Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Storm dogs (Month of Poetry #24)

At the turn of spring, the rain
pulls away from earth and out
of sight. Left behind, the space is
big where clouds once stuffed full the sky.
The silver ladder’s gone, lifted
back up into someone else’s season.
Bobble-headed birds sprout stubble
and this craze for flowers was also manifested.
In other facets of daily life, I noticed
a swathe of Lost posters peppering the
streets with missing pets. Unseasonable
storms had sprung them loose, backyards
emptied of dogs, garden chairs were
undepressed by cats. The thunder takes
them out of their heads, it is a truth universally.
Acknowledged the plight, I took the snips of
phone numbers in a show of aid,
just to let the people know there is
someone out there. Who reads the papers
for disappeared animals any more?
I looked for one particular hound,
and there he was. A funny old dog,
he liked strawberries thrown high
for the mouth-catch. On just the right
trajectory, you double him up
like a pocketknife mid-air and he spreads
his canine blades snap! across the
berry into slush. They would find him
in a week, bearing a jagged stick
in his maw like a trophy. I would
throw this new-foundling his summer fruit
and wonder if when the storm struck,
he had jack-knifed skywards and only
after seven days managed to drag
that piece of lightning down.


Today's poems is based on suggestions from seven people:

@timsterne: "just to let people know there is someone out there who reads the papers" (Don DeLillo, Libra)
@JayJayCee1: “The silver ladder's gone!” (Isabel Wyatt, The Seven Year Old Wonder Book)
@realnixwilliams: “This craze for flowers was also manifested in other facets of daily life” (Andrea Wulf, The Brother Gardeners)
@sulphura: "He was a funny old dog. He liked strawberries." (Margaret Wise Brown, Mr Dog)
@safzoro: "It is a truth universally acknowledged" (Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice)
@ernmalleyscat: "you double him up like a pocketknife" (Damon Runyon, On Broadway)
@LaceySnr: “Space is big” (Douglas Adams, The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)

When I was a kid I read the 'lost' notices in the local paper, and then kept my eyes peeled for the pets. I still do it out of habit when I see posters up on power-poles.