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Monthly Archives: July 2019

Dog days at last

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dog joy ride

This year we got to the solstice before summer finally came to southern Maine.  I’ve been reading a lot of excellent poems about dogs; it seems like a good time to post one.  This fine example, from the dog’s point of view, is by the late Michael Macklin,  a popular poet and teacher who lived in Portland.  It’s in a Moon Pie Press anthology of animal poems (by many poets) called THE WILDEST PEAL (2015).  There was also a first animal poetry anthology called AGREEABLE FRIENDS, published in 2008.  Profits from both these books go to the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals, a non-profit based in Windham, Maine that is the largest horse shelter in New England. (For more about the wonderful work they do,  see

Watching the Westminster Dog Show With My Human

He sits in the chair opposite
me and I watch his jowls droop

Notice the way his face has whitened
and see the stiffness in his hips

as he rises slowly. Though his youth
has been slipping lately, his eyes

still shine when I approach. Neither
of us moves as quickly as we used to,

unless, of course, someone younger and
female enters to turn back our clocks.

Funny how at middle age everything
runs to our middles and stops.

Even though we ought to know
better, we each want one more

chase, through the deepest brambles
our voices rising from the memory

of young muscles. But after a hundred
yards breath comes in wheezes

so we turn back to curl in our corners
and dream what we woulda done,

could done yesterday when we
were pups and best in show

was still ahead of us.