An Appalling Group Hug, A Poem, And Two Love Letters To My Dogs




I have seen the sun break through


to illuminate a small field

for a while, and gone my way

and forgotten it. But that was the pearl

of great price, the one field that had

treasure in it. I realize now

that I must give all that I have

to possess it. Life is not hurrying

on to a receeding future, nor hankering after

an imagined past. It is the turning

aside like Moses to the miracle

of the lit bush, to a brightness

that seemed as transitory as your youth

once, but is the eternity that awaits you.

–R.S. Thomas, "The Bright Field"



Nose Blast

Nose blast, both

holes, first

thing in the morning.

Acid old fellow

on my ground.

I know the one:

slow, moves through

here every morning,

signing my trees.


Bright day, cold

feet. Getting colder.

The grouchy one there

with my line, the one whose

smell I love best,

the one with such soft magic

in his hands, good cupboard

things, a voice that tells me

the only truth I need

or know, that one, mine,

he has me in his grip,

he will never let me go.



For Chula

Evolutionary distance meant

nothing when I looked into

your eyes and saw no distance,

no distance at all.

I found all sorts of things

there, but absolutely nothing

in the way of distance.

There is something so repellently

human in that concept, something that

stinks of privileged conceit.

Is it so strange that a dog

could teach a man almost wrecked by

disgust for humankind to love again?

No, not strange, but marvelous all the same.

Domestic animals?

Just what the fuck are we?