Thursday, November 29, 2018

"Dogrun" by Yoni Hammer-Kossoy, Poet of the Week

Yoni Hammer-Kossoy

By summer's end
"True Happiness" Ink & Watercolor on Paper
By J. Artemus Gordon
the grassy shoal
wedged between apartments
is blistered brown

and harbors no more
than a puff of air
when the sun claws above
nearby pines.

Owners hunch alone
over cellphones
or complain in listless groups
about the unbroken heat

while their dogs 
careen around like philosophers
sputtering about happiness 
and world peace.

A toy poodle turns in place
and a husky stands panting;
both seem to be watching
a stately red terrier

lying on her side
almost straining to hear
the ground's answer
to their long-argued question.

Poet’s Notes:  I walk past a dog run almost every day and I'm never sure if it's more interesting to watch the people or their dogs. I suppose I'm naturally inclined, as a fellow Homo sapiens, to check out what's happening with the owners. But the dogs almost always seem to be enjoying themselves more, which makes a certain amount of sense, given that they're in a dogrun and not a nightclub.

I remember the day I started writing this poem had been an especially grim one for humans, combining endless summer heat with endless horrors in the news. But somehow, watching the dogs go at it, I had the feeling that Emily Dickinson's "Hope" was not only a thing with feathers, but could also be a furry ball with four legs and a tail.

Editor’s Note:  Emily Dickinson’s “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers” may be found here

Lana the Poetry Dog’s Note:  Of course the dogs are more interesting, and Yoni is a good human to point out this obvious yet oft’ o’erlooked fact.  Woof. 

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