Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day Activity

As a special treat,
I placed Charlie's favorite bed
on his favorite couch corner
by the lookout window.

As he quietly appreciates it,
legs curled until his hind paws rest under his chin,
his nose lifts up, sleep-sniffing,
and disturbs the fuzzy fur on the bed cover.

And I imagine he thinks me very smart
for engineering the perfect spot
for day-sleeping.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Thank You

To Becky and Linda,
the woman at the window
and she at the aisle
who moved aside for me to sit between.

Never knowing what impact your words may have,
you talked about Norfolk and dogs.
And you listened and heard
about dogs and ships,
and a one way trip home,
and more than the words I said.

You didn't know that this morning
I struggled to get airport ready
in a cloud that held my hands down.
And I flew from Houston to Baltimore,
and from Baltimore to Norfolk
you on either side,
even saving seats on the second plane,
carrying me home.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Anniversary, by John Donne

All Kings, and all their favourites,
All glory of honours, beauties, wits,
The sun itself, which makes time, as they pass,
Is elder by a year now than it was
When thou and I first one another saw:
All other things to their destruction draw,
Only our love hath no decay;
This no tomorrow hath, nor yesterday,
Running it never runs from us away,
But truly keeps his first, last, everlasting day.

Two graves must hide thine and my corse;
If one might, death were no divorce.
Alas, as well as other Princes, we
(Who Prince enough in one another be)
Must leave at last in death these eyes and ears,
Oft fed with true oaths, and with sweet salt tears;
But souls where nothing dwells but love
(All other thoughts being inmates) then shall prove
This, or a love increased there above,
When bodies to their graves, souls from their graves

And then we shall be throughly blessed;
But we no more than all the rest.
Here upon earth we're Kings, and none but we
Can be such Kings, nor of such subjects be;
Who is so safe as we? where none can do
Treason to us, except one of us two.
True and false fears let us refrain,
Let us love nobly, and live, and add again
Years and years unto years, til we attain
To write threescore: this is the second of our reign.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Our Valentine and First Year

We have decided the third Friday in March
rather than the nineteenth, this year the eighteenth.
And a year past, he sails
from January through our day
our year marker, our race time's first split.
Missing, of all the holidays, the two
concerned with love alone.

Here I am couched on February thirteenth
reading love poems selected by Peter Washington,
and he, in Cuba, waits for evening to call.

Tonight we'll discuss new books and retirement investments,
red pandas, brown bears, and manatees.
These are perhaps our most romantic talks of the year.
With finite minutes coming to their end,
"you have one minute remaining"
a brisk-voiced woman says over our line.
"Let's just say 'I love you' until it hangs up," he says.
I got the final word, in a near shout.
and laughter.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Commuter Poetry

Poetry is available during the homeward commute.

Perhaps it is that I, motion-sick, lean
the corner of my forehead against the curve
of the train windowpane;
could be the electricity from the third rail
whirring through the car's body,
whispering in between clumsy lurches.
The hard plastic wall digs into my head,
compelling me to readjust
(I must write this down)
and it is lost.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fox & Lamb

Charlie, the red-haired, bat-eared fox-dog;
instinct upon instinct,
he understands perfect English
and communicates his thoughts via ear semaphore
and deeply engaging stares of meaning.
Perhaps the only dog who will check on you regularly
if he reckons you’ve been in the bathroom too long for a human.
He waits for verbal confirmation before returning
to the living room couch
and checking his wristwatch again.

In a state of excitement, Charlie will leap
upon a pillowed and blanketed couch,
he will dive beneath the pillows,
nosing them up like a hedgehog.
Then he rolls over, using his powerful hindlegs
to fend off the pillow’s counterattack, and knocking it,
once and for all, to the floor.
He stands in victory, and proceeds
to de-blanket the beast.

And Ginsu, the rotund lamb-dog,
not sheep-dog, but lamb-dog.
With an unshorn curly-poodle coat and all the instinct that that entails,
Ginsu sits at the end corner of the couch,
resting on his short tail and extended legs,
arms upon the very human armrest,
belly extending almost to his stretched-out toes.
He watches silently the front yard goings-on,
and rarely cares about any one of them.

Ginsu, a fair opponent in biscuit battle, rarely displays aggression
except against an unprepared snack.
He stares at the biscuit out of the corner of his eye, nose pointing
so as to confound the milkbone.
With unmatched genius in trickery, Ginsu is rarely beaten by the bone-shaped cookies
(unless, of course, they are guided into battle by the human hand).
When he decides the decoy successful, Ginsu rears his head away
(for just a moment!),
swiftly doubles back, opening his sharky jaws on the downswing,
and lightly bites the biscuit, ensuring a lengthy snacktime.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thick August Air

Two men cut the overgrown, summer grass along the sidewalk
wearing long sweatpants and hard hats in the heat.
They spray blades against the white pavement
that clump and perfume the humidity with August smells.

It's the same air as that which rises out of newly lined practice fields
where I smell running in cleats, two-a-days,
and sweet icy water.

The grass season is ending as the sidewalk clippings brown
and although Fall brings the perfume of dry leaf-covered ground
and woodsmoke is chimneyed into the Winter air,
the summer air will thin, and lose the grassy smell of tryouts,
high school fields, and pre-season miles.