An old one, written back when we had the first airedale, who died in 1996.


Civilization will not allow for instinct:

no dinners of raw mice,

no clawing the eyes of enemies,

no mating

or defecating in the public streets.


Often, the dog scenting dog, coyote, fox

–something pungent,

instructive, on a tuft of grass–

will turn against my call, ponder, consider,

squat to make her mark.


One morning, as I walked

between red cedars, young pines,

stooped to move between low branches,

to follow a mossy path worn deep by wild feet,

I felt an insistent urge to pee.


So there it was:

a seizure by immediate beauty

–light filtered through dark pines–

compelling me to say in the simplest way I could,

my animal way,


I was here.  

This place is mine.

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