The Canine Collection of Poems


Spare of flank
and bright of eye
he passed the quiet waters by
hours or was it years ago

Grown now
a mean machine
with forward-looming
tripod stance
head swivelling
on pivotal neck

Mighty in battle
and fearing no evil
he's positioning himself
to be leader of the pack
of prisoners in the house
but still prostrates himself
before what matters
like the old man
(it's a matter of form)
and he's master of that

Watch the terrible
periscope of his eye
as it rotates
in the sesamoid skull
muscles braced for attack
what is his prey?

On an outing
birds give
an excuse to run
like Nijinsky
in three bounds
he's gone
on the wheels of the wind
the warlock sheers and turns
flying with birds and their shadows
across the horizon

When he returns
you know he cares
of what use
is the majestic slope
of those shoulders
the massive shovel of the snout
the chisel teeth
and the hungry look
of that serrulated chest?

While we imagine he's
a deterrant to thieves
he's passing the time
deconstructing furniture
so when I come home
the chairs lie in pieces
the bed is unsprung
then he fears
both rod and staff
and lies quaking outside

Pardon your iniquity Leroi
and the mischief in your heart
today I looked outside to see
a snowfield of feathers in the yard
you killed a bird at last?
now you have murdered my pillow.

Rosemary Raiche.

Back to Poem index