Canine Seasons

Bertie owning the Internet

Spring

May in March
“Cast nary a clout until May be out.”
Does it reference the month or flower?
Thirty days before April’s sweet shower
Had any chance to pierce March’s drought
Hedgerow blackthorn blossom drifted about
In the breeze, scattering petals over
The path, spreading its heady aroma
Around the park where I walk, a devout
Worshipper of the Goddess of Spring with
My miniature Cerberus in train to
Make sure she doesn’t miss the real thing.
Persephone, peplos-clad queen of myth
May not feel the cold, but her view
Isn’t shared by me. I’m wearing sheepskin.

Summer

Bertie on the Beach
The sign at the beach says no dogs allowed
Between May and October. Wherever
You look you see loads of them. Whatever
The motives of the bureacrats, the crowd
Of dog-owners has expressed its view loud
And clear. The sand goes on forever
When the tide’s out, no reason whatsoever
To exclude such friends of man who, endowed
With such a willingness to gallivant,
Are most likely to enjoy the freedom
To lollop on the golden strand unleashed
After the sun-bathers have fled, views scant
Redress for the declining evening sun
Which painted skies as its power decreased.

Autumn

Japanese Maple in Autumn

It’s squirrel season, so Bertie has lost
Interest in his ball, and instead sniffs
Grass and trees, snuffling madly for whiffs
Of rodent or hedgehog. Having criss-crossed
The park he takes every chance to accost
The resident wildlife, trading biffs
With his doggy friends as they conduct tiffs
To establish hierarchies. He’s bossed
By pretty much all of them. Brave he’s not!
But pigeons and magpie families take
Flight at his approach, his upright tail
A shark’s fin knifing through as though he’s got
A snowball’s chance in hell to put a brake
On their escape. Two flaps and off they sail!

Winter

The gravel path spares footwear from the wet
That slickly glistens to the right and left
Pooling twixt the mole hills, plotting the theft
Of any boots that chance to stray and get
Stuck in the mud. But Bertie doesn’t let
It cramp his style, he bounds around the cleft
Tree felled by winter’s storm, his path the weft,
The warp the avenue of bare trees set
On either side. As he weaves snuffling,
Bushy tailed grey squirrels slide around
Trunks and run up, or slip under threadbare
Rhododendrons, silently shuffling
Out of sight. But Bertie is no sight hound.
The squirrels might just as well not be there!

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