PoetryPause Blog – Matthew Ashbrook

Tag: Animal

A Better World

by on Sep.04, 2018, under Poetry

Sure he is different,
Has too many feet
And his body is covered in fur;
A tail and stripes
And ears that will stand
But no matter, it doesn’t deter
The sharing of all
Of the bounty that’s found
Of grains that we now feast upon
For all of the critters
Who squeak and will hoard
To food, like chickens, are drawn.

He’s got the same needs
The common desires
Like birds of feather possess;
But empathy born
In the spirit is lost
By many more prone to aggress.
So the world at large
Would improve its own lot
If lessons like this we’d embrace;
When a chipmunk appears
Don’t laugh at his ears,
Accommodate him in your space.

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Moorings

by on May.10, 2018, under Poetry

He’s carved out a spot,
A nest for his bones;
Removed all the twigs,
The sticks and the stones.

A surface as smooth
As a road freshly paved
And scented the spot
To assure it’d be saved.

In the dappling of sunlight
He peruses his realm;
A confident dog
In charge, at the helm.

We all should find fortune
This canine has found;
A place to call home
To which we are bound.

Where resting comes easy
And fears are at bay;
A place we can ponder
Our birth and decay.

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Walking Rocky

by on Dec.08, 2017, under Poetry

The time is drawing near,
The dog must go outside;
To take a little walk,
Relieving his inside.

But now the snow is falling
And the wind is rather brisk,
I’d like to wait ‘til summer
But I can’t take the risk.

He’s small, his bladder likewise,
So he can’t wait that long
But still procrastinating
The waiting I prolong.

He’s dancing by the doorway,
He whines to beckon me –
Just a few more minutes
And we’ll go find a tree.

He cocks his head to listen,
To understand my plea;
Let’s get your coat and mittens
Or sorry you will be.

We do for others often
Some things we’d rather not;
But when you care for others,
This is what you’ve got.

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Thanksgiving 2017

by on Nov.23, 2017, under Poetry

Time to stuff a turkey’s corpse
With sage and stale bread;
He won’t mind a bit at all
‘Cause after all he’s dead.

All his feathers plucked and pulled,
He’s naked on the stove;
His neck and giblets found inside,
A hidden treasure trove.

Through the body’s cavity
You reach ‘til deep within
And fumble ‘round his empty chest
Where once his lungs had been.

Pulling out the bag of guts
To cook or to discard;
A message from the now deceased –
The turkey’s calling card.

Cremated in the oven’s wrath,
The hours pass you by;
‘Til all the body fluids drain
While all your guests standby.

Retrieve the largest knife you own
And slice it through his skin;
Then divvy up the bird’s bequest
And feed him to your kin.

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Grandparents

by on Sep.24, 2017, under Poetry

Novelty eggs
On the ceiling above
An old-fashioned stove
Where cooking was love
Where bacon from hogs
Kept out in a pen
Would deep fry the eggs
From one of their hens
That Virgil would tend
Along with the crops
And baling hay
No resting, no stops,
Having toiled all day
Doing steel mill work
With his twinkling eyes
And an all-knowing smirk,
While Mabel kept home
Making butter and bread
And fresh chicken fried
That kept us all fed
On a farm playing host
To cattle and pigs
And guineas and horses
And old oil rigs
Where a Piper Cup fell
One day from the sky
And explored what was left
With the wonders and whys
The stuff that comprises
The man that I am
Their souls full of grace
And gentle as lambs.

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Ghosts

by on Jul.13, 2017, under Poetry

The poor little fellow
He’s stressed or depressed
By a board that was placed
Where he’d usually rest.

Forty minutes he rode
With his head to the door –
Face down, not respond
To his name anymore.

His ears were both curled
Like celery gone limp –
His joyful demeanor
And style were crimped.

It’s hard to imagine
What caused his distress;
But he saw something other
Than wood, I would guess.

The burdens we bear
Are secret to most;
And our closet kept locked
To harbor the ghosts.

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Everything

by on May.31, 2017, under Poetry

Hoagie Shotgun

Travelin’ dusty byways,
Ridin’ shotgun in a car
Cruisin’ passed the farmland
Stretching near and far,
Blue sky frames the vistas
As far as you can see;
There’s no place in the world
A fella rather be.

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Goose Down

by on Nov.20, 2016, under Poetry

A wounded bird
Left behind
The winter just ahead;
His flock flew off
To warmer climes
To seek their daily bread.

A goose that’s found
A place to hide
Each day beside a pond;
I see him scramble
As I pass
To walk the woods beyond.

He floats to safety
On the tarn
But something is amiss;
His wing is twisted,
Out of place,
And he can’t fly like this.

Unlikely that
He’ll live ‘til spring,
Not built for winter’s ways;
Not something I
Look forward to,
Beholding his last days.

We play the game,
The hand we’re dealt,
Abiding nature’s rule;
And to the weak
Discarded ones,
The world can be so cruel.

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Marineland 1987

by on Nov.18, 2016, under Poetry, Uncategorized

bubbles

In Rancho Palos Verdes
Marineland once was king –
A million folks would visit
Through winter from the spring.

More lab than entertainment,
Where injured sea life went
For medical attention,
Well-being to augment.

Long before the Sea Worlds
And Disney parks would grow;
Before you felt the whales
Were tortured for a show,

I stood upon the stage there
When asked if I’d permit
A killer whale meeting,
Of course I would commit.

As Corky swam up to me,
He rolled onto his side
And offered up a flipper,
A thrill I must confide.

My hand grew ever smaller
When placed upon his limb –
My significance diminished,
My substance start to dim.

The universe grew bigger,
My place within it small;
Drawn into perspective,
Rearranged my sense of all.

Financially it suffered,
It sold a time or two
To studios of cartoons
And a grocery chain revue.

Then one day it shuttered,
Corky and his mate
Were shipped to San Diego
At night within a crate.

Everyone was fired,
They boarded every door;
A statue they called Bubbles,
Marineland’s troubadour,

Dismantled into storage,
A sentinel no more;
And the business of the whales
To disrepute would soar.

But Rancho Palos Verdes
Has tried throughout the years
To recommission Bubbles,
Somewhere on their piers;

In honor of her history,
The nature of the work
The city once had hosted
And in their memories lurk.

Thirty years since passing
Now Bubbles has returned
To stand outside in tribute
To all that was adjourned.

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Hope’s Last Days

by on Apr.25, 2016, under Poetry

Hope Pensive

She’s loud and demanding
But this I forgive –
For the lumps have returned,
And she’s not long to live.

She’s pensive these days
As she watches and waits;
Unaware of the hand
That’s been dealt by her fate.

Or maybe she knows,
Who knows a dog’s mind?
Who knows if she knows
Of her damaged design.

For now she is back
On the meds and the care
For as long as she has
Of these lives that we share.

Our roles now reversed
For her ride to the end;
As she’s been to man,
I’ll be her best friend.

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