Blogging and other literary activities have been severely interrupted by caring for my failing canine companion Keegan and his death last Sunday, October 28. The only words that have come to me in the last few weeks are those of praise for a phenomenal person in a furry suit. (Keegan's the guy on the left.)
Here are two from my book Earth Lessons:
The dog runs nose to ground
as we run with our eyes wide open.
The dog uses tongue for hands
and prefers his nose to his eyes.
No human runs with closed lids
and a tongue hanging out
unless it's raining lemonade.
How does the world seem
smelled and tasted like a stew
instead of seen and codified?
The dog runs on pliant earth
with open paws,
catching the coin of soil,
spending as he goes.
As I want to run
Scattering across the grass, May raindrops
pelt me as the puppy Keegan retrieves
downed apples from under the tree.
The yellow globes are striped: each one
corrected by a red pencil.
Across the lawn, fallen fruit,
gold, or plum-dark and rotting --
rich variety of a dreamt creation.
Eve might have mused in such a garden,
amid fruit drowning in its own juice.
Because he had not smiled today,
she might have tossed a round thing --
not yet named Apple. Rain rustled the grass
and the animal played. What worm could lurk
in one small bite?
Our apples juice the eye with hue,
bright orbs on black soil, contents
of a farmer's basket spilling waves of scent.
Keegan munches the rottenest
apples with his new incisors,
savoring an occasional spicy ant,
knowing Apple for the first time.
Rich in apples, we stretch out
and let wind play our hair like harpstrings.
Happy as the players in the cautionary tale,
we hardly feel the slither of knowledge,
wet and green wounds of mortality,
red-lining us from paradise.