Today's poem is by Peter B. Hyland
The Natural World
One September the neighbor's terrier found a way
To sneak through to the hens.
He wrung each neck,
Scattering feathery mounds of white
& red from the trough to the fence,
An entire field of small
That dog had never been happier.
He trotted casually, surveying
The scope & pleasure of his
Accomplishment. But I cannot accuse him
Of being cruel. Poor puppy!
Morality is a trick no dog can learn.
Because we feel guilt, some say we are better
Off than the animals.
I agree, though I wonder at the dumb life
Of a terrier, who is equally at his best as
He sits shading himself
Beneath the ripening pears
Or as he stops here & there, scampering along
In a yard filled with broken
Chickens. When I doubt the soul, I see landscapes
Cleared of all distinctions,
Where no lines converge,
Where the fang that enters
The human heart grows from a human mouth.
The little beasts
Fulfill themselves over & over, & know
No courts or fiery pits,
Only the giving-in
To their great
Doggy urges: chasing weakness,
Running through the clover.
Copyright © 2009 Peter B. Hyland All rights reserved
from New South
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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