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Archive for February, 2021

It’s 5:00 am
once again
I feel the trembling
like those
silly magic beds
in cheap motels
that wiggled
and jiggled
your insides
when I was a kid.
I hear
his gurgling belly
once again
pinging
loudly
announcing
a bout
of horrid
“zoom zoom belly”:
my old lab/shepherd mix
now earning his 12 years
of worry,
as forlorn
as his pathetic
picture
on the rescue
page
so many years ago.
I noted it
then,
and live it now.

This warm body
always
by my side
the bones
rigid
and
tight,
a pungent
slightly sweet
scent
wafts in the dark
as
his breath
grows shallow:
he fears
an unknown demon
who lurks
in the crevices
of his ever
darker mind,
his head bobbing
up
down
scanning
dark walls
trying
to focus
on shadows
only he sees.

It’s the night terrors:
here in the city
fear
filters
through barely
open windows
whispering
horrid
tales to my boy,
same dog
fearless
in the high prairie
of Montana
daring
yodeling coyotes
to step forward
from the sage,
same one
chasing
elk through
groves of aspen
deep into gullies,
or springing to grapple
with a yearling
just because he can,
wild
in his heart,
soft in the head.

He hears music
of demon spheres
growling
panting
shaking
and
my hand reaches
to stroke
velvet ears,
long snout
and
up to the bony
pinnacle of his skull,
as a mother’s tongue
would do:
torn too soon
from her teat
by some sad
common
story of man’s cruelty.
I stroke and stroke
until he quiets
and I hear
the sweet sound
of a deep sigh
followed
by snoring.

For now
the silence
of night
is not his enemy.
He dreams
of a cave
filled with
winter warmth,
his pack
sleeping tail
to nose
in a circle of love
and he is at peace,
for now.

In the morning,
we will begin
our ritual:
fetching some
innocuous toy
for treats:
all sleeplessness
forgotten:
breakfast
and
a city walk
searching
for an exact
ideal
spot
for his dirty deed.
Another day
when the sun
may shine,
crows
chase us
and cats
slink
under fences
undetected.
Another day
scenting the air
for sage
and scanning
for mountains
we both
miss so much.

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For this was on seynt Volantynys day. Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.” Chaucer

Of all the myths,
from beheaded saints
to priests defying Rome
and performing secret
marriages,
or pagans rampaging
during the feast of Lupercal:
half naked men running  
through the streets of Rome,
streaking women with thongs cut from the skins of newly killed goats,
in a wild fertility rite,
Chaucer has it best:
birds here in mid month
chosing their mate,
their one true love
to settle
and nest.
Staring
at the goldfinches
bickering
against the snow laden
day
badgering
male
against male
while the plainer
females
gather on the tree’s
bough
snow light
beneath tiny claws:
an audience
to the rowdy colorful
bright yellow
breasted
black crowned,
eyeing
the feistiest one
for a perfect match.
Now in this winter
mid mark
I’m glad
for my choice:
for indeed
we the she wolves
chose
and true men know this
to be true.
I sit in the warmth
of the stove
lit for several days
as the storm
has grown
and silenced
the city,
grateful
for this
gift
of love
from the skies
white and soft
outside,
fiery
red inside.
My roost
is warm
as my heart.

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