Good Friends

Ekphrasis: the process of describing a work of art.

"Good Friends" - by William Merritt Chase
“Good Friends” – by William Merritt Chase

She and she were best of friends
A century past, in a sunny place;
Brought back to vibrant life today
In art by William Merritt Chase

I saw a gallery of his work
And stopped and gazed, hour on hour’
And felt, somehow, that I had been
Where he had been, by some strange power

Been on the beach, or in a grove,
Been in a park, or off in Spain;
Or been with two friends on a lawn
In some way that I can’t explain

And like this woman and this dog
I felt a kinship to this man
I’d never heard of anywhere
Before I saw his work, firsthand

Working Like A Dog (Or A Cat)

An observation about types of human nature.

Some people work like dogs do,
They run and run and run —
They always work in packs, too;
Alongside everyone

And others work like cats will:
They rest up on some shelf,
Then suddenly they’ll sprint to kill,
Just himself or herself

The dogs think cats are lazy,
A natural enemy;
The cats think dogs are crazy,
And waste their energy

My Golden Friend

All we really feel.

I glance for her down on the floor,
But she is not there anymore,
My old and lovely golden friend;
And I can’t really comprehend

This business we call life and death:
Not what comes after final breath,
Nor how much of this world is real –
Nor why
Love’s all
We really feel

lessons from the cat

the cat is sleeping on the book […]

the cat now sleeps upon the book;
the book upon the table lies –
why read a book
when i know that it lies?

i have a blanket for the cold —
the cat now kneads the blanket, so
who needs it worse?
the one who needs or kneads?

my grandson says that
captain america is
the cat never makes that mistake.

i talk to the cat about
why it is that
the music of william schuman
speaks to me as it does –
the cat offers
no answers

i miss the dog,
who just died,
for she was real —
i have no cat,
i haven’t for many years

my last cat lived 21 years
our dog lived 15, which
for a golden retriever
was getting up there

i write this because
the house seems a lot emptier

i know no other way to face it

Getting Up There

Fifteen years old now.

She’s getting up there now, in years;
She tracks in bits of ice and snow —
I see her on the carpet there,
And wonder where the years did go

When she was trotting by my side,
On morning walks across the fields;
A golden spirit, sweet and pure,
The life of love
And what
It yields