Thursday, October 10, 2013

Dog Poet



image borrowed from bing


Dog Poet

“What makes us suppose that only
the living mourn?”--Dave King


“No matter how deep my sleep is,
I will hear you, & not all the power of death
will prevent my spirit from wagging
a grateful tail.”--Eugene O’Neill

Standing on the sad deck at my den staring,
love I find/feel with languid lids looking
at the silly sign, by the girls carved;
TAFFY it reads, who I am & will be
always.

My house of aging boards of gray
of me smells pungent sweet,
the soft blanket of red, the wood even
where I against it have rubbed. 

Always the Bitch feeds me better nice
than the Himself; She heats it warm
or even gravy smothers crunchers,
while He in a hurry always scrapes & pours
wet or dry into bowls of bright chew glass;
but OK, at the table He allows many more
tongue licks from His dish and the Bitch
holds out smiling tough love. 

My yard is small but big for me enough
with a strong fence of steel so tall,
and over 13 summers I peed on patch all,
forgetting never my treasures hidden
in corners of dark garden or porch-unders--
those lovely bones I love to re-dig
and chew dirty. 

I know days shorter become as
my dog naps grow many & longer,
where I can romp again, leaping high
at squirrels that chide, without
that bad pain stiffness that awaits me now
catching up to me, singing meanly
in my muscles on stairs.

In early summer, the tradition honoring,
I pretend to like my summer shearing,
“she always looks like a puppy again”
with red ribbons dainty-tied behind my ears
that too much now I do not hear when
I am called or recalled. 

Yes, I hear too much my name being called
by birds & other things of wings, knowing 
too well, one day soon, or alone in the darkness
I will not able be to return from the Spirit Land
dream-traveling I do with my lids down.

But worrying not of me You should be,
for I will be pure love, light as sun ray,
floating, flying, hovering with my tail
as rudder, watching as before, still
waiting at the door;

so know this my People, 
even though age has overtaken me,
a privilege it was to center be
in the circle of Your love,
and Your companion will be I
when the Adventure You finally share. 

Glenn Buttkus

October 2013

Posted over on dVerse Poets MTB

Would you like to hear the author read this poem to you?

21 comments:

Mary said...

As one who has dogs, I can hear the voice of the dog strongly in this poem. Unfortunately a dog's days shorten much quicker than a human's days do; and I have two out of my three dogs now showing gray hair. One of the three isn't as energetic as she used to be, sleeps more, wants fewer walks Yes, it happens to all creatures. I like the message at the end....not to worry, as when he becomes pure love he will always remember being the center of a circle of love. I think that is something we all would wish for, Glenn, knowing we were / are at the center of someone's circle of love. A very poignant piece. This now is my favorite write of yours..makes me teary though.

Björn said...

I do not have dogs, and I love the dog POV you bring to the table. They are certainly friends in the most faithful of ways... it really touch me, and the voice at the end, and the calmness of the spirit calling.

annotating60 said...

If there is a god, his finest hour was creating dogs. I think to teach us what love is and the heartache of not being able to love back more. >KB

Victoria said...

Oh Glenn, this really got to me...get the Kleenex. I still mourn the dogs I have lost (the first one, as a child, named Taffy) but for me, this was an apt expression of the loss I'm feeling right now for a good person/poet who will not longer be sharing with us. Well done and I do hope things go well for your brother. My favorite line, by the way, was the one about becoming pure love.

Marina Sofia said...

Awww, this wrung my heart out - and I am not even a dog person! Very well written.

Gabriella said...

I enjoyed the unusual point of view which reminded me of Paul Auster's Timbuktu. Great closing line!

Claudia said...

having had a dog when i was a teen i know what wonderful faithful friends they can be... hope your brother is already a bit better glenn... hugs your way..

Brian Miller said...

smiles....my first best friend was a dog....his name was hobo....and he gave me much...being a part of a family, that transcended doghood and family....the feeling i know it...thanks for being part of our circle...and i hope your brothr is ok man...

Anna Chamberlain said...

Oh, now I am crying, this is so beautiful. It's gentle truths made me feel all the losses again, every breathing life within the 'circle of love'. Now I need to find some tissue before I leave a trail of snot in your comment box :). Thank you.

alan1704 said...

This is beautiful how we feel and cope with loss. Love transcends it all, and this captures this.

SaraV said...

Oh dear, from laughing to tears. This so well done, sharing that acceptance of what will be as we move on to the next. Thanks Glen.

Hope that your brother is doing better.

Nara Malone said...

A perfect way to remember furry friends who have gone ahead: for I will be pure love, light as sun ray,
floating, flying, hovering with my tail
as rudder, watching as before, still
waiting at the door;

Laurie Kolp said...

A lovely, creative twist here, Glenn.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Beautiful Glenn. A true understanding of decline and death and how memories live on.

Anna

Grace said...

I love that quote by Dave ~ I don't have dogs or pets but I feel your heart here Glenn ~ The joy & sadness of a beloved companion ~

ninotaziz said...

There is so much sadness and joy in this.

Take care, Glenn.

Linda Rogers said...

You got me crying on the beautiful poem about your dog. I also thank you for putting a quote up from Dave. What powerful healing words for those who knew and loved Dave.

Nico said...

Lovely work, a beautiful take on companionship, loyalty, what it means to love. Leave it to the non-human animals to teach our species how to love.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Glenn, such a beautiful poem, exactly the way a dog would speak if he could in words........I so loved it.......there is no truer friend, and I most love "I will be pure love, light as sun ray....still waiting at the door." Oh my God. If only I knew my boy Pup was still around. But I do expect to see him when it's my turn. I told him before he died "when I die, I want you to be the one to come and get me". And I know he understood. This made me cry, Glenn, as the very best poems - and dogs - always do.

Guy Marsh said...

Glenn -
This is one of your master pieces! Even made my cold heart melt a little. Did not realize Taffy meant so much to you.
--Bud

Susan Gilmour said...


Anyway, I really like stories written in an English dialect, such as Junot Diaz's stories, the latest is a short story collection, "This Is How You Lose Her". Even the 1930's southern speech of Rawlings' "The Yearling", has me fascinated by these writers that can channel the accents and word choices of other times or parts of the world. So I got a kick out of "Dog Poet". I give it 5 Barks! It is poignant and, to me, sounds rather like a dialect from Middle Earth. Would you consider ..."and your companion will I be..." at the end, to satisfy my human grammatical quirk for rhythm and emphasis? You are the judge of your own voice, of course.