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    Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 209

    Categories: Poetry Prompts, Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, What's New.

    For this week’s prompt, write a poem somehow influenced by an animal. The animal could be the title of the poem, the subject of the poem, a bit part in the poem. Dive into what it means to be animal or non-animal. Have fun.

    Here’s my attempt at an animal-influenced poem:

    “Squirrel”

    Nobody knows branches
    the heart of this tree
    dangers from above
    and below
    the way I do.

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    88 Responses to Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 209

    1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder says:

      huntin’ seahorse
      by juanita lewison-snyder

      there be sharks circlin’ ‘neath all them horses,
      how they whistle and shy at first sight.
      beauty tastes sweet in their razor-sharp teeth
      while blood clings like briny tiaras
      ’round forelocks deep in the sea.

      © 2013 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    2. RECALL

      In the parking garage, in our little Honda,
      the old dog sleeps with his head
      under the worn drape of your wool jacket –

      how he’s spent each visiting hour
      since paramedics siren’d you away. His eyes
      are sad as a dog missing his old

      master. Come, he calls from some-
      where under the beloved scent of your arm-
      pit. Come back, he calls, come home.

    3. tunesmiff says:

      LIME JUICE BLUES
      ( c ) 2013 – G. Smith (BMI)
      ———————————-
      You won’t get nothing but lime juice from a lime;
      You won’t get nothing but lime juice from a lime;
      You might wish for grapefruit juice but, every single time,
      You won’t get nothing but lime juice from a lime.

      You won’t get nothing but roses from a rose;
      You won’t get nothing but roses from a rose;
      You may find a thorn or two, but everybody knows,
      You won’t get nothing but roses from a rose.

      The robin sings the robin’s song,
      Every morning and all day long;
      The cheetah wears the cheetah’s spots,
      It’s the only coat the cheetah’s got…

      I don’t get nothing but heartache out of you.
      I don’t get nothing but heartache out of you;
      You tell me several stories, and none of them are true;
      I don’t get nothing but heartache out of you…
      No, I don’t get nothing but heartache out of you.

    4. BDP says:

      Maple Manners, a tritina

      Greedy Guts, you balloon your cheeks
      again! Your paws are yanking seeds,
      my maple fruit, my whirlybirds,

      and all the while you flip the bird,
      your bushy tail. You’re filling cheeks
      with Bloodgood fruit, ripe reddish seeds

      you dig into my yard, my seeds,
      instead of leaving them for birds.
      Stuff one and then the other cheek.

      I’ll say! Some cheek! My seeds, bird you!

    5. PSC in CT says:

      The Lion

      Sufficiently endowed
      with brains, heart
      and plenty of pride
      (on occasion),
      still sorely lacking
      the courage
      to brave
      but a single
      step
      along that
      golden path,
      minus the
      company
      of his most loyal
      (and courageous)
      companions…

    6. Judy Roney says:

      Squirrel Chaser

      A dog lives there in that house
      by the two hickory nut trees.
      She’s about our size and the same
      color. She thinks she owns the place.
      Just play along, run when she comes
      chasing out the door. It doesn’t hurt
      for us to give her a little thrill. She’s
      cute, but dumb as a tree limb. She
      doesn’t get it that she’s been chasing
      us all her life and never been close.
      Poor dumb animal. Here she comes,
      you two run and I’ll watch this time.
      This dog cracks me up!

    7. JRSimmang says:

      I am not beast,
      he said clawing at the ancient
      sky,
      under which he has found himself
      suffocated and extinguished.

      When was it that the darkened expanse,
      fitted behind the sun,
      became an anchor
      and the sun itself
      became a portal
      to a turgid world of reckoning?
      Does a beast, eyes red and soaking,
      teeth yellow and bared,
      dare think these thought?

      It had been a long time since he had felt
      pain.
      It had been a long time since he had seen
      his own blood flow into the time-carved
      rivulets in the ground below
      and gather into
      small puddles under his feet.
      He couldn’t remember how long he
      had sat on his throne.
      His memories faded to smoke faster than
      the fire had been built,
      and he was laying face up
      into a scrying glass.
      He had taken the throne,
      gladly,
      upon murmurings of discontent.
      It had been easy,
      he thought, and he thought again,
      and even smiled at this thought
      that he had been the one to puncture the
      delicate tapestry of long-established formality.
      How fitting, then, that
      his blood spelled out a new tapestry,
      but did nothing to contain the heat within him.

      The draft blew subtly over his body.
      He could feel death come soon.

      His throne, no doubt now filled,
      sat solidly under him for as long as he cared
      to remember.
      There were nights when the throne
      withstood the stolid rocking of hips.
      There were times when that throne
      witnessed the split sides and throats
      of the outspoken.
      There were moments when the throne
      was engulfed in flames.
      His throne will stand
      while he slowly drains into the void.

      It was quick when it happened.
      He was asleep in the middle of the women.
      That’s how the king always slept.
      He would miss that.
      But, there was something odd on the air.
      There was something less than kind.

      The slow knife kills swiftest.
      It was dark when the end pierced his side.
      He could only see the whites of his eyes
      before he fled into the woods.

      The chase was long.
      The sun wouldn’t be up for another few hours.
      The snow hadn’t stopped falling.
      He had lost too much too quickly
      and now he lay in the middle
      of an alabaster coffin.

      I am not a beast.
      I do not belong on the ground
      with the leaves, and the grass, and
      the dead!

      And in that moment, his soul
      departed.
      His throne sat a new king
      and his body became
      like all other beasts,
      determined to build a tree.

    8. penney says:

      Seven do exist
      The unthinkable not
      To be handle like a tryst
      Sloth
      Gluttony
      Jealousy and more

      Pride and Greed
      Lust and Envy
      Are not a chore

      But most god like of them all
      Wrath of a society as a whole
      What animal does exist that drinks
      The blood of a son
      To wash away what was undone
      A human

    9. Ber says:

      Hear the Roar

      Wild is his heart
      his roar like none before
      guarding all that lie in his circle
      stars that shine down
      glisten in his eyes
      that sparlke

      Ruffed up hair
      that encourages her stare
      eyes that are so powerful
      prey in his path
      looking on at him
      eat his way through
      it looks awful

      King of the jungle
      mauling the kill
      circle of life
      this is how it is done
      feeding the cubs fill

      Lioness looks on in pride
      his tail so strong
      as it waves at her
      in a flirting glide

      He protects her
      like no other
      after all
      she is the queen
      she is the futures mother

      Run like the wind
      faster than the prey
      there he is
      off on his way

      Hunter of the day
      he waits patiently
      he will catch it
      he won’t let them stand still
      in the haze of the suns rays

      Strength of the time
      roaring all around
      unsettling fear
      fills the safari
      stillness sound

      • rustydude says:

        One of our most memorable moments was in the lion house, San Fran zoo. Tenders got the big cats roaring – you could feel the roars in the reverberations of the concrete building “unsettling fear” yet fascinating. Awesome creatures – nice write.

    10. Ability2soar says:

      Who?

      The sky is our race way, haven’t you heard
      We arrive in many shapes and sizes
      Because we are birds
      Many have the ability soar way up above
      We migrate all over the world, show one another love
      So what, I ask questions and at night I’m on the prowl
      If you looking for wisdom give me call and ask for “Miss Owl”.

    11. Gerrie R. says:

      Our Dog Duke
      On the loveseat by the window
      He watches people night and day
      And he waits for an invitation
      To go to the park where we play.
      His loyalty is ours to keep
      And he watches over us while we sleep
      His love is gentle and sometimes tough
      But I can never get enough
      More and more he is turning gray
      It is so sad to know some day
      In peace with the angles he will lay
      And in our hearts he will always stay.
      I can’t imagine how much it will hurt
      When I drive home each night from work
      And his face in the window I will not see
      Because in heaven is where he will be.
      By Gerrie Roholt

    12. Dancing Hippos
      (An Ode to Sandra Boynton)

      Animals are for children.

      There is a line of books
      that I quite like to read,
      I read them to my children
      they use to beg and plead.

      There were elephants in pajamas
      and various barking dogs,
      monsters with horns
      and dancing hogs.

      There were pajama parties
      and snuggle puppies too
      and lonely hippopotamuses
      and one about stinky stew.

      They’re still up on the shelf
      and I’ve been known to sneak one down,
      like just a few seconds ago
      when I needed to turn my frown.

      Animals are for everyone.

    13. chait4me says:

      A FLY IN MY HOUSE

      There is this fly within my house.
      An annoying pest, much like a mouse.

      When unexpected he’ll buzz your face.
      He’ll do it fast, without any haste.

      A swat of the hand, but missed again.
      The thought of his demise, I snicker and grin.

      But how to prevail? A quest now at hand.
      Should I sit and wait, or quietly stand?

      As I look to find this annoying pest.
      He suddenly comes and lands on my chest.

      A raise of my hand in a motion quite slow.
      Then a slap to the chest, and away he did go.

      Again he eluded the wrath of my hand.
      It’s time to have a more elaborate plan.

      Instead I’ll stand idle, and stay very still.
      In search for this fly – this fly to kill.

      Ah-huh! – A fly swatter to assist in my quest.
      I look all around, to the east then the west.

      Soon he approaches, and lands on the wall.
      I lunge – ker-plop, and to the ground I fall.

      Success or failure, could he really be gone?
      Then a familiar buzz – like a laughing song.

      Now on a mission of this flies grave demise.
      His fate soon to be – a swat till he dies.

      I lurk through the house – no fly to be seen.
      Then across the way, on the patio screen.

      He’s now taunting me, just walking about.
      So, I open the screen door- and shooed this fly out.

      Off he flew, and now here I stand.
      Mission accomplished, with swatter in hand.

    14. DanielAri says:

      Pup’s old

      It’s unbelievable how Bella sleeps,
      the same bursting free girl who chased for years
      sticks, balls, frizzlebees—foaming meadow greens
      until her muscles cramped, and her peaked ears
      rounded, and her tongue pierced and pierced the breeze,

      which always roves in when the sun covers
      itself under hills. In the aftermath,
      a walk home, a deposit scooped, suppers
      all around, and everyone gets a bath.
      For some, that’s a chance to earn a few treats.

      The eternal puppy exhales dog breath.
      She mouths her stuffy and shares tugging games,
      but no longer levitates off the earth,
      snapping for a toy or a bite of lamb.
      The cold weather affects the Bootsky’s knees.

      Shall I warble “Sunrise, Sunset”? I am,
      thanks to her, never going to be the same.

    15. Tracy Davidson says:

      Moving on

      the matriarch
      knows when it’s time…
      elephant graveyard

    16. Tracy Davidson says:

      My Puppy

      mom’s little angel
      the mischief that lies behind
      those innocent eyes

    17. seingraham says:

      To Howl Down the Night

      Swifter than moonlight leaves the sky
      The beta weaves his way through
      The woods, his coat the colour of bark
      Upon the trees in winter, he is shadow
      He is smoke, here then gone, moving
      With softly padding paws that barely
      Leave a mark, he covers the snow
      That quickly – when the moon is fully
      Risen and he has arrived atop the hill
      He is silhouetted as clearly as a cliché
      When he throws his head back
      And howls down the night with eerie
      Ululations that are original and his alone.

    18. “Beautiful Vulture”

      Soaring through summer air
      blackness bird of grace
      soaring and searching
      for the unfortunate many
      who did not make it through,
      many laying on roadside
      near rivers or forest bottom,
      now the cycle is complete
      for mother earth thanks you
      beautiful bird of blackness

    19. SCAT

      So close to home, a sign that Fox passed by:
      his tarry signature on sandy road.
      What do we make of it, this secret code
      of goings-on in dark beyond our eye?

      We miss so much. We theorize and sigh
      and think we’re masters of the heavy load.
      So close to home, a sign that Fox passed by.
      This tarry signature on sandy road

      might make the fabler in me question why
      he blessed me with his passage. Night-wind rode
      beside him. Now he’s gone. Who writes an ode
      to scat? Do old mythologies all lie?
      So close to home, a sign that Fox passed by.

    20. BETWEEN EARTH AND SKY

      Freckles stands over her second-born –
      her first lamb, last year,
      snatched by the Great Horned Owl.

      Look at his small splotched face,
      pale marks drawn
      symmetrical across his soft dark

      muzzle – marks like scribbles, partial
      thumbprints, or what
      the owl might write with its talons.

      Sheep-statue, Freckles stands
      as if struck in joy-fear, wondering
      perhaps if this child, its birth hardly dry,

      might be swallowed whole
      by winter grass. A lamb so tenuous
      between earth and sky.

    21. Flighty Bird

      Like a flighty bird building her nest
      I poke in yarn, cloth, string and straw,
      But can’t decide on what I like best,
      Putting in cotton, then lace withdraw,
      Motivated by some perfectionistic law.
      On fickleness, let not my strength be spent
      But build with what I have and be content.

    22. stepstep says:

      GIRAFFE

      Don a necklace
      Hide secrets
      Glance out into the far beyond
      Engage your thoughts on each one of your spots.

      Stand erect and impart your wisdom
      Run fast, defeat the masses
      Feed from the fat of the land
      Let your call comfort and rescue the wild.

      LaSteph

    23. Jane Shlensky says:

      Buzz

      The fly that zoomed the president
      at his inauguration was empowered
      to raise comment from journalists
      across the nation—fine young writers
      bored with talk of politics, economy,
      of hope and loss and fiscal cliffs
      and opted for more autonomy
      in picking subjects people want
      to know about in times of woe,
      stories that cover social things
      like shoes and the first lady’s bangs
      until media is abuzz with
      what this or that person does
      and whether Republicans know
      who put this fly up to the task
      to light on presidential nose
      at such a lofty important time.
      Investigations notwithstanding,
      we do not know the insect’s name,
      but he got coverage and acclaim
      when with a gentle wave of hand
      that put in flight the errant pest,
      the foremost man in all the land
      admitted that we’re still oppressed
      by circumstances beyond our scope,
      and interrupted his speech, all shruggy,
      to say, “This fellow’s starting to bug me.”

    24. From Down Here

      From here, on the floor
      you may think
      I can’t tell
      that your marriage is in trouble.
      Who will I live with?

      We dogs have feelings,
      not expressed
      in your way.
      If my bark grows weak, eyes moisten,
      you’ll know I’m upset.

    25. rustydude says:

      Christmas Stallion

      By David De Jong

      The young stallion, born on a cold winter’s night,
      No shelter, no warmth, except for mother in sight.

      Clear was the sky, as the stars gleamed in a dance,
      The heavens knew the awaited birth, was not by chance.

      King of the wolves, told of the birth, feared his reign,
      Sending his evil army; to search and kill all in vain.

      Mother and colt sleeked through the forest, following a glow,
      All scents and signs covered, in a sudden Christmas snow.

      An old cowhand, looking for strays, camped for the night,
      His herd gathered, his sorrel hobbled in sight.

      Coffee on the fire to warm an old man’s heart,
      When mother and colt approached, it gave him a start.

      A dry blanket over the newborn colt, warmed him fair,
      Last of the sorrel’s grain, strengthened the tired mare.

      First light they parted, sure no one would believe, even if told;
      The mare, her foal, sharing his fire, nothing close ever to behold.

      A night remembered each Christmas, especially when it snowed,
      There was no debt, it was a gift, Christmas love bestowed.

      Years later, searching strays, on that snowy range,
      The air was different, there was a welcome change.

      It was spring, wild lilies abloom, new life abound,
      The old cowpoke moved slow, yet missed their sound.

      That pack of wolves; still mad for death, demanding fresh blood,
      Teeth lashing, evil blocking the trail, six abreast they stood.

      He whispered a prayer, fearing for his life and his mount’s as well,
      These demons of night surely would drag them both straight to hell.

      Soft in the shadows, a familiar form he saw appear,
      It was that stallion; all grown – broad – magnificent – up on rear.

      He took on the pack and bid the sorrel take flight,
      “Take your rider, and flee – with all your might!”

      The furred demons; stripped the stallion his valor and brought him to the ground,
      Killing with laughter and glee, their unwarranted Christmas prince finally found.

      The old cowhand; holding fast to his steed, galloping new strides of flight,
      It was a ride like no other, his mount ignoring his commands, try as he might.

      As the sun rose on the third morn, past that horrid attack,
      The old cowboy placed the last of his camp in his pack;

      The bull elk bugled – as thunder arose!
      The trees trembled – and shook off the crows!

      Across the meadow – galloping – in a glow!
      The stallion – back from death – his scars to show.

      Sunbeams followed as he approached the old cowboy still at camp,
      A vision of glory; mesmerizing, his coat and mane – glowed, as a lamp.

      Then the cowhand saw something he had missed before,
      That white stallion had a mark that the old cowboy wore.

      The mark, that blaze on the stallion’s face, looked to be a star, tall,
      On second look, it was the cross, the cross He bore for us all.

      So at Christmas, when you think of the babe, and remember the star,
      Think on the cross, what it truly means, for all mankind, near and far;

      Life – given in grace
      Life – spared in mercy
      Life – Forever — no matter where you are.

    26. rustydude says:

      Strawberry Chocolate Kittens

      By David De Jong

      We walked the trail
      Carrying a pail
      Of strawberry chocolate kittens

      We found a stork
      Holding a fork
      Eating waffles and mittens

      We talked to a giraffe
      Building a raft
      To sail across the creek

      His spots would surple
      Then turn purple
      Whenever he would speak

      He gave us a ride
      With just one stride
      Chasing polka-dot lamas

      Then to our surprise
      What came to our eyes
      But pigs in green pajamas

      It helped them to hide
      From the squirrely snide
      Who lived in trees of trumpets

      So we hurried back home
      To our snow-globe dome
      And had some tea and crumpets

      Grandma couldn’t believe
      Our story we retrieved
      Calling it just a fancy tale

      Being old yet very keen
      She’d never heard nor ever seen
      A thingamajig called a pail

    27. RobHalpin says:

      Animal

      Flame red, shag rug hair
      he wails drums
      for the gold-toothed doc

    28. Stephen S Power says:

      SIGN AT THE TURTLE BACK ZOO

      “Despite 25 million years
      of aquatic living,
      the otter remains,
      unmistakably,
      a weasel.”
      But couldn’t that be said
      of many people
      down the shore?

    29. Jane Shlensky says:

      Animation

      Some lays of land attract the eye
      framed by the trees, a lake, the sky,
      sometimes with seasons new adorned—
      blanket of snow on a winter’s morn

      or greenest green abloom in spring
      or aflame in autumn’s final fling.
      Sometimes we want to stand and stare
      Be washed in changes’ gentle care.

      Now this one, out my window frame
      is familiar, but not the same
      in varied light, for it’s reborn
      on every day with some new form.

      At dawn and dusk, deer come to graze
      where cattle later pull at hay
      bails made so very big and round,
      they’re left for cows who are winter-bound.

      Now cows and horses forage there
      tucked into greening pasture’s ware,
      and there field mice and groundhogs run
      from hole to hole to feel the sun.

      And every season has its birds,
      so beautiful I haven’t words
      to tell you how they decorate
      this lay of land; they animate

      what otherwise might be mistaken
      for backdrop, or as earth forsaken
      of life. Every Eden’s destitute
      bereft of animals where its fruit

      lies rotting, wasting, falling down,
      no feasting heard for miles around.
      What good is that when land so fair
      is meant to stir us into prayer?

    30. RJ Clarken says:

      The Pasta of Life

      Some advice: don’t eat spaghetti
      in the company of Yeti.
      He’s abomináble, yet he
      easily can quote Rossetti.

      ###

    31. I am huge and aloof
      And somewhat waterproof
      And to tell you the truth
      I was even big in my youth

      I sleep while standing
      Dangerous for my trampling
      The distances I can travel
      Are truly outstanding

      Intelligence is a trait
      That I possess so great
      I also eat a lot
      But in no way overweight

      My ears make me famous
      Although in a way not shameless
      Because of a fictional character
      Who shall remain nameless

      I have a great memory
      I’m desired for my ivory
      My skin is quite leathery
      I’ve been around since early centuries

      I carry a trunk
      That contains no junk
      Some say it should point up
      To bring about good luck

      I am the largest mammal
      Of all land based animals
      My versatile appendage is impressive
      With all that it can handle

      We are socially blessed
      We like to touch and caress
      We care for our injured
      And grieve for our dead

      The wild is our native nest
      In zoos we feel compressed
      So now I must digress
      So I can express
      Perhaps suggest
      Maybe
      Even
      Request

      Please free us
      And return us
      To our natural inhabitance

      Sincerely
      The Elephants

    32. IrisD says:

      Turnaround Farm
      I moved to a farm
      That is upside down
      The kittens they fly
      and the eagles lay down
      The pigs moo in their stall
      While the dogs munch on corn
      The sheep say neigh
      The cow crows all morn
      We get milk from the horses
      And eggs from the sheep
      The butterflies go buzz
      While the pup goes peep, peep
      Chickens lay by the hearth
      And bark at the moon
      Here the coyotes bleat baa
      And wake the raccoon
      We eat pizza for breakfast
      Oatmeal is for lunch
      My fav is the supper
      and eggs that go crunch
      Don’t travel the highway
      Or come here by car
      Ride on a donkey
      Follow the day star

    33. JWLaviguer says:

      I’m an animal
      acting on instinct
      I pursue her

      she looks
      too late
      I pounce

      she is under me
      and I take her
      as she relents

      when we’re done
      smoking the same cigarette
      she asks “what took you so long”

    34. PressOn says:

      ON PATROL

      When I was young and watched the pigeons fly,
      I worried about a whitewash in my eye.
      But as I grew, I learned what pigeons are:
      squads of squabs, all aiming at my car.

    35. Amy says:

      The animal reveals itself;
      desire, in its truest form.
      A burning need, so far from
      what is right or good.
      Shed your mortal constraints
      and walk with me in
      this dangerous delirium.
      Eyes wide and claws
      outstretched, it will
      consume you before long.

    36. De Jackson says:

      The Wallaby Way

      I’m about to go all
      marsupial
      and just start putting
      things in pockets. Keep
      my children where I
      can see them, hold
      some hope for a rainy
      day, tuck in a tendril
      of time or two, for the
      space continuum that
      won’t slow. I know
      things spoil if you
      don’t let them grow,
      but there’s something
      to be said for dryer
      lint and leftover wishes,
      deep dark places
      that have to be turned
      inside-out
      to see the light.

      .

    37. JRSimmang says:

      It’s a revolution they speak of,
      but the hem of his robes continue to stay
      an inch above the ground.

      They always will, he thinks,
      so long as the ground beneath him stays
      beneath him, solid and sound
      and tied to the spinning world.

      It’s been a hard battle, he knows,
      but these halls have stood and stayed
      when the walls were burning
      white and ashen, embers resound-
      ing echoes of screams and

      Hail Mary full of grace. This,
      he thinks, as his robes swish and sway
      bounding off the cobblestones
      down and through and around
      the myriad halls, is not the Crusades.
      This is the death of martyrs and saints.

      He falters, tries to catch his breath,
      and leans heavily on a bust of a man slain
      years ago in a fit of misunderstanding.
      Power, he knows, lies in the hands of they
      who seek to destroy that which amounts
      to be a square peg for a round hole.
      He can feel the first of many stinging

      saline worries gently trace a path from
      his eyes to his chin. His feet keep moving him away
      from the doors of his cell to the doors
      of the man who calls himself father.
      Father. He repeats the word over and around
      in his mouth. He can’t quite get used to the feeling
      of it. Fa-ther. It has always been this way, he knows,
      but every day the word seems more and more foreign.

      Father, he says as he pries open
      the solid oak doors, feeling the solid oak weight
      of the words about to reach his lips.
      My son, you are troubled.
      He wonders why it is that Father could see, always see,
      straight through to the other side of him.
      You, Father, are correct.
      He stammers. He pauses. He clears his throat.
      The Father watches and waits,

      knowing that patience is one of his gifts.
      I have to leave.
      Father, a protected shepherd of his flock,
      seems to know this.
      We all must, I suppose,
      begin to walk our own paths
      down our own streets,
      under our own guidance.
      What it is you do while you are
      following your compass rose
      is up to you.
      Remember, my son,
      that the point always faces north.

      North, his cardinal direction.
      For the first time, he sees the Father as a man.
      He sees his aging eyes.
      He sees his greying hair.
      He hears the rasp of a man who had borne
      the weight of a thousand prayers in his own
      throat.

      He is breathless again and the
      urge to fight back his final vows
      would soon overtake him.

      He turns, his hem an inch above the ground,
      knowing that it always would be,
      and leaves.

    38. pmwanken says:

      A PLACE OF REST
      (a shadorma)

      Patiently,
      she watches every
      move, knowing
      her moment
      is near. Purring, she waits for
      my lap to appear.

    39. Domino says:

      Animal

      He is out of control.
      He screams,
      berates,
      never hesitates,
      even when he’s wrong,
      it doesn’t matter
      (Get me my belt.)
      what they’ve done
      (There are spots on these dishes!!)
      or what he thinks
      (Who didn’t flush the toilet?!?!)
      they’ve done.
      (Why can’t I have any peace?!?!)

      He acts like he has
      power
      over them,
      mental, physical,
      emotional.

      He is strong and threatening
      and his power seems real;
      their bruises prove his strength.

      They believe it, they are weak,
      but sometimes there is a breaking point
      even for the meek.

      Finally one day,
      when he returns home
      it is to an empty house:
      no wife
      no kids
      no dog, even.

      They are gone
      and he rages.

      Interstate flight
      to far-flung-family
      he does not know them
      (never cared to know)
      distant cousins of hers.
      They are welcome
      and they begin again.

      It’s not too late to heal from
      the damage the animal has done.

      Diana Terrill Clark

    40. Boutique

      I don’t care what the neighborhood is saying,
      you can call me a Newfoundland poodle
      cross, you can call me a freak of nature,
      you can call me Al, or Sir, or even
      not talk to me at all. But I swear to Dog
      I will bit you clean in half if you call me
      a newfiepoo.

    41. Glory says:

      Ants

      Black Spots on warm
      grey paving,
      ever moving patterns pace to and from
      grassy edges,
      where hidden nests lie
      undisturbed,
      baked in the warm sun
      workers heavy
      with summer’s replete.

    42. Moment’s symphony -
      to the frozen nature call
      only hawks answer.

      Love the theme, Robert! But I’m sticking to birds!
      A day of inspiration to all!

    43. PowerUnit says:

      Life on our hill
      Is not always sunny
      It’s not always still
      Birds feed on our raspberries
      and our lawn
      or the cones hanging like Christmas lights
      off our spruce and fir trees
      Deer visit our garden
      now and then
      ignoring the neighbors’ dogs
      A groundhog makes his annual appearance
      under our woodpile
      The raccoons file in from the trees
      along the path where the bear sleeps
      Small rodents visit daily
      morning carnage on the deck
      gifts from our cats

    44. Pet

      My child,
      with your short attention span,
      the swift attrition of your love,
      I feel reluctant to fulfill
      your desire for a puppy,
      a bunny, God forbid—a horse,
      knowing exactly
      who would feed, walk, water,
      clean the cage
      as soon as you grow weary
      of the chores.

      For now,
      I’d rather teach responsibility
      with storybooks,
      after-school specials.
      I might even walk you
      out to the road
      so you could see up close
      exactly what happens to pets
      neglected, ignored,
      left outside to roam.

    45. RobHalpin says:

      Good Thing They’re Cute

      (as a shadorma)
      Should knowing
      wiener dogs were bred
      as hunters
      of badgers
      make me more tolerant of
      how stupid they are?

      (as a tanka)
      Bred to hunt badgers,
      Dachshunds are fierce and fearless,
      but I wonder why
      each one I get seems to be
      so much dumber than the last?

    46. Misky says:

      DOG

      Hey.
      Hey.
      Hey.
      HEY!
      HEY Ho!
      HO!
      Ho-HO-HO-Hey!
      That’s all a dog says
      when it barks. I know
      because my dog
      told me so.

      ~ Misky

    47. PUPPY LOVE

      Huddled close, her nose
      cold and moist voiced
      in barks of soft contentment.
      She was meant to be destroyed,
      a fate that was avoided by rescue.
      Timid and trepidatious,
      rather loquacious
      (in dogese) and the reason
      we’re so blessed is that
      this gentle Doxie; a foxy
      schemer with a gentle demeanor
      has been given a new chance.
      With every leap or prance,
      our Guinness has danced
      into our hearts and life.
      For this my daughters, wife and I
      are completely grateful.
      Be it ever so faithful,
      there’s no other like a dog.

    48. Arash says:

      “Like Flies”

      The ball of fire melts into the far peaks.
      The boys of fall play ball. And no one speaks.
      And bumping into each other like flies,
      the boys see no future, and hear no shrieks.

      The ball kicked high into the pregnant dark,
      shines bright, just for a moment, like the moon.
      It’s fall. The icy wind slips in the black.
      Soon a halo…from river of maroon.

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