Didja Ever Have One of Those Days . . .

where you just wanted to put a pillow on your head and snuggle up to someone you (sorta) love?

This photo (retitled "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie") was one of six featured on Yahoo's home page in a photo essay entitled "Sweet Dreams"on July 10th, 2009, garnering over 29,000 views in one day.

Dog Day Afternoon (with Apologies to Director Sidney Lumet)

I could fry an egg
On the patio
If I wanted to,
Though why I’d want to
I don’t know.

The atmosphere itself is beat
And banking on a holiday
Till it falls hostage to the heat,
So here it is, here it will stay.
For the torpor born in these torrid times
Engenders dreams of cooler climes
And makes the air grow dull and bland
Then robs it of all scratch and sand—
Now it’s just lying on the ground
And its tongue is hanging down.

From its white steel vault,
The sun lambastes the land
Till the earth seems to quake in fright;
Hotheaded habaneros have run amuck
While the zinnias rise in riot.
The oxeye daisies just stand and stare,
Too dogged to wilt in the stifling air;
And the once-dapper little French marigolds
Are roasting in their pot
And thinking about bailing out
Because it’s grown so hot.

The red-faced tomatoes collared
By the pickets in the garden plot
Are now clustered round a Big Boy
Holding forth at the edge of the lot.
First they simmer and then they steam;
They bitch and then they whine
About how the lives that they have led
Are undeserved
And better due a dog instead.
They point out the pumpkin vines
Who climbed the fences first
And left only their roots behind
Confined in the captive dirt.
Some of the ruddiest, ripest ones
Almost burst with thin-skinned rages;
The others plan midnight escapes
From their crowded metal cages.

Sentenced for some ancient crime,
Tired trees are doing hard time
Busting up rocks in the hardpan,
Respiring damply where they stand
Overseen by the hard-boiled sun;
They’d love to make a break for it,
But they’re too old to run.
They long to shed their binding leaves
And dance untrammeled in the breeze,
For they know that soon
They’ll have to freeze
In the coming winter’s night—
And their bark can’t match its bite.

Flowers in grass widowhood
Bear seeds of doubt with drooping heads
And languish alone in weedy beds;
While shrinking at their bootless feet,
Bluegrass has slunk into retreat
And now is lying low and drawn
And hangdog on the sapless lawn,
But Johnson grass in a ravening pack
Won’t cut the flowers any slack.

Like laundry pinned upon the line,
Bereft in the scorching sky,
Caught clouds are left
Just hanging there,
Left hanging high and dry,
Bleached and beaten by the savage sun,
Doing time as the time goes by.
The clouds are growing frail and pale
And cannot bulk and boom,
But the husky dogs have staked out a claim
To the couch in the living room.
The pillows are their prisoners;
The dogs won’t set them free,
And their chicken-hearted featherbrains
Can’t hatch a plot to flee.
Now every dog must have his day
Of glory in the sun,
But it’s better yet to stay inside
And make hay while its course is run.

But perhaps if I had broken free
Of the imprisoning heat
And its legacy of lethargy
And risen from my seat
To fry those
Aforementioned eggs
Al fresco on the patio,
The dogs would rise,
Give up my captive couch alive,
And deign to dine

taken from Elementa (Loosey Goosey Press, 2008)
Faith Goble

You can read Luan Gaines' review of Elementa at www.curledup.com/elementa.htm
and an interview at www.curledup.com/intfgoble.htm.


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