wife
         and child. All week he’s curled at my feet,
             warming himself and me watching more TV,
or wandered the lonely rooms, my dog shadow,
        who like a poodle now hops, amped-up windup
            maniac yo-yo with matted curls and snot nose
smearing the panes, having heard another car
           like yours taking its grinding turn down
               our block, or a school bus, or bird-squawk,
that’s how much he’s missed you, good dog,
         companion dog, dog-of-all-types, most excellent dog
             I told you once and for all we should never get.

Small Poem about the Hounds and the Hares

Release the hounds!
Photo I took of a local hunt in central North Carolina, November 2012.

Small Poem about the Hounds and the Hares

Lisel Mueller

After the kill, there is the feast.
And toward the end, when the dancing subsides
and the young have sneaked off somewhere,
the hounds, drunk on the blood of the hares,
begin to talk of how soft
were their pelts, how graceful their leaps,
how lovely their scared, gentle eyes.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Even though I am not a fan of hunting, I love this little poem, and the notion that the dogs could be having such dreamy thoughts about their prey. Most likely, they’re just like, “OMG HARE MUST EAT.” But still. It’s a nice idea, Lisel Mueller.

Has your dog ever killed a wild thing? What do you think was going through his or her mind?

(Oh, yeah, and happy Friday!)

Poem: The Dog Has Run Off Again

Go, dog, go! Click for source.

A sweet, simple poem by Mary Oliver about when the dog runs off…

The Dog Has Run Off Again
Mary Oliver

and I should start shouting his name
and clapping my hands,
but it has been raining all night
and the narrow creek has risen
is a tawny turbulence is rushing along
over the mossy stones
is surging forward
with a sweet loopy music
and therefore I don’t want to entangle it
with my own voice
calling summoning
my little dog to hurry back
look the sunlight and the shadows are chasing each other
listen how the wind swirls and leaps and dives up and down
who am I to summon his hard and happy body
his four white feet that love to wheel and pedal
through the dark leaves
to come back to walk by my side, obedient.

Happy Friday, all!