Cool A.M., cars creep Ventura Avenue.

Even the hummingbirds pause to perch

The branches of the lemon tree. Bird

Songs dominate the Saturday morning air

This late September in Beth’s backyard.


Naya, a German Shepherd, keeps her eye on me

While searching the ground for bark

Or whatever she can find for me to toss,

So she can fetch and chew and play.

This California living is a dog’s life for sure,

Snapping jaws at whatever flies by,

Crashed out, eating grass, ears and eyes

Tuned to all movement—life.


Santa Cruz looms from the mist

On the channel, volcanic eruption

Of the watery plain, as the woodpecker hammers

At the palm tree behind me possessed

As Naya tuned to my hand and pulling rocks

From the patio floor, digging up

Sticks and stones for me to throw.


She stares from the other side of the planter,

Dried frond hanging from her mouth—eyes intense—

A wolf in the yard. I spell “cookie”

And she knows what I mean. Goof-ball queen,

Her pant is a whisper, a tease, a gentle

Prod, more than a suggestion, a warning,

Soon followed by a bark, a jump,

A determined nuzzle and nudge—

Come on, pick it up, let’s play!


Now the sun is full up, noon,

Already hot outside, time to move

To the shade. This dog’s life is a god’s

Life, naked in the tropical air

Of discovery—no worries, no agenda—

Vacation. Time to celebrate the trip:

The sun, the sand, the water

Bowl, and heat—birds and sticks and beer.

Time to chew the fat of the hour,

Scratch and nap, romp and howl and run

The beaches till we drop like dogs.

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One Response to A GOD’S LIFE

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