Archive for ‘Relationships’

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Lazy Bones by Jill McDougall

I never help around the house,
I never sweep or scrub
I never do the washing up
I never clean the tub.

I never put away my toys
I never make my bed,
When brooms are banged and pots are clanged
I’m hiding in the shed.

I never do a single chore,
I don’t! And that’s a fact.
I slink away and doze all day
Like any other cat.


Date: 2016

By: Jill McDougall (1951- )

Monday, 10 August 2020

A Grace Note by David George Joseph Malouf

Four in the morning. Stumbling back
to bed, the softness
of my pillow in the spread
of my fingers assumes
again, after so long, the still longed for
round of your head.

How does it feel,
out there in that undiscovered
country from whose bourne et cetera,
to be recalled, drawn back
to your name on my lips again,
the warmth of the flesh?

I recall the promise
we made and broke. Now,
on a grace note
of unbodied restoration in the dream-space
timelessness of sleep,
I keep it. A late gift.

From: Malouf, David George Joseph, “A Grace Note” in Australian Book Review, August 2020, no. 423.

Date: 2020

By: David George Joseph Malouf (1934- )

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Suburban Song by Elizabeth Richmond Riddell

Now all the dogs with folded paws
Stare at the lowering sky
This is the hour when women hear
Their lives go ticking by.

The baker’s horse with rattling hooves
Upon the windy hill
Mocks the thunder in the heart
Of women sitting still.

The poppies in the garden turn
Their faces to the sand
And tears upon the sewing fall
And on the stranger’s hand.

Flap flap the washing flies
To meet the starting hail
Close the door on love and hang
The key upon the nail.


Date: 1959

By: Elizabeth Richmond Riddell (1910-1998)

Friday, 7 August 2020

Mongrel Heart by David Baker

Up the dog bounds to the window, baying
like a basset his doleful, tearing sounds
from the belly, as if mourning a dead king,

and now he’s howling like a beagle — yips, brays,
gagging growls — and scratching the sill paintless,
that’s how much he’s missed you, the two of you,

both of you, mother and daughter, my wife
and child. All week he’s curled at my feet,
warming himself and me watching more TV,

or wandered the lonely rooms, my dog shadow,
who like a poodle now hops, amped-up windup
maniac yo-yo with matted curls and snot nose

smearing the panes, having heard another car
like yours taking its grinding turn down
our block, or a school bus, or bird-squawk,

that’s how much he’s missed you, good dog,
companion dog, dog-of-all-types, most excellent dog
I told you once and for all we should never get.


Date: 2005

By: David Baker (1954- )

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Beautiful Dreamer by Stephen Collins Foster

Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me,
Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee;
Sounds of the rude world heard in the day,
Lull’d by the moonlight have all pass’d away!

Beautiful dreamer, queen of my song,
List while I woo thee with soft melody;
Gone are the cares of life’s busy throng,
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!

Beautiful dreamer, out on the sea,
Mermaids are chanting the wild lorelei;
Over the streamlet vapors are borne,
Waiting to fade at the bright coming morn.

Beautiful dreamer, beam on my heart,
E’en as the morn on the streamlet and sea;
Then will all clouds of sorrow depart,
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!


Date: c1862

By: Stephen Collins Foster (1826-1864)

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

[Untitled] by Alexis Smithers

Standing in line, waiting to go into the Library of Congress
a black woman stands two people ahead of me and
a white security guard says to her,
It’s a beautiful day.

She nods, Yes, it is.
and turns to the front.

He does not move.

He says, If it’s such a beautiful day,
why aren’t you smiling?

She does not answer and the white people in line
do not notice
but she and I,
we hold our breaths and stand
very still.

The guard walks closer
into her
space and demands,

She does not.

In the silence, we hear blood
staining the concrete steps.


She does not.

No one will pull a weapon
fast enough to stop what
already happen(ed)(s)


She does not.

I don’t know how to turn on my
camera fast enough
to keep the truth from unravelling
from the lie laced white lips.


She does not.

He looks around.
there are other white people

Decides not

We still are not breathing.

The line moves.

I marvel at the black woman ahead
of me.
to be that brave
while holding your breath
to be that truth in the face
of threaten
your ruin to gather strength
and shoot it through your bones

those who don’t know
call it magic
and it does wonder
but only if you haven’t been
paying attention.


Date: 2020

By: Alexis Smithers (1990- )

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Aubade for Polar Night by Anna B Sutton

on the third day we lose daylight

storm swallows an ephemeral sun
and seals our doors with snowdrift

if this is how we die i’ll take it

yesterday the snowpack laid me flat
along our piece of shore

showed us both the hungry harp

searching for a wounded bird
not the pair of us not our laughter

it’s dangerous this world we chose

to build a home to carry home
wolves take up the woods around us

this isn’t metaphor i’m speaking plain

we have nothing but night today
even the tide has tucked itself in

we’re bound and allowed to return


Date: 2020

By: Anna B Sutton (19??- )

Monday, 3 August 2020

Bitch is a Word I Hear a Lot by Kim Parko

I hate the word, and I guess that’s why it is said?
People love to hurt one another.
It is what makes us human.
I do love dogs.
They don’t seem to be evil unless humans make them that way.
Dogs can maul and they can sniff out bombs.
They’ll get as close to you as they can while you’re sleeping.
They’ll share heat and scent in the crook of your knees.
Is there really a thing such as innocence?
I have desired from birth to live.
Daily, I wrestle the tight arms of guilt.
At the shelter, the adoption coach told us that our new dog was highly food motivated.
I have been called a bitch.
Our dog trembles when he’s afraid and the only thing we can do is wait for the fear to leave.
There’s no comforting him.
In a dream they held me down, scrawled BITCH across my chest in old embers.
They covered my head as a weapon was raised.
I had a dog who once kept me from walking into the arroyo.
She blocked my path and wouldn’t move.
I’ll never know what, or who, she saved me from.


Date: 2019

By: Kim Parko (19??- )

Sunday, 2 August 2020

The Laughing Heart by Henry Charles (Heinrich Karl) Bukowski

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.


Date: 1993

By: Henry Charles (Heinrich Karl) Bukowski (1920-1994)

Saturday, 1 August 2020

The Shepherd’s Dog by Thomas Aird

Loved and loving, God her trust,
The Shepherd’s Wife goes dust to dust.
Their Dog, his eye, half sad, half prompt to save.
Follows the coffin down into the gravd.
Behind his man he takes his drooping stand.
The clods jar hollow on the coffin-lid :
Startled he lifts his head;
To that quick shudder of the master’s pain,
He thrusts his muzzle deep into his hand.
Solicitous deeper yet again.
No kind old pressure answers. Shrinking back.
Apart, perplexed with broken ties.
Yet loyal grave-ward, down he lies.
His muzzle flat along the snowy track.
The mourners part : The w^idowed Shepherd goes
Homeward, yet homeless, through the mountain-snows.
Him follows slowly, silently,
That Dog : what a strange trouble in his eye, —
Something beyond relief!
Is it the creature yearning in dumb stress
To burst obstruction up to consciousness
And fellowship in Reason’s grief?

From: Aird, Thomas and Wallace, Jardine, The Poetical Works of Thomas Aird, Fifth Edition, 1878, William Blackwood and Sons: Edinburgh and London, p. 418.

Date: 1848

By: Thomas Aird (1802-1876)