Please note that the poems and essays on this site are copyright and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Saturday, 31 December 2011



Dog, Dimitrova Street, left bank district, Voronezh: photo by Raise-the-Sail, 19 April 2009

Oh, old one
old Pore,
forgotten dog, small
animal that once existed
these sixty odd
years ago or more.
There was once a photo of you,
I remember it only dimly,
you had a name,
your name was not Pore,
I cannot recall
what your veritable name was
any more, it was so
long ago. Tugs
at my heart now I did not
care for you more,
little Pore, small
petshop mongrel
merely existing
so obscurely
and briefly, harming
none, ignored by all
and got rid of so soon
after you came, relegated
to what sad end
I cannot think of now
if I ever did know.
All I know is that you are gone.
Your photo is gone.
The vague memory I have of you
will soon be gone also,
those will have been the last traces
of you left
in the world, Pore.
I wish I had paid more attention
to you when the chance was there.
For you, if by some
weird chance
you are aware of them,
wherever you are,
these memories
I am seeking
must represent a sadness.
Or then again
maybe not,
for you were so undemanding always
in your brief time
under the weak occluded
sun. You asked so little
and received perhaps even less than that.
It will seem just as well to you,
it may be, to be forgotten,
even, perhaps,
a relief. Your image
dwindling now
even as I write,
so dimly limned,
so small,
so unremarkable,
so beset
if not by abuse
then by neglect,
that surely,
that's the part I do not forget,
the neglect, the remorse,
the thought.
I think
but am not sure
that in the lost photograph
you were looking up anxiously
at the camera
cradled in a dirty blanket
a cardboard box.

Man playing with dog
: photo by Roger Rössing, between 29 August 1948 and 15 September 1948 (Deutsche Fotothek)


Susan Kay Anderson said...

Good guard dogs guarding the ruins. Little Pore very smart, very busy. Who will be my friend? Foe?

TC said...


Pore essays a wee piteous bark of gratitude.

ACravan said...

Heart-tugging, then breaking. I wonder whether everyone has memories like this? I do. After our first dog passed away, my parents, who loved our dog very much, acquired a new dog, a beautiful Doberman puppy, who was very sweet but had a biting and chewing problem, i.e., he bit humans (couldn't be persuaded not to) and chewed wood, which was really unacceptable in our house. I was away at school during this period, but I learned one day that they had given him up. They told me that he was going to be night guard dog at Macy's, but I never knew for sure whether that was true. I was pretty disconnected from the situation, but it has haunted me ever since. And now we house, it seems, every animal in the neighborhood. Happy New Year to you and Angelica. Curtis

TC said...


And Happy New Year to you & Caroline & Jane.

The culture of my origins was pretty much pet-free, so that this poor (pore) little dog was certainly a one-off, and there was never any consideration of a replacement.

At an early age I was given goldfish. I stood upon a chair to place the bowl on an old refrigerator of the coil-top variety; the coils could be seen through the glass of the bowl. I scattered the fish food in, quite responsibly... for about two days. Then an interim... then fish floating at top of bowl.

The only other early experience of pets I can recall happened c. 1945 when I was given a turtle with an American flag graven in its shell. Grotesquerie. It survived less long than the fish.

Sigh, confessions of an unnatural childhood.

ACravan said...

Goldfish are really difficult if you follow the usual procedures we all were raised with. Try not to feel too bad; I'll wager most of us share your experience in this regard. Now we have bettas -- two of them, Ruby and Rainbow -- who stare at each other from and across two large bowls in Jane's room. (If you housed them together, one would devour the other, we're told. They're easier to care for and actually quite hearty. We scatter fish food, etc. The heat has just been restored here. We feel MUCH better than we did two hours ago. Curtis

Ed Baker said...

brings the memories of
into the Now precisely as
you so do
a Joy.


that first picture of Dawg (Pore?)
April 19 !
April 19, 1941 my boring's day.

and my "pore" was an Alley Cat
(which really is a breed apart)

named Snoopy (so named many years before the Schultz "Snoopy")

I have a picture of my grandmother holding Snoopy around here somewhere

I found her (Snoppy, not my grand-mother) as a kitten in an alley

brought her back to the store and made a home for her out of a card-board carton. She was a good mouser....

Ed Baker said...

that's "borning" day
"boring" day

next year? when I 'turn the leaf/page'

gonna , I promise' pay attention to spellings'

.... and, maybe, fix the leak under the toilet !



Poor Pore, we had Ping (short for Pingo, a Chinese word meaning peaceful dog my mother said, who would have known, since she grew up there, and he was that, except when he once bit someone, and then we had to 'quarantine' him (euphemism for tie him up for two weeks) to make sure he didn't have rabies) -- then maybe he bit someone else (?), and we had to put him to sleep (another euphemism) -- is that what happened? -- memory stumbles, poor Ping, poor Pore. . .

Meanwhile and in any case, Happy Year of the Water Dragon (according to Joanne) to you both!


pink orange of cloud in sky above still
black ridge, wind moving through branch
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

sense of subject, conceived
in the way of what is

between that in the picture,
trees, in perspective

grey white fog against invisible ridge,
shadowed green pine on tip of sandspit

TC said...


Those Siamese Fighting Fish don't kid around. The only thing that makes all other aquatic creatures safe from them is the fact that they are so small. But, ah, so very very beautiful. Which of course redeems everything -- as though redemption were even part of the argument -- in the eyes of their prospective paramours.

I once did a post which proposed there ought to be (and indeed is or anyway once was) a "room", or niche, for every creature. I guess Mother Nature had that idea first, but still... just seconding the evolutionary notion. Anyway, I found the most beautiful Betta splendens one could ever imagine. And of course, it lived alone, in its solitary tank. Lonely is the life of the natural-born killer. And of course One is the loneliest number (especially if you're ironing without a plug.).

Anyway, if you'll take a look (fourth photo from top) you'll see that, in lieu of anything more appropriate to be pissed off at, this beauty is flaring (aggressive displaying) at its own reflection in the glass of the tank.


The picture reminded me, curiously, of the sort of behaviour that seems preferred in "our" current society; the solitariness and the aggressive flaring, that is. All our best and brightest these days seem to aspire to those traits, if they are not already ingrained. Everything fits -- except of course the extreme pulchritude. Manny Pacquiao is plenty tough when he has to be, as is any 29 year old hedge fund manager. But neither could touch the hem of the beauty of the raiment of Betta splendens.


OMG, I'm still trying to fight back the impulse to puddle-up (again again) over poor little Pore, and now... here come the waterworks once more, for Snoopy.

All this retrospective love we pour out from our hearts through our pores to our many and several Pores, and what good does it do them?

Then again, though, what good does anything do anything? (My New Years Eve question to the moon... asked just before the cops showed up to bust the balls-out teen party going on across the freeway feeder -- parents away was my guess. Hawaii? Even the raccoons were intimidated. Teenage urine, dead roaches and smashed Forties littering the "peaceful" war zone streets.)

And speaking of waterworks... fixing that leak under the toilet... as a hardened veteran of plumbing disasters, I'd recommend "living with" that leak. The alternative route -- elderly know- nothing addresses the problem -- risks explosive enlargement of the problem... as in, knee-deep in the understanding that to have functional plumbing you have to have licensed plumbers, and to have licensed plumbers you have to be Money.

(There was that funny movie in which the hopeless loser guy kept saying "You're money", "I'm money" & c. One more miserable millennial contribution to the vernacular.)


OMG all over again, again, for Pingo!

That expression "put to sleep", a euphemism with many variants ("went to be a night guard dog at Macy's", "went to live in a nice pasture", & c., has to be one of the cruelest. It must have been coined in April, the cruelest month (in every way, that is, apart from its benevolence in blessing the world with Ed, a born-again yet never-boring April child).

T.S. Eliot needed a Pore, a Snoopy, a Pingo, I reckon -- they would have taught him that any month in which you're breathing can't be the cruelest month.

To paraphrase Zippy the Pinhead (the world's first blogger), Are we still breathing yet?

I'm going to be keeping in mind that interesting appellation for the new year (e'en now upon us, I note). If anybody would know about Dragons, it would have to be our dear beloved Joanne.

Ed Baker said...

for those 40 + years that i "dropped" out I was a
licensed General Contractor...

and, when the County Morons started requiring so many more things than just a license-to-do-business (insurances, surety-bonds, etc, etc) I dropped construction/remodeling for Art/Poetry.

only problem I have with re-seating the toilet ... I now need a 'pick-up-the-thing person.

4 years ago, when I had a LICENSED PLUMBER over to snake-out the clogged sewer-line (clog was 30 feet in,
too far for my 10 ' snake) this Moron Plumber didn't put a new wax ring on when he re-set to (one-piece) toilet

which 4 years later now that old ring leaks a trickle of clear water !

I re-call him saying "No need for a new ring. This old one LOOKS o.k. to me?"

besides, at that time it costed $345 PER HOUR for him to just come over PLUS a charge for the work !

I got a graduate-school Philosophy student from University of Maryland coming over tomorrow to
"do the heavy work".. He should, at least, be as smart as that plumber ... and intelligent enough to lift a toilet!

it just might be the only USEFUL thing that he learns
while at school...

now? Where'd I put my Klein Channel Locks ?


UHAUL have an other great year of ... doing-the-best-that-you-can
doughnut worry bout me &
me and my Thunder Bucket
will get along some how