credit – swb
Some years back, we sought
a pup to grace our home.
One look and I was sold —
her smiling face of tan and brown
both wide and blunt, breed
unknown and everyone’s guess.
Her heritage sprang leap by bound,
speed clearly part of her design;
then, too, her love of play, of chase
and jump, of romp and tug. But when
she found Her Pond along our endless
walks of cornfield, shore and
treed lane, she plunged and swam,
head held high, that smile beguiling
as she bobbed fore and side
black snout round ‘twixt whiskers
framed by rounder-still arc
of head, eyes squinting against
sun and spray; her face and yet
not her face, more harbor seal
at home in solo coastal play.
meet the star, Loki; credit – swb
Well, it’s officially summer. And officially, this is the time I write most. Inspired by my surroundings and my dog. Seriously. Over the past several summers I have written a veritable tome about her in her various guises.
So what better time and place to share them than here and now? Because this particular summer, I’m also attempting to refine prior writings rather than produce more. Until (unless) I can make some cohesive collection or sense of what already fills my computer’s memory.
Sadly, I do not have pictures to accompany each writing; nor am I gifted enough to sketch what image I see in my words. But perhaps you will and if so, please feel free to use these quick word sketches to inspire your visual ones. And then share with me, OK? I love that kind of interactive artistic experience.
For my first post from the collection I’m fondly calling “Dog Days,” even though we aren’t there yet by the calendar or temperature:
INTO THE WILD
Her morning nose snuffles the path,
zig-zagging body aquiver with game
whose prints craze with their scented trail;
she plunges deep for flitting fish, gallops
full tilt after geese, parts leafy glade
in search of her prize,
this hunter on
first published in Into the Great Blue: Meditations of Summer, Finishing Line Press, 2011
So you already know that my dog loves to swim. In any- and everything that contains water. She’d swim in the sink when I’m doing dishes if she only knew . . .
It’s hard to catch her in the act because she is so quick to jump, fetch and return; and I am slow, slow with getting the camera out of my pocket, out of its case, turned on, aimed, focused and ready. Count this shot as a success because I managed all that before she reached me. Both of us demonstrating a determination of dog.
credit – featurepics
“A skittering of seagulls” not a group noun? Why not? That’s what they do. Or did on my walk today. Honestly, I expected it to be the Canada geese who would scatter. Usually when I approach, even with my dog well-behaved on the end of her leash, they tend to give us the once over, a few alarms, and off they flap.
But not this time. Perhaps it’s because they had just swooped in, landing en route back home and needing rest. Perhaps it’s because we gave them wide berth; or because we just kept walking without pausing to look at them. Whatever the reason, they simply goose-stepped back uphill, their wary eyes upon us as their weary wings drooped by their sides. No squawking. No fluttering. Just relatively mute acceptance.
But next field over was another matter. As soon as we passed through the stonewall, while the cornfield still stubbled from last year’s gathering was barely visible through the row of leafing-out larches, I saw them settle. Seagulls, dozens of them, swirling about in disorganized descent. Barely had they reached ground, and we the tree line, than up they flew, still swirled and disorganized and clearly confused. They simply could not find satisfactory stillness, even watchful wariness. They swarmed and spiraled, a true skittering of seagulls.