Perhaps it is my contemplative nature, but as I was outside in the backyard this morning picking up our dogs’ excrement with a shovel, my mind moved down other stinky and not so pleasant paths related to my stuff. In particular an incident from the past that left me and the other both not smelling so good where the faint aroma still hangs in the air when we are around each other.
I pick up a few turds and admit my fault to the universe. In the end that is all I can do. I don’t have enough lifetimes to deal with other people’s stuff. The mosquitoes of guilt and shame are tearing me up and I have a whole backyard of my own to take care of.
So, one by one, bit by bit, I am present to each mess. I put it in the bucket and move on to the next pile.
Originally posted July 1, 2011
When I was a boy and our poodle Sugar was in heat,
all of the neighborhood dogs came around.
Dad kept the rifle loaded with rat shot.
Our days were filled with the howling of hounds.
But what were those canines supposed to do,
pulled by a force more powerful than a .22?
One year Sugar had her litter deep beneath the house.
Daddy cut a hole in the kitchen floor to get the bastards out.
He was a preacher with a buzz saw, the dogs were born again.
I held them close and wondered who their daddy was,
my hands warm and full of sin.
Are we men more than a little like these canines,
pulled by some pheromone-induced phantasm in our minds?
I think its time we pull the floor boards up,
lift our secrets out into the light
like Sugar’s newborn pups.
It looks like a ball, but it doesn’t act like a ball.
Our new pup, Nina, and Blue, the oldy, watching the rain.
This hole is not meant to be filled, except by memories and love.
These creatures gifted to us for a little while dig their way into our hearts and take up residence there, a glimpse perhaps of the peaceable kingdom.
They are here it seems for a moment and then are gone. Our days are spent looking at photographs, crying through smiles of remembrance, comforting each other and other furry companions.
We awake to a rainy morning, longing for the warmth of the sun.
When they took you to the animal hospital, I looked into your eyes and I saw that light there that I have seen before in other dogs at other times.
And I guess I did too.
You were crossing over.
I will miss you, my dear friend and companion. You had such a kind and gentle spirit, so sweet and loving to all, more Christ-like than some people I know.
Of course you would see fit to die on Good Friday. (Smile).
Good-bye, precious familiar.
dog bark wakes me at 1
as he has done
every night this week
bleary eyed i ponder the mystery
as i open the door for he
to be released into the dark
i stand shivering and cold
upon the open vestibule
awaiting his return
his contentment is a simple thing
here now beside me lying
in the time before the dawn