Dog Songs

are silent.

But then
some of the world's
greatest oratorios
have profound silences
within them.

Look at a full moon
at midnight.
Watch the little flickers
cast off by
the summer storm
that isn't going to happen.

The tree outside my window
is as green today
as it was yesterday.
Is the rose as red,
or Joseph's coat
as colorful,
orange and yellow?

The summer beaming
on my bare back
until it's anointed
with sweat,
and the swallowtail
floats overhead
noiselessly.

A city street at 4: 00 a.m.
after a rain shower.
The next few pages
of the book I'm reading
when I fall asleep.

*****

You bark ferociously
when something strange
or unexpected
invades your space,
or the doorbell rings
during a television program -
or on a television program.

You grunt when you yawn,
you almost coo
when you turn your belly up
for your daily scratching -
but only when you want to.

In your sleep, you murmur
and whine - or growl
in your dream.
Then your claws
scratch my leather chair
when you wake me
from my nap.

But when we're walking
our daily walk
and the weather is fine,
I'm likely to whistle cheerily;
you trot like a Shetland pony,
you swish your tail vigorously,
your ears perked up,
you eyes bright and sparkling,
your nose sniffing the air.

That's when you sing -
sing, sing, sing -

and there is not a sound.

by Frank Avon

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