Some bugs hang

In a cloud where it’s warm,

while ants come running for the sugar.

Or take your fly,

the male of the species:

he flies in squares to pick up chicks.

And so they, like we,

engage in predictable behavior –

going for goods and gauging our gambit,

dazzling the dog with our repertoire of tricks.

Praying for Barkley

This all goes back to that blank book

I had in the seminary. It was for sketches

and quotes, and the names of flowers

and trees. I kept a list in it, too,

of all the people I’d be praying for.


There were no dogs on the list then,

though I did see how one thing

led to another. I’d call up some face

and another would appear – and hey,

who doesn’t deserve a prayer? – so

I’d put ‘em on the list. That’s when I started

falling asleep, halfway, before I was done.


Which brings us to Barkley.

I don’t even know the dog.  And there are

others like him – not mine and many

long dead – your Gabbies and Falcons,

your Bimases and Kings of this world.


And once your dogs are in, the cats come running,

whining and getting their backs up

when you don’t cooperate. I’d say keep it

to my own kind (what’s next, snails? minerals?),

but the way the babies keep coming,

and the new partners – the jilteds and the

Jolies – and with my cousin doing genealogical

research, finding family I never knew even about,

well, what’s the point?


I may never stop falling asleep.