“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.” ― Christopher Hitchens, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever
Hello Everyone and Welcome to Tuesday Poetics at dVerse!
It’s funny, isn’t it that no matter where we are in the world right now most of us are having a similar experience. Some are on total lockdown, while others are abiding by a ‘shelter in place’ order. Yet, our range of emotions are all the same- fear of what the future will bring. There’s uncertainty and concern for not only our loved ones, but the entire human race. It’s an uncomfortable feeling of living in limbo. I must confess, my life was not all that different before. The biggest differences now are I order groceries and have someone else shop for me, and I pick them up when ready. Yet, the feeling that I shouldn’t/can’t go anywhere is one that stays with me. I feel a loss of freedom, as I am sure you all do.
Yet through this- both my life before COVID-19 and my life now, there is one constant that hasn’t changed at all- my little dog. Some of you have read poems and stories about him, Ricky Bobby AKA Bubba. Bubba still wants to go for a walk each day, and then have a treat after. He follows me everywhere, and these days I have to say it’s been tough to sit in front of my computer for too long. By the end of the day, both he and I are exhausted because I struggle with getting comfortable. It’s as if this vicious virus will catch me if I stay still for any length of time. Completely irrational, I know.
Here is a wonderful poem that drives home the essence of a dog:
BY DAVID BAKER
Up the dog bounds to the window, baying
like a basset his doleful, tearing sounds
from the belly, as if mourning a dead king,
and now he’s howling like a beagle – yips, brays,
gagging growls – and scratching the sill paintless,
that’s how much he’s missed you, the two of you,
both of you, mother and daughter, my wife
and child. All week he’s curled at my feet,
warming himself and me watching more TV,
or wandered the lonely rooms, my dog shadow,
who like a poodle now hops, amped-up windup
maniac yo-yo with matted curls and snot nose
smearing the panes, having heard another car
like yours taking its grinding turn down
our block, or a school bus, or bird-squawk,
that’s how much he’s missed you, good dog,
companion dog, dog-of-all-types, most excellent dog
I told you once and for all we should never get.
Source: Poetry Foundation
A delightful poem about a Cat:
BY MARGARET ATWOOD
Winter. Time to eat fat
and watch hockey. In the pewter mornings, the cat,
a black fur sausage with yellow
Houdini eyes, jumps up on the bed and tries
to get onto my head. It’s his
way of telling whether or not I’m dead.
If I’m not, he wants to be scratched; if I am
He’ll think of something. He settles
on my chest, breathing his breath
of burped-up meat and musty sofas,
purring like a washboard. Some other tomcat,
not yet a capon, has been spraying our front door,
declaring war. It’s all about sex and territory,
which are what will finish us off
in the long run. Some cat owners around here
should snip a few testicles. If we wise
hominids were sensible, we’d do that too,
or eat our young, like sharks.
But it’s love that does us in. Over and over
again, He shoots, he scores! and famine
crouches in the bedsheets, ambushing the pulsing
eiderdown, and the windchill factor hits
thirty below, and pollution pours
out of our chimneys to keep us warm.
February, month of despair,
with a skewered heart in the centre.
I think dire thoughts, and lust for French fries
with a splash of vinegar.
Cat, enough of your greedy whining
and your small pink bumhole.
Off my face! You’re the life principle,
more or less, so get going
on a little optimism around here.
Get rid of death. Celebrate increase. Make it be spring.
Source: Poetry Foundation
So today Dear Poets, I want you to write about your companion(s), whether it be a fish, dog, cat, bird, a hamster or whatever. And if you find yourself currently without a pet, think back to a time when you had one. How was your life enriched? How did you feel while caring for your pet? Or if you’ve never had a pet, write from the viewpoint of a pet, or from any animal you feel a kinship with. Have fun, and I look forward to seeing you on the walk!
When you’ve written and posted your poem to your blog, add your link to the Mr. Linky widget below, and then visit the other poets’ pages and read and comment on their work. Also, be sure to link back to dVerse so others can join in as well!