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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.



Autumn in New England…and animal poetry

autumn leaves

Chandler with cat

Last night we had temperatures in the 30s, though my annuals didn’t die, so technically it wasn’t a frost here in Westbrook. At the risk of sounding corny/unoriginal, fall is my favorite season in New England (I’m not a fan of hot weather).

I’m working on a fun project compiling a second anthology of contemporary animal poetry. The first one, published in 2008, has sold well. All proceeds from that book go to the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals (MSSPA), a private nonprofit mostly equine rescue organization in Windham, Maine. I volunteer for this excellent outfit. Check out the website at and if you can, visit their beautiful farm and see what extraordinary care the horses and other animals receive.

That’s a picture of Raymond Chandler that I found online. Photos of writers with beloved animals are so cool. Anyway, I have put the second anthology on hold for a bit while I wait to find out whether Moon Pie Press and MSSPA will receive some grant money we have applied for to publish and advertise the book. I hope you will consider buying the first anthology and the second one when it’s out, too. These books are good gifts for animal lovers and benefit rescued horses and other creatures.