I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

This blog is not, 'Here are my very best poems'. It's for work in progress, subject to revision.
Posts may be updated without notice at any time. Completed work appears in my books.

18 March 2011

Dakota

This was written in 2007. I'm posting it now as part of the 'Candlelight at the Dakota' poetry event on facebook — where I can't post it because it's too long, so I'm linking to it here.  This is a different Dakota from the place with the candlelight. This Dakota was a friend of a friend, who became my friend too. He lived in the USA.

His fur was white and gold. He didn't act wild.
He cuddled up to me, then moved away quietly.
'A dog,' said David, 'wouldn't do that.
It'd be all over you, wanting more. But he's wolf. Mostly.'
'I like it,' I said. 'In that way he reminds me of a cat.'

Now that he's older, he's both tamer and wilder.
More wolf in the desert, more dog in the city.
Or so I am told, now that I'm far away.
I see photos. One pops up on my screen frequently.
He looks at me with his head cocked, ready to play.

The gold has turned dark – grey shading to black,
with a patch of triangular tan around each eye
and his muzzle and belly still white.
We talk in our minds sometimes, Dakota and I.
Not often, given that my day is his night.

I'm as far away as a thought, or a heartbeat,
but sometimes that seems impossibly far.
He's been missing now for more than a week.
I wait and wait, I offer prayer –
stuck here on the other side of the Pacific.

Hours and days lengthen. Signs are, he's stolen.
A stray as white as a ghost is sent by Spirit
to comfort David; he names him Spook.
But there's a limit to any comfort.
Every spare minute, he continues to look.

Dakota seeks out his friends, gives pictures into our minds.
And phone calls come: he's been seen in a certain area.
David goes there to dowse, follows the track
and howls. Dakota howls in answer.
But then he's silent – though all around, loudly, other dogs bark.

I remember a gathering in a forest clearing.
The faeries there were friendly. I watched them play
with the young wolf at the edge of the circle.
They also welcomed me. So I call on them today
and ask them to restore him, as then they did a lost pentacle.

And the poem flounders, and the story wanders
into inconclusion, and I haunt the computer
waiting and waiting for news, or even
the confirmation of no news yet, or
anything except Dakota irrevocably gone.


14/11/07

Postscript.  A friend who knew nothing of this animal or situation channelled him for me a year or so later during a meditation. As we feared, he was stolen for dog fighting and died of injuries. Afterwards, though, his soul was free and healed, and still immensely loving.

7 comments:

  1. When my girl passed (I was her human, she my dog) I was in another country sleeping. She woke me up to say goodbye. A last hello and goodbye and a thousand memories. Good ones, even if they make me cry :)

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  2. Kinship, lovely and sad Thank you Rosemary

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  3. Thank you friends, for reading and appreciating.

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  4. After reading Marge Piercy's "Sleeping With Cats", this poem seems to sing from the same world. I got so clearly the presence of this other, who is also us.

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  5. Mmmm, thinking about that, seems to me it's because her relationships with her cats are no less to her than her relationships with people — as with the friendship I describe here. These animals are beings in their own right, the relationships equal and our attitudes deeply respectful.

    Thank you, Jennie. xx

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  6. This is a beautiful noble portrait, and sad. It hurts, the ending. Thank you, peace,

    Diane

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  7. Thank you Diane. Peace always comes, in the end.

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