Year Of The Dog

Lazy summer days to an entire year of honour, I am
celebrated as much as scorned. The beast
allowed into your home and bed, my definition or
exhibition of loyalty, and love, is to be questioned
as it is accepted.

Companionship influenced
by kind voice or treats offered. Easily convinced.
Temptation or transgressions, it takes little
to capture my attention, much more to hold it.
Contrary to belief, I cannot be trained.

Pedigree required to act on command. A mongrel,
comfortable in its identity, knows better
ways of the street.

Not meant to stand still. Often,
I have strained at the leash, welts on my neck
from collar tight, firm hand, and fierce effort.
I have and will, without notice, escape
into the greater world.
Mischief has been made in the night.

I have howled at many moons, carelessly run
with the pack of unsuitable delinquents, and lain down
with bitches of convenience who led me astray.

I’ve sniffed, slobbered ravenously,
at opportunities seized. Feral at heart, mindlessly foolish,
each moment an occurrence to be appreciated
and savoured. Biologically stimulated,
there is no thought process to primal urge.
Even Pavlov was mistaken when it came to reward.

I have pissed in places I shouldn’t have; begged
for food, release, comfort, or companionship.
Deliriously exhausted, I will curl up
on your comfortable couch and offer no reason
or excuse for my whereabouts or behaviour.

Sleeping dogs lie. Dream of what happened
and when again, ears twitch in afternoon silence.
Another night soon will come.

Scratch my back until I growl,
receive my wet nose and attention unconditionally.
Hose me down when I smell, take me for a car ride
once in a while, so I can see other possibilities.
Understand, however, my need for independence.
I will run out, dart into traffic, as
I try to find my own way.

Yes, I will stray, yet miraculously or mysteriously,
always find my way home. I am a dog.

© 2018 j.g. lewis


Why don’t you meet me in Paris? Half a globe away,
another lifetime. They write songs about the city,
in April. I have never been. In any season.
Spring has yet to find its way here,
so Paris awaits.
Rendezvous. City of lights, city for lovers.
Should we not taste all Paris could be? Could we
not see nights from a tiny apartment,
streets below filled with people like us.
Experience I do not yet know, but I desire
to feel the city against your skin.

I have been told one night in Paris
is like a year in any other place. Language
I do not understand, but the art speaks to me.
Culture not found anywhere but Paris.
History unto itself.
Art knows no boundaries, no geographic space,
yet Paris, as I have been led to believe, is
the capital city.
Hemingway wrote of Paris, Fitzgerald as well.
Picasso found poetry in Paris, the painter found himself,
adopted the city, or it him.

Artists, from anywhere, are meant
to spend time in Paris, to discover, to recover,
from wherever they have lived. You don’t
get that feeling anywhere else.
Or so I am told. I need Paris.
I would write in Paris, I would paint,
perhaps on the street, because I can only imagine
what others have lived.
I can only imagine. In Paris. In poetry.
In April. We would meet in Paris,
we may never leave.

© 2018 j.g. lewis

Uncompromised Enchantment

Is it forgotten, or has age
dulled our senses
or sense of oneself? We can only look back
trying to recall what it may have been like
to witness our days through the eyes of a child.
A distant period
when growth was unchallenged, and
nothing we saw could be influenced, or obstructed by
what we now see. Or what we know. Or why.

Now we know better, or
would like to believe.
Today, we have views, and opinions, which differ
from what we watch, or see. Our past was never
filtered by experience, or context, or undue influence.
Distanced by age, mainly,
or precious time,
a bias-free reality no longer
comes upon us naturally.

That which we hoped,
always contained wonder.
When did it stop? Why did we cease acknowledging
magic, surprise, or uncompromised enchantment?
A child sees a puddle, but does not consider the source.
Adults overlook simplicity.
Rain, once a reason for
glistening rubber boots, now an obstruction
precipitating delay, cancellation, or a leaky basement.

Nothing can be simple,
now, after confusion and
complications follow utter discontent for our surroundings.
Each day the same, too much to explain, disdain for the
information and images forced upon us.
A myopic vision dampens
the view of what could be, or why.
No longer do our childish ways outnumber
our days. No longer do we see curiosity.

©2018 j.g. lewis

“Poets are people who can still see the world through the eyes of children.”
                                                                                                                     – Alphonse Daudet