Tuesday, September 25, 2007


The rain started last night. A lonely, Chet Baker trumpet kind of drizzle. The windows ran with the dripping color of the street and traffic lights and everything had a hazy ring around it, a halo or glow, an aura. And it was cold, a nut tightening, skin squeezing cold, the first of the season. It was the kind of weather that drops the leaves fast, and then drowns them until they wash away into dirt. It was a cold crawl-into-bed-early and pull-the-covers-up kind of night. But Duncan insisted on going out several times, just to get his nose wet and to veer back and forth, left and right, finding a way to hit each of the puddles. It didn't let up. All night it drizzled and as I fell asleep, my back to the window, I could hear the soft patter of the drops on the sidewalk right outside. Duncan and the cats curled up all over the bed: Winnie on my hip, where she usually sleeps, Pip at my chest, Olive up high on the pillows, her feet tucked under my head, Duncan spread in a line perpendicular to myself, forcing me into a tight ball, cramped but unwilling to disturb any of them, unwilling to let them think me ungrateful for their small, warm bodies.

It kept it up most of the day. I drove to work through cold and wet and mist and stepped into a puddle climbing out of my car. When I slipped outside for a smoke at ten, I huddled near the side of the building, thinking the long sleeved shirt I'd put on wasn't enough, but then, by two, the clouds had dissipated completely. The sun was out and it was actually hot. The sky had turned that beautiful shade of Autumn blue, a far away blue, like blue reflected off a blade, blue like something fragile. By the time I got home I was ready to change into shorts and a sweat shirt for my first evening walk with Duncan.

He pulled me down Bowles, past the Carls, Jr and the Red Robin, where we cut across the parking lot, through a low stand of bushes and onto the trail around the lake. Almost immediately he caught the scent of a rabbit and nearly cut himself trying to pull his way through the brambles. I pulled on his leash, said, "Duncan, come," sternly, and once we were moving down the trail, praised him for finding the rabbit and following orders. He hardly noticed. He spent the rest of the hour sniffing out every copse of willows and every tree for more rabbits and squirrels.

As I followed him up the hill away from the lake we came to the edge of the prairie dog town (which he had almost no interest in) and a wide expanse of tall grass, now yellow and only just beginning to fall. The sun, behind us, was bright and gold, allowing even the ants to cast long, dark shadows. And the grass was brilliant before us and I was thankful Duncan led me there, through the dark and wet of last night to the radiance of this afternoon. He could've cared less, but I was happy to share that moment with him.

Dogs may not be poets, but they can lead us to poetry if only we're willing to see the world through their eyes.


Kelly said...

Totally off topic, but that is a perfect picture for a ghostly Gladiator to walk through.. don't ya think?!

(you hate my posts, don't you!?)

Curt Rogers said...

How, at least you're posting comments, right?

Kevi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kevi said...

Kevi said...
Your words, "dripping colors of the street" reminds me of Pierre Larour's Paris Street in the Rain. It is a water washed view of the city. An art critic in 1874 said that impressionists do "not render a landscape but the sensation produced by a landscape." I think that is what you are doing with words. You are a impressionist bon mot.

I may never be this artsy fartsy again, so you are lucky I hit 'publish'.

Here is another work I think you would really like.