Playing off the last line of a workshoppers poem.... Where else to post these first attempts?
Ten, that’s ten times
that the old beagle tilted his spongy nose
toward the cranking train;
ten times his cordovan saddle twitched
with an undercurrent of animal electric
then cast itself, hair by thick hair
across its frozen back.
Dan’s pointing kept her awake
with strange connections -
locomotives blaring nightly at 1 AM,
crossing pecan groves, undiluted
by rooftops, transported through the
snail-like chamber of a distant animal,
and the hound, bound by disobedient instinct
catches the horn and wails.
Or infected with the same auric need,
she summons from him a howl,
lupine and mournful,
rounded out in long groans
some tug of wet grief.
The connection bore her to mythic islands
where sailors crashed upon rocks,
splintered timber like spears flubbing in the suds;
sailors who begged for direction or stole
like animals though the cyclops cave,
searching their ears for the call of a siren,
seeking the distant sail of a wooden freighter,
sunken mercy, swallowing water like air.
With a howl, they find they have grown hoofs,
their skin coarse and thinly-haired;
wolves sniff and covet their pink flesh,
their blurt-like cries useless, their four blunt
legs stranded by the water’s wall.
Connections with metallic sound;
the barrel of the poor dog’s body
caught in a circle, uninterrupted.
Ten times ten decades hover in the
horn at 1 AM, a landlocked sound .