...for Ralph McTell
He was my closest friend and confidante
for over eighteen years.
I called him simply Brown Dog.
From a puppy to the present
he was always by my side.
Chasing rabbits through the pasture
or the sticks that I would throw,
he was the essence of vitality and joy.
As he aged, he would lie down at my feet,
an Old Brown Dog, his horizon now my yard,
limping, riddled with arthritis, he was clearly in great pain.
Today would be the day.
With a heavy heart, my shotgun cradled
in my arm, I tugged gently on his leash
and we headed to the pasture where
in better days he frolicked, free as a bird.
The sky was overcast as I settled him to ground.
"Goodbye, my friend," I whispered, as I went
to pull the trigger. But then suddenly a flash
of fur! a rabbit dashed from hiding and darted
into view. My companion broke free! bounding
t'ward his prey, his pain all but forgotten.
As he closed in, he took one final leap...
and fell in a heap to the earth, still and silent.
He had died the way he wanted,
on his own terms, free again, at last.
I buried him there, and wept.
I returned to his grave
with a granite headstone
which bore the inscription:
"To my Brown Dog, best friend and confidante,
thanks for the memories.
Rest In Peace.
The Romantic Legend
The lord of the manor near the coast of Algarve,
Behind the manor a forested valley where
Packs of frightful wolves roamed.
A day when his youngest daughter who was a bit
Odd-as she took no interest in suitors- went to
The glade to pick flowers, she met a he wolf.
Not afraid she petted the good animal and his
Eyes she discovered love that asked for nothing
And had nothing to give but love itself.
The daughter when doing needle work had stung
Herself and there was a drop of blood on her
Index finger, which the wolf lovingly licked away.
A miracle happen the girl turned into a sleek,
Wonderful she wolf with silky black and tan fur.
Their union was complete and love rewarded.
The pair found a cave in the deepest forest
Where they lived happily for many years until
The he wolf was killed by a bigger animal.
The spell was broken and she was now an old
woman, alone and scared, where love´s light
had shone there was fearful darkness.
There was a knock on the manor´s oak door,
An elderly woman claimed she was the daughter
Of the house but, she was not believed.
It was a rainy night and when the door opened
Next morning the servants found a young girl
With glade flowers in her folded dead hands.
What sorrow, what grief, but she wore a smile
“Vale de lobo” the forest doesn´t exist anymore
And a paradise of love is lost to a legend.
PS “Lobo” wolf.
Who would believe your slim elegant body would win my affection,
when you gracelessly step on toes? Your soft doe skin of cream
spotted brown, floppy ears I threaten to turn into gloves as a joke.
Through many chain jangle calls for walks where you race and lunge
and bark fighting for the right to be with me, how could I turn you away?
When you almost die I am ready to give you away to death, hating the sick
green puke, you become skinnier despite the surgery until finally
one simple shot brings you back to us alive, slurping our hands and faces.
Busy days of science and humanities and government tucked up in a chair,
I forgot you, but you begged let me even eat your apple. let me sit in your lap
but you’re so big now you don’t fit and don't like apple. Chocolate chips cookies, though, a whole batch scarfed from the table and then you wiggle and wag tail,
snarl, your teeth clenched when I offer just one more. We all know who is guilty,
not you, your innocence, your steadfast defense, says it is our family who has forgot.
Finally, it is too late. You hurt too bad, spine enflamed, barely able to walk
or eat. Tomorrow your last day. I pick up the chain, you race happy to join me
down the row of maples losing their last autumn leaves, where my brother and I lead you plodding like an old man, stopping to breathe, and I see stars in my eyes,
saying goodbye. Goodbye to the lady of our family, the Dalmatian Duchess
who loved us best, walked beside us through our childhood days like a guardian.
To look at her, you would never have known;
to you, she would have been an ordinary dog
But now, she's gone.
She was my friend, my sun, and more.
She chased the squirrels, a few raccoons
and clouds of heartache from our door
New snow against her nose and paws she bore,
Now covers, gently, who was my sun or more.
Had you been there from the first, had you taken just a glance,
As unknown neighbors through a fence,
you would never have noticed her, her coat shabby, and her eyes bright...;
to you she would have been just an ordinary dog.
Sure, now you know, now it's obvious, what with the light
of the sun streaming through the
windows of a smile, the mischief of child
following in her wake and the ordinary day
every blessed day she would waken all the world
and world would have shaken loose a smile
New snow against her nose and paws she bore,
She now lies covered, who was my sun or more.
11/14/13 Elegy Contest Sponsored By Broken Wings
princess in making
those precise green eyes
the colors of fall
completed with poise
your presence remains
reminiscing on those mornings-
you'd follow me round-
without a sound-
but with the unconditional
final breaths within my arms
death sure appears cruel
Rest in peace Belle. 16 years old <3 I love you.
This day we free you from pain
Soulful companionship you gave.
Eyes of love looked over my disdain.
Tail of happiness wagged with rave.
Dalmatian your breed, with a loving creed,
Named, Heidi, in youth with innocent face,
Growing beautifully as a spotted breed,
You gave us love, we could never replace.
Mourn thee for a while, and then moved by style.
You loved me, now thee is free.
I have no denial, thou has heavenly compile.
We shall love thee, beyond eternity.
I recall, bringing you home, quite small and cuddly
Bouncing around eyes flashing, ears floppy.
Your passion: chewing all and making mess around
Put your head down as you heard my foot sound.
But were my security guard in my old age
Barking at each of passer-by in rage.
When I had hard days at work, you waited for me
Wagging your tail to say, “Welcome, missed thee”
While I read the newspaper, you hopped on my lap
Asked nothing more than pat your head to tap.
Old age took its toll, unable to stand on your legs
Drove you last time to wet like scrambled egg
As the vet led you away, you turned and looked back
As if to say, “Thanks, for taking care, Jack”
I will always remember you the way you were-
One lovable, huggable pile of fur.
He waits, not playing, sits all alone in heaven
For he knows his master will come leavened
I wait out in the dark and cold for hand of death
He will hear the sound; will bark, at the wreath.
Dr. Ram Mehta
First Place win
Contest: Elegy Form by Constance
* Laloo is the Indian name of my huggable pile of fur.