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Invitation to Poetry: Ode to Animal Wisdom

Welcome to Poetry Party #47!

I select an image and suggest a theme/title and invite you to respond with your poems or other reflections.  Scroll down and add your responses in the comments section below. Feel free to take your poem in any direction and then post the image and invitation on your blog (if you have one) and encourage others to come join the party! (permission is granted to reprint the image if a link is provided back to this post)

Today is the Feast of St. Francis, the wonderful mystic who saw the wonder of God in all of creation.  He is perhaps best known for his Canticle of the Sun where Francis expresses deep kinship with nature by regarding sun and moon, the four sacred elements, and even Death as siblings.  On this day, many churches offer blessings to our companion animals as a way of honoring how integral they are to our lives.  At 13-years old our rescued Weimaraner, Abbess Petunia, has been showing signs of her age.  However she still offers me daily wisdom in learning how to simply be present to the truth of this moment.  Part of the wisdom of creatures for me is in their sheer otherness and willingness to enter our lives with such exuberance.

I invite you for our Poetry Party this week to write an Ode to Animal Wisdom or your own Canticle of Creation!

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51 Responses

  1. looking in your eyes
    deepest brown
    like his, but not

    you’re into everything
    he was not

    chasing, digging
    no sense of space
    with cars or cats
    or me

    running straight
    at cars so fast
    I cannot catch

    and you, you’re
    not a pup anymore
    you know

    those are white hairs
    there round your

    you are not wise
    but you are
    loving, insistent

    at the door ready to go
    every minute of the day

    I am not sure
    what to do with you
    willing, mostly
    to walk

    there and back
    and let you run

    all, I think I can give
    not drawn into
    deep brown eyes
    as I was

    and you are
    more free, with this
    than you have ever been


  2. The Heart Takes Its Space

    Eyes narrate
    a story:
    how a leg
    bends before going
    up in air
    how a muscle tears
    in the coming down

    Teeth bare
    but the eyes
    only let you know
    the fear
    how it stifles
    the welcome home

    Tail pitiful
    gets the story
    moving again
    the limp fixed
    and imprinted

    Months of getting
    well before
    the pulls
    and tugs
    the game we play
    become his shout
    a deep throat
    of freedom
    a dog’s life

    And then the failing
    and in its rush
    past loving
    what love
    can do

    The heart takes
    its space
    filling up

    © 2010 Maureen E. Doallas

    We’re facing the decision to euthanize our beloved Westie, our sweet boy Seamus who has been with us almost 11 years, since his rescue at an age of five to eight (we never had records for him, only knowledge of the abuse from which he’d been rescued). We’ve run out of medical options. Antibiotics are useless against compromised health and the effects of aging in a body giving out. Even love, which we give him in abundance, isn’t enough any more. And yet the heart takes its space filling up. MD

    1. I am so sorry you will have to endure this grief and loss! What greater love tho’ than to let go and let God! I pray for your precious dog’s transition and your New Normal! Namaste.

  3. Jill and I

    we love our babies
    Jill and I
    nestling bodies
    tiny skulls
    sweet sipping mouths

    we look into each other’s eyes
    Jill and I
    share the same joy
    in accomplishment
    in the grand fertility of life

    Congratulations Jill! I say
    as I softly close
    the linen closet door
    on her proud purr
    carry my own little baby
    to the rocking chair

    both of us nursing
    our precious babies
    Jill and I

  4. The Vicars of St. Petersburg

    I met three cats in Petersburg:
    The literary, postal, and religious.
    I danced with one cat in the snow,
    At dusk, outside the Fountain House,
    Where Akhmatova’s ghost is kept alive.
    Another got his noggin scratched. He sat
    Upon the wood post office counter,
    Quite content. A third,
    The sole parishioner (or priest?)
    Of Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral,
    Blessed me briefly, and moved on.

  5. Those Paws and Me

    For eons
    you were before me.
    Were you preparing for me?

    Of grounding.
    You come
    In service
    To Life.

    How could it be I am so blessed and graced by You?