Dog Days

Dog Days

Nothing sturdy in the stem.
Nor of legacy in the one-season leaf.

All dogs must die, but not at once.
Like grass, let’s grow monuments

too numerous to be destroyed
in a single death. We’ll sit with this one

through the moments
we’ll not remember in a year

to remember we can build
what matters from pure light

recognize love same as we know
the texture of both sides

of this summer leaf waving
welcome and farewell

in the single breeze passing
from invisible past

to invisible future. All dogs
like summers will pass

but not before we live them
through. Let’s leap into

the coming stillness.
Let’s make the favorite meal.

Let’s sit with this one, no more
special than a blade of grass,

great as any dog or summer ever lost,
and let it last as long as it lasts


11 thoughts on “Dog Days

  1. Ann Koplow

    I woke up in the middle of this summer night and my thoughts drifted by, like clouds. Some of those thought-clouds included you and your poetry, Jeff. Then I found this. I hope you and all the dogs and humans you love are well. Thank you.

  2. 5h2o

    “Margaret, are you grieving/over golden grove unleaving?” (I might have quoted that wrong). Beautiful poem you have written. It reminded me strongly if this one by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

    Also, we are entering this phase with our dog now. So full of love and loss and innocence. You have pulled it together very well.

  3. Jeff Schwaner Post author

    Hopkins is certainly welcome here, at times like this and at any time. Thanks, and live richly in those moments with your dog friend. We are trying to do the same here.

    1. Jeff Schwaner Post author

      That’s what to do. And hey Robert, I loved your poem “Ritual.” Showed up for me at just the right time. I have long favored the Kwakiutl take on things.


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