Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dog Days

Dog Days

The black dog’s a prowler
always pacing the fenceline.
She can jump like a deer, 
but not quite this high.

Still, she hooks her nails
in the chain link, grunting,
leverages her eighty pounds,
dusty fur, hard animal muscle,

inch by inch over the rail
only to see the world's broken;
too hot, too exhausting, 
too stone dry and dead.

I find her asleep in a dirt wallow
in the barn shadow,
toes twitching in a wild run, 
dreaming better freedom.

August 2011

Photo: Chinook on the fence, by joy ann jones  


  1. I love this! Of course, it immediately made me think of my Big Snoop.

  2. Chinook has big dreams, and that should surprise no one. Dream on, girl!

  3. Thanks my friends. Dogs, they are the best lesson in patience in the world.

  4. smiles. cute pups you got there...glad its got easy gentle easy post hedge...ha on the test of patience...

  5. It's good to have dreams. And patience, I guess--I'm not so hot at that. ;-)

  6. Oh, Joy, can I relate to this having four dogs of my own. I love it when they take naps. Thanks for this.


  7. I think it's safe to say that she just doesn't think things out like You do!
    But who REALLY knows eh?

  8. Thanks pamela. Glad you liked.

    Galen, I think it's safe to say she thinks things out *better* than I do. ;-)

  9. Is the same lil' rascal you were trying to keep off the beef? The dilemma of dog days is that there is no end in sight -- nothing beyond the day's burning fence to provide any solace. So whaddaygonnado? There's a line that bubbled up from somewhere in my subconscious decades ago that still applies: "When the real leaves you homeless, there's always the surreal." The dog's dream. And this poem, which knows how to brew "a better freedom." - Brendan

  10. @B: No, this is the big dog. She's half husky, half Giant Schnauzer. The little guy with the lust for cattle herding is a twelve pound Jack Russell terrier with the attitude of a 400 lb gorilla. I couldn't agree more with your line about the real/surreal. If the wall's too high, you have to fly over or dig under. Thanks for reading.

  11. Sometimes you just have to lie down and take a nap. Wait it out. But I respect her for trying all the same.

    The line 'She can jump like a deer" reminds me that on our bike ride last evening we saw a coyote jumping through the soy field. I need to write about that image, my first time seeing a coyote that well. We get them on our property too.

  12. Paul Simon sang "August die she must" but I'm always so glad when she finally kicks the bucket.

    October is my better freedom time, my sweater around me like a cloak of rust the angels shook from their train wheels en route to the misty mountains.

    here's to you and Emmylou today!


  13. Thanks Jannie. I hate this last part of summer more than usual this year, since the heat has been ungodly brutal. May your angel sweater sit just right when the october winds blow.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats