an angel and a dog: an interim blessing

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I’ve been in a creative cocoon, a lot going on inside, but not much to see from the outside. While hoping for a poem to emerge, I got this spontaneous sketch instead. It came from nowhere, like a blessing, and it made me smile.  I started with an arc which became the angel’s face, and I finished with a dog. It’s a simple drawing, but I hope you like it. And maybe you’ll be inspired to set your own pen down on a piece of spare paper and without thought or plan, follow the ink until the lines create a message and blessing just for yourself.

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What Happens When You Teach a Dog to Speak

I wrote this poem not so long ago, and it’s been published in the most recent issue of The Journal of New Jersey Poets, which will be released in May. I hope you enjoy this poem as much as I enjoy my dog.

 

What Happens When You Teach a Dog to Speak

I’m eating lunch outside
on a perfect spring day
when my dog pokes her head under my arm
and says,
       Let’s go to the park and memorize poems.

I tell her I can recite poems just fine
right from where we are.
I start with Nye’s Art of Disappearing,
but the first stanza has already vanished
from my memory.

She jumps onto the chaise lounge,
and in my face with earnest says,
       Pack some books in a bag, and let’s go.

She has my attention so she continues.
       You can read out loud to your favorite trees—
       the cedar and the beech—
       brush up on the poems you’ve forgotten.
       Commit to something new and fresh.

       And in the vast field, I’ll memorize my poems—
       the thousand scents between the blades of grass,
       the flight of the white butterfly,
       the drift of dog bones across the sky.

       When I have it all down pat,
       I’ll lay down beside you on the blanket,
       the striped one you keep
       in the trunk of the car,  just for us.

                     

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A poem a day for April