Sunday, 1 March 2009

Burying the Dog by Taylor Graham

sonnenizio on a line from Frost

One of my wishes is that those dark trees,
their darker roots reaching into grassy swale,
be full of darkling birds at evening – phoebe,
nuthatch, thrush – to sing the bright-dark
elegies of greenwood. A place darkened
by bones leaching into rich dark earth held
fast by rock, dark as dead dogs gone. Here
the young buck pauses, dark-set eyes alert,
sniffs the air, then springs away into darker
shadow-thickets. As afternoon darkens
under passing clouds, the dark-light dance
of oak leaves rises to a darkening breeze.
Time for the dark homing. A young dog marks
his master’s call. Roots touch the deep darks.

Taylor Graham, California, USA


Crafty Green Poet said...

Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler in the California Sierra. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Literary Review, The Iowa Review, Poetry International, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere, and she’s included in the anthology California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present. Her book The Downstairs Dance Floor (Texas Review Press, 2006) was awarded the Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize. Her latest project is Walking with Elihu, poems about the American peace activist Elihu Burritt, the Learned Blacksmith (1810-1879).

Anonymous said...


Patrice said...

Wonderful poem.

I've a friend who just lost her wonderful old dog and I sent her the link - hoping her hurt is not too fresh to find comfort here.

Rethabile said...

Starts with a frost line, so I went, Uh huh...

It stands on its own, however, and is pleasant to read. I like the sounds, and the repetitive words aren't at all overwhelming.