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.

pause to live

plateToday’s Daily Post at WordPress asks “If you could pause real life and spend some time living with a family anywhere in the world, where would you go?” This time last year I met Letizia and her husband Ruurd. Five days was the appetizer that will bring us back one day.

Alla Madonna del Piatto

 For years they wandered, seeking to live
in one place for a length of time
for roots, child, livelihood
to become as one. They found this spot

perched in the hills above Assisi
home to pagan goddess, revered saints
undisputed holy land of olive, grape
and opportunity.

So settled here. As if a sign,
found buried in the ancient house
a plate, a graceful figure beckoning
them to re-imagine place.

And so they worked, restored,
created home and guest space, too,
with groves and orchards to feed them,
provide means of living well.

From here we see the revered hill
upon which sits so much history
of pagan, Christian, Roman, Jew –
their destinies layered, ever new.
–  swb