turtle at the pond

Next up in the Dog Days collection – another view of the turtle:

TURTLE AT THE POND

I first saw it sunning, a seeming
outcropping of sunbathed stone
so similarly conformed.

Distracted by my pup’s demands
I turned to stick, ball, her new routine
of splash, swim, retrieve; 

shake, drop and roll. Each its own show,
the shake from ears down body
to the final wild twist of tail.

I could almost feel the scratch
of dried stubbled grass
easing the irritation of flies;

and I too dropped, tho’ didn’t roll,
eyes lazy on the pond’s stilled surface
seeing without appraisal a small head

curious and steady in its forward swim –
the turtle’s small eyes trained on us,
curious creatures at pond’s edge.

swb

bunny yoga

credit - rtf123

credit – rtf123

A barely six-inch bunny babe
fully focused on the feast at his feet

nibbled, stopped, lifted his head, returned
in silence sating need, oblivious
to the prowling pup inching step by measured step

her body stretched, tautly focused in high lunge –
shift one leg to mountain pose, bend, lift
arc forward, flex – each pose held in fine form

every muscle engaged aquiver, while bunny held
his own, fur yogini in child’s pose. Pup advanced inch by foot. Barely six feet left between.

Bunny lurched.
Pup lunged.
Asanas over.

swb

round bunnies

credit unknown

credit unknown

… Continuing with the “Dog Days” collection, today I offer the first of two poems inspired by my hunter-dog’s interactions with representatives of the local lapine league:

ROUND BUNNIES
Each time we step from the house
one hops provocatively into a bush;
another sits, so much brown rippled fur
breathing fast, a still life waiting 

to spring into streak of white fluff
zig-zagging like a child’s toy
run amok; or full-out bounds
both light and wide, putting athletes

in mind of hard training hours –
the gait, strength, spring-dash reserves.
Each ball of fur extends skinny ears
a twitching radar of safety or flight

each a singular target for my dog
who lives this moment without memory
of the last – this eternal fantasy –
each rabbit a gauntlet thrown

at her feet, a challenge accepted
unaware that they are everywhere ‘round.

swb

fox

I’ve yet to see one here, though many
deep holes have I dodged, each
a sniff-fest for my dog

ever hopeful of catching the prey
just out of reach – the squirrel
jabbering from up-trunk branch,

the bunny hopped between stones
too slender for a snout; the woodchuck
visible only through a screendoor

both shy and safe in the distance he keeps.
So today, when her attention was caught,
then mine, my first thought settled

on possible fox, its profile in shade
so like her own – slender, still
and reddish-brown — ‘til it lifted

its head, turned white tail and leapt
to its mother’s side, her alarm
already bounding them through trees

beyond the walled stone my dog
now demanded to cross, the scent
of chase no contest with me. I held on,

spoke firm words of ‘let them be,’
a collision of worlds familiar to me
as steward of both the seen, and not.

swb

turtle dog

TURTLE DOG

Oblivious to my furtive task,
she rests beside the reedy edge
by command, that I might crawl
bellyward to rounded stone

of sunning turtle not 8 feet out
eyeing me with sunbaked ease.
I work the angles, opportunely
capture each with view and click

finding him amenable. Mindful
that I’m lurking here, take pains
to offer gratitude, and promise
to keep my pup from him.

Yet once we’ve moved beyond the pond
my dog elects to circle back, sniff
with nose raised in a stance
I recognize. I brace myself

to lunge, retrieve; as she pulls
back, reconsiders,
opts instead for courtesy
at chordata’s hospitality.