Tag Archives: bad dogs

#394: Poem on April 21, 2021

I don’t even know how to describe this next thing. The Napowrimo website does it best. It’s a poem inspired somewhat by a famous childhood nursery rhyme by an anonymous author (“There was a man of double deed?”) and ends up being simply an exercise in repeating the last part of a line in the next line. Actually, that’s not it at all. That’s what I did. And I stole some lyrics from Prince. The task was to write using repetitive set-ups. It was surprisingly difficult to do. Rules were broken. But nobody was hurt, not even the dogs. I think I’ve inadvertently written a different kind of poem. I think it has a name. Does anybody know it? I don’t know what I’m doing today.

Poem on April 21

The neighbor kids
play on the mound of dirt
while the neighbor two houses down
plays reggae music in the afternoon.
In the afternoon I take a well-deserved
nap in the hammock .
In the hammock I swing,
take 10 minutes to snooze.
To snooze, to dream of birds.
To dream of birds and to wake up
under oak trees full of birds.
Of birds, I’d like to know
what kind of bird is making that sound,
that coo coo song. That coo coo song
sounds like doves crying.
Maybe I’m just too demanding.
Maybe I’m just like my father.
I get up, come in for dinner,
just as the dogs are playing
that same old shit song:
let’s escape into the neighborhood.

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#344: Who Let The Dogs Out?

They let themselves out, thank you very much.
On a warm, August night, 11 pm, something outside
catches their attention, and the larger of my two dogs
simply stands up on her hind legs and, using
the handle, opens the latched screen door.
And they run. Together. Free to run and roam.
They cross the busy street into the neighborhood
of brand new houses across the way and again,
partners in crime, they pillage, side by side.

I’m in the house cursing. I grab the double dog
lead and arm myself with a couple of biscuits,
and out I go. They will not come to me. I follow,
doggedly, into neighborhood streets. Calling after
them, but not loud enough to wake anyone
and unfortunately, not loud enough to get the
attention of my freedom-crazed pets. A bit of good
news: they make their way down a dead end.
They go to the very last house, and because
they are dogs, they sense another dog inside.
The house is dark. It’s 11:00 pm, but inside,
a little dog starts with the yapping. And all
the sensory lights outside go on. I manage,
somehow, with the treat, to capture one of them,
the door-handle dog, larger, younger than
the other, still with a degree of puppy love
for the humans in her care. She takes the biscuit
and I leash her up. Meanwhile, the other one
sets off a car alarm when she runs underneath
and I am certain that these people are coming
outside with baseball bats. They don’t. The dog
makes her way back down the street, goes into
another back yard through an opening in a fence,
and I am pissed at this one. She emerges.
I throw the treat down on to the pavement and
finally, she approaches. I’m feeling vindictive
and when she gets close enough I scoop
up the biscuit and deftly grab that collar.
No treat for you, I say. I lead them both home
and boy, do they get an earful.

Damn dogs. I love them both,
but at times like this, I really hate them.
But look at that face. And that other one.
My hatred is impossible to sustain
and I will snuggle with them both
before I turn in for the night.

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