Dog Days Eclipse


Milly portrait

Dog Days Eclipse. (for Milly 2001-2014)

Our guardian angel dog is dead,
Bequeathed for a long sonnet’s span…
Her absence now insinuates through
every raku cracked routine.

She opened the day, I knew you’d come
and ‘here you are, it’s good again…’
Chin settled the close; begone, begone
My sentinel ears are set. Now sleep.

The book of family was bound
by constant reading, all out loud:
Absence tracked, whim on the wind
awaited patient at the gate.

Milly intent detail

Each supper semi-sanctified
The pre-wash cycle cleaned the plate.
Leavings now no pleasures gift
to share what self-control delayed.

Her sponge absorbed all bitterness
(the vinegar of petty strife)
The wince (before the wound) perceived,
quick licked in instant empathy.


Milly observing
Her presence stroked all injury
of tension or a sharp remark.
Rebuke was an averted eye:
Our grief her vigil misery.



The wild is tamed by its consent
to shaman out what we forget…
They bide with us to educate
the gift of giving, in full spate.

She centred us long, yet sudden gone
The call of the wild cried, cried her home…
Three days she keened I come, I come
My heart is strong, beats on, beats on
but hear, I hear, I speak your tongue…
Just give me a span, while I prepare
my absence from this loving lair.
She returns to breathe the spreading tree
of song in wolfish symphony.

That crouching streak…whose mother’s sheep
on Brecon’s rounded shoulders, bleak…Milly grave
lies curled in clay…
The sycamore its leaves release
to trickle on a grave fresh filled
against the wall of guarded ground.



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