The Innocents

“Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.” (Agnes Sligh Turnbull)

Do you like poems?

There are some I don’t like, too much struggle. Many evoke awe, but we have to read—interpret—to feel—or not.

Our shore is a poem. No need to interpret—that just distracts.

The shore is a wordless poem of sand, sea and sky. A poem we apes enter.

Step in, look up. The poem doesn’t say, blue—it blues. Sometimes—it whites or pinks—in puffs.

Look around: Shorebirds’ flutter, waves roar in breathes of salt. Words, neither written, nor spoken, can describe the scent—the taste. Now you know you are in, you are a part of the poem.

You experience the gull, the gull, you.

But at some beach poems, access is limited to apes, shorebirds and day-tripping seals.

What of the furrier among us? Do their hearts not beat as ours?

One-year-old, Rufus (red head) entered our poem with beautiful simians, Jenn and Amanda, Rufus owns Amanda. It was Rufus’ first day on any shore.

Rufus, Jenn, and Amanda

Rufus is forbidden in our Long Beach poem: NO DOGS ALLOWED! This makes Rufus—rogue.

But methinks, if he enters off-season: few apes, no shore-nests, a dutiful doody-ape, he should be allowed. Summing up, be responsible—in the street too. Long Beach poem editors might consider off-season pooch passes. Money is always a municipal motivator.

We can learn from Rufus. Do you think he regrets the past or fears the future?

Do you think he’s thinking about his last vet visit?

the cold steel table?

The needle!

Does this Boston Terrier dwell on yesterday’s barkative Shepherd: “What I should’ve said…”

Or that bane of most dogs—a bath?

No. He’s only—here. He’s fully present in our poem. As we should be.

Rufus tastes salt in the air, feels sand with his toes, and feathers with his nose.

He feels surf bounce off his bare bottom:

Like shorebirds and seals, Rufus doesn’t know he’s naked, he’s innocent. Only we modest primates know, or care, if we are naked. The same “conscious” primates that foul our shore with balloons, ribbons, plastic six-pack rings— those shorebird snaring ligatures.

Rufus is among the innocents, yet he’s barred from the poem at the shore.

Yes, “dogs lives are too short…”

…so they just have to get more out of their years.


you seduce us.

One eye of sand,

the other of sea.

You can be so present,

why can’t we?

Be well,



8 replies »

  1. David, so glad you stumbled upon it.
    Welcome aboard. You also might like, “A Wagging Tail, Poetry in Emotion” and more recently, “Pooch Power.” Just put those titles in my search bar, right side of screen.
    Be well,
    And safe sailing these seas ahead,


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