And the prompt today is a challenge indeed for this cat lover, but here it is from Maureen at https://www.napowrimo.net. “It’s a prompt developed by the comic artist Lynda Barry, and it asks you to think about dogs you have known, seen, or heard about, and then use them as a springboard into wherever they take you.”
Honestly, I am more likely to have a cat than a dog, so when I started to work on this prompt, I thought I would go somewhere else and write about the “dog star.” I set about researching for this prompt and confirmed that, indeed, Sirius is called the dog star. A website on Greek mythology identifies SEIRIOS (Sirius) as the god or goddess of the Dog-Star, the brightest star of the constellation Canis Major. The pre-dawn rising of the star in the path of the sun was believed to be the source of the scorching heat and droughts of midsummer (www.theoi.com). So, off I went on that trajectory, but fizzled out and returned to my list of dogs I have known. From the sublime to the ridiculous!
I focused on a recent dog & cat story which brought to my mind the first poem I recall memorizing in grade school. It is called “The Duel” and provided me with an epigraph (which I love). Here’s the poem for those who care to see it, compliments of the Academy of American Poets: https://poets.org/poem/duel. It’s fun and this little spat on my front verandah that became my poem today reminded me of the scene! So, here we go with day 17 draft of a dog poem.
A Duel Threat
The gingham dog and the calico cat/Side by side on the table sat . . .
The gingham dog went “Bow-wow-wow!”/And the calico cat replied “Mee-ow!”
The air was littered, an hour or so,/With bits of gingham and calico. . .”
Eugene Field, “The Duel”
My dreams punctuated with yap, yap, yap.
Out of deep sleep, I perk right up:
“What is that yap, yap, yap?”
I ask my sleepy self.
Eeek! a dog’s persistent yap
much like the neighbor Buddy
I’ve heard before & Tiger Rose treed!
In pajamas at 6 a.m., I trace the bark
to the front verandah, open the door, &
scream! Tiger swats & howls, dog
yelps and scurries down the steps!
With Rocking chair shield, the cat dashes
through the door. Buddy, the dog, licks his wounded nose.
I scold and off he runs, proverbial tail between his legs.
No gingham or calico, but fur litters the air!
Jacquelyn Markham 4/17/2022