a pariah and the dogwood

notes from a doggish diary and other miscellany

Rustling up a doggish blog

Welcome to my dogblog. For awhile now l have been raking and collecting some mental leaves. This pile is large, collected in one place (off to the side), but with no real organization or stability, rustling and flying around pretty much willy nilly. The leaves are still rustling,  but I have started to think of how best to put them to use. (I was once given the sage advice by a gardner friend to NEVER throw away or burn leaves.  They have many uses, one being a great mulch, another being a great additive to compost). I do know that most of the ideas that have come from the rustle have been related to dogs. I call this a dogblog, and primarily, it will be so.

Continue reading “Rustling up a doggish blog”

Featured post


after the rupture,
there is this:


red  lava  belching  fire
          gushes  rusty  shards:
………….. ..withered veins slashed,
…………………….hemorrhaging briny magma:

bloody unnatural rivers
………………  …………        …..    run
………………………………      ………        black 


Continue reading “after”

The Old Dog (Vicki Hearne)

The Old Dog

The old dog
would, as a puppy

would, grab truth, gladding the air.
There were leaps

that brought trees to their height
death to its knees. She

lost no time, had nothing

to make up for. Now time
has lost itself

for her and God
did not consult me, God

moved in on her
with assault, intent.

She is limp, there
is no further motive in her.

This love
leaves an iridescent tracery

behind, a veneer that keeps
the distance between me

and the world merely a thing.

……………d          ViVicki Hearne,  “The Old Dog,” in Tricks of the Light





The final river

For the past year and a half, death has led me to one place after another, beckoning farewells to several souls who shaped my existence and continue to do so. My father recently passed, relatively young at age 70, after years of pain caused by  severe dementia. I would be appalled at anyone who would let their animal endure such cruelty. I cannot imagine the hell that would forever be mine had I forced Klutzie through such an ordeal, and I know with 100% certainty what my father would have chosen for himself had he been allowed to answer the question when he was my age. Nevertheless, most places on earth make our humans suffer until the last itty bitty moment, ensuring, usually, that those many moments before that last short one will be excruciating. I began my farewell to my father years ago, now it is final, and while I feel loss, in his case, my strongest feeling is relief that he no longer has to spend his days in fearful, painful, confusion.

Continue reading “The final river”

At hand

Here is a poem I worked on for several months this spring and summer. First, the poem, and then, some of the backstory. 

At hand

This still, silent body under my naked palm
inhales and exhales
to the cadence of
his slow, sleepy heart.
His impossible velvet cloaks us both like
wizards growing ponderous at dusk. Continue reading “At hand”

A nose amongst noses

Doesn’t this sniffer deserve some special attention? Our new guy in town, Mowgli, walked in sporting this polka dot beauty. He is well aware of its glamour as well as the potential fame that this nose promises. He hopes his sniffer will not only live up to being the master of sniff collecting that it already is, but he also yearns  for a little (or a lot) of fame to compensate for all the effort he exerts sporting it around. His nose will warrant future comment, but for now, he wanted me to quickly introduce his lovely. He is, if you haven’t noticed, not a little bit vain about his good looks.


(2016) S. Bryghte

Finding one’s familiar


The marks of my familiar

When my dog was a bewildered, unschooled  youth, a dog yet to find himself, and he and I still new to each other, we often walked along a wooded path.  He and I would work our way, learning how to respond to all things external and internal without panic. Often we would have this path to ourselves, but on occasion we came upon others seeking the forest’s clean, quiet air.  More often than not, people skidded to a stop mid-stride as soon as they cast eyes on my puppy.

Continue reading “Finding one’s familiar”

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