Animal Poems: Poems of Companion Species
The once noble renegade,
the zealous infidel of squirreldom,
the daytime thief of others’ treasure troves,
even bounties of rabbit carrots.
His heralded jaw forewarning of the onset
of another chewing frenzy.
His gurgling stomach assuaged
with each new groundnut swallowed.
This dutiful organism whose growth we watched,
all the while as he watched us,
and whose hindmost parts we observed
whenever he scurried to the next peanut burial site.
This star practitioner of food juggling,
carrying more than one at a time,
one in hand, one in mouth.
This furry creature who met and loved a man.
Who once having been trapped and removed
from his safe haven by strangers,
found his way back home,
after two years,
and acted as if he had been at the threshold
of that doorway only yesterday.
meant as homage to the little critter
whose time did end,
who, although no bigger than a breadbox
held within him a very large heart
and a very long memory.
meant to mark worth
on his short, but notable life.
Linda Imbler’s poetry collections include “Big Questions, Little Sleep,” “Lost and Found,” “The Sea’s Secret Song,” and “Pairings,”
a hybrid ebook of short fiction and poetry. She is a Kansas-based Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Nominee. Linda’s poetry and a
listing of publications can be found at lindaspoetryblog.blogspot.com.
My dog drags me
down the sidewalk
as I try to rein him in.
I’m really trying.
We look ridiculous
We pass the big houses
with the good dogs inside.
I hazard a smile at the owners,
half in apology.
It’s more of a grimace
Here comes another dog
on the other side of the street,
completely ignoring us.
My dog strains against the leash
and barks and flails.
Such a bad boy
We finally get home,
me more tired than him,
sore and irritated.
I talk to him about the walk
and he promises to be better
tomorrow, not to be such a jerk.
Just for now, he's a good boy
Just in this brief, tiny moment
When not writing about unredeemable people in bad situations, Debbie likes to let her dog drag her around her Richmond, Virginia neighborhood. This poem is dedicated to him. Debbie has been published by Third Wednesday, The Wild Word, and The Lake, among others.
The Heron and the Moon
Soft is her breath as the full moon rises
smiling looking down at smooth calm waters
warm breezes whisper to the gentle ripples
the lonely heron stands stoically entranced
serenity lulls the heart and warms the spirit.
Sounds of the city, lights and people are null
seagulls and terns have found their roosts
fog horn speaks from the rocky outer banks
swells carry seaweed on a high running tide
stars strive to shine thru the bright lunar glow
a ketch cruises by with her mizzenmast down.
Venus clams squirt water all along the beach
a ghostly chill suddenly wraps all around us
the wind changes to an on-shore sea breeze
the great blue heron extends her wings wide
captures the zephyr and rises into the night
reflected by the light of the beautiful full moon
off to the sand dunes to nap until the sunrise.
Ken Allan Dronsfield is a disabled veteran, poet and fabulist. His work has been published world-wide in various publication venues. His newest poetry collection, "A Taint of Pity; Life Poems Written with a Cracked Inflection" is now available from Amazon.com. Ken loves writing, thunderstorms, walking in the woods at night, spending time relaxing and playing with his cats Willa, Turbo, Hemi and Yumpy.
It Was For The Common Good
The first living being in space was a husky-terrier mix. Her name was Laika, nicknamed Little Bug, described as quiet and charming. She trained extensively for her mission, learning to wear flight suits and eat nutrition gel and to lay resting quietly in her small spaceship. Each time she succeeded in something new she was rewarded with treats and physical affection— in dogs, this stimulates the part of the brain that signals “love”, “joy”, and “contentment” in humans. Before the launch, one of the scientists took the Little Bug home to play with his children. He wanted to do something nice for her. The trust of animals is crushing. She trusted them to love
and care for her, provide her food and water. She learned love and punishment by their hands, had her fear quelled by their touch, closed her eyes and leaned into their hands— She trusted them absolutely. Before final liftoff, one of the technicians recounted that "after placing Laika in
the container and before closing the hatch, we kissed her nose and wished her bon voyage—knowing that she would not survive the flight." Little Bug stepped into her suit like she always had, received the treats and pets she always had— except this time nobody let her out, they sealed the probe, and the whole world waited for her to orbit around the earth. If each human-year is seven dog-years, each human-hour is seven dog-hours. There was a
malfunction during liftoff and she was crushed and burned alive. Her heartbeat played through speakers in the control room. What did she think about as she spent dog-hour after dog-hour in rising heat, restrained by a harness? What would it sound like to hear a heart incinerated? She
thought they would let her out and give her her treat. She trusted them.
— “It was for the common good”, he said.
Sarah Washburn Thornton is a visual + textual artist based in Pittsburgh. They can be found on instagram @swashburnthornton
Open the gates,
Grant them entry,
Let them have soft beds within to lie.
They who come two by two
As before the first deluge.
With hares and squirrels to chase,
Gladly in this new place.
Fur blown gently in soft breeze,
Protectors and companions these,
Loyal and true and so eager to please,
Next to man, they are my finest masterpiece.
Give them water pure,
Fresh food in golden bowls,
But mostly give them a person for their own.
For this one desire,
Make this wish come true,
Some never had such a thing,
And for others
It’s the only thing
To make it look like home.
Give balls for play and chew toys that fit in mouths,
Let them nap under large elms,
When fatigue overwhelms,
Safely and in peace inside this holy realm.
An Old Dog’s Lament
-- Previously published in Medusa’s Kitchen
When you left me at the park bench,
I could not see you walk away,
But I knew you were gone
When you no longer spoke to me,
And your scent faded.
I waited all night in the rain,
Refusing sleep so I would not miss your return,
My matted fur and dry mouth
Greeted the sun of that first new day,
My first day without you.
My eyes had failed me the previous year,
And somehow I had failed you,
Although I do not understand how.
Should I ever smell you again,
I will come to you,
And lick your hand,
And ask your forgiveness,
For whatever was lacking in me.
Now I am elsewhere,
Being cared for by another,
I am one of the lucky ones in that regard.
There's new smells in the air,
But always I am searching
For that one ,which to me, is most familiar
And brings the happiest memories.
Linda Imbler is the author of the published poetry collection “Big Questions, Little Sleep.” Her work has appeared in numerous journals.
Linda’s creative process and a current, complete listing of sites which have or will publish her work can be found at lindaspoetryblog.blogspot.com.
This writer, yoga practitioner, and classical guitar player lives in Wichita, Kansas.