Apr 262013
 

Like a monk rising before dawn,
I am unalarmed as claws clatter in the hall.
He stands by the bed
to call me to service.

I perform my ritual,
bowing my head over his bowl,
murmuring my prayer: “good boy.”

If you are troubled,
rise quietly before dawn.
A world growing brighter
will lift your heart. mjh

11-20-07

 Posted by at 12:47 am on Fri 04/26/13
Apr 182013
 

When I come in from the garage
the dog’s look asks,
“Where is she?”
Gone, I say, she’s gone.
He stands at the door
head tilted, he listens
for you.
I open the door
and he walks around the car
pausing to look up into the
windows on both sides.
“Where is she?”

All night he sits by the window
rising up at any sound
he looks and waits
for your return.

And I am there beside him
sharing his hope
for your return.
Where is she? mjh

6/19/2004

 Posted by at 12:47 am on Thu 04/18/13
Apr 112013
 

I walk the dog around the park,
Muttering a poem.
He looks askance
as I repeat lines
to etch them on gray parchment.
I nod distractedly to leery passers-by,
hoping I don’t look crazy
reciting rhyme to a dog.

If I ask the postal worker for paper and pen,
will he reach for his pepper spray, instead?
Will the news report “Postman repels park poet,”
“Park poet provokes postman,”
or simply
“Poet goes postal”? mjh

12-16-02

 Posted by at 4:11 am on Thu 04/11/13
Apr 102013
 

I’ve become the caretaker
of a small collection of works
by a minor poet
who abruptly stopped writing
when his muse moved on.

Did he feel like a man
whose mistress has taken
a younger lover?
Or was this as bad as
the day the dog died?
He never could say. mjh

04/04/13

 Posted by at 12:47 am on Wed 04/10/13
Apr 082013
 

It doesn’t seem the least bit odd
that all the members of the orchestra
are dogs.
Some in tuxedos,
some in black gowns,
sitting, waiting — good dogs! —
for the conductor
to raise a long meaty bone.
Some clear their throats,
some drool,
none look away for a moment.

It doesn’t seem the least bit odd
that everyone in the audience
is in a tutu.
Men and women dressed for the
ballet, though this is a concert,
each holding a pen and pad
planning to pounce
to snatch some new idea.
As if Beethoven for Dogs
weren’t enough.

It doesn’t seem the least bit odd
in the end
when the conductor puts down his baton,
most of the meat shaken off
to the delight of the First Chair.
He turns and bows
and then I recognize him:
the poet laureate,
the old dog himself. mjh

8/13/02

 Posted by at 4:47 am on Mon 04/08/13
Apr 072013
 

The dog lies in my chair
his chin upon the arm.
This seems to me quite fair
and really does no harm.
For I have learned to share,
as you can plainly see,
from all the hair I wear,
a gift he gave to me. mjh

7/3/03

 Posted by at 4:47 am on Sun 04/07/13
May 012012
 

101°

Glenn Gould plays Bach
as I step on that distant shore.
Handing my coppers to the boatman,
I look up the bank for you
among the crowd
scanning the new arrivals for
old friends
to lead across the fields
when the dog barks –
1 head, not 3 –
I’m not dead yet,
as Charon’s ferry folds
into the sofa,
where I shiver
in fevered dreams
between two worlds
not ready for either. mjh

first published 3/9/05


Listen to 101°

My Virtual Chapbook (table of contents)

 Posted by at 1:01 am on Tue 05/01/12