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Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 209

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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*****

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88 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 209

  1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    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. taylor graham

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    1. rustydude

      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

    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.

    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. Michelle Hed

    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

    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

    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. seingraham

    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.

  16. Andie Michele

    “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

  17. taylor graham

    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.

  18. taylor graham

    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.

  19. Connie Peters

    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.

  20. stepstep

    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

  21. Jane Shlensky

    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.”

  22. Sara McNulty

    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.

  23. rustydude

    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.

  24. rustydude

    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

  25. Stephen S Power

    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?

  26. Jane Shlensky

    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?

  27. HandHeldWriter

    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

  28. IrisD

    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

  29. JWLaviguer

    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”

  30. PressOn

    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.

  31. Amy

    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.

  32. De Jackson

    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.

    .

  33. JRSimmang

    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.

  34. Domino

    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

  35. Andrew Kreider

    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.

  36. Glory

    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.

  37. PowerUnit

    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

  38. Nancy Posey

    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.

  39. RobHalpin

    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?

  40. Walt Wojtanik

    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.

  41. Arash

    “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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