Poetry Friday & #SOLC17: A Dog by the Sea by David Salner

The Slice of Life March Writing Challenge @ Two Writing Teachers – 31 days of  a writing community.

Poetry Friday is hosted by Catherine at Reading to the Core

Yesterday was #NationalPuppyDay, so the Twitter universe was flooded with photographs of puppies of all sizes and shapes with one thing in common: adorableness. This was my favorite Tweet of the day, of Congressman John Lewis and two versions of one thing – puppy cuteness:

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 9.17.49 PM.png

Our Sophie is no longer a puppy, which she is inclined to forget from time to time, especially early in the morning when we take her on her first walk of the day.  It’s a daily chore that we enjoy when the weather is not freezing cold, and we have time to take in all that surrounds us: the way the breeze blows, the tint of the sky, the sounds of leaves rustling, and the comfort of holding hands.

A Dog by the Sea by David Salner

Just after dawn, we get up,
without coffee, and let the dog lead us
through a grove of wind-stunted trees,
spiked succulents, red-berried holly,
and over the dune ridge out of the gray
of still sleeping minds. A line of pink
from the not yet risen sun
reminds me of the lilac shadows
caught in the radial grooves of shells.
I take up your hand and feel the blood
warming your fingers, as the dog bounds off
dragging her leash through wet sand.
She’s after gulls and a line of waves
that repeat themselves, she seems to think,
because they want to play.
A morning breeze
stirs the now turning tide, breathing over it,
sighing toward bayside. As the waves come in
whorls of light unfold on the sand. How I want
for us to repeat ourselves, on and on,
you holding the leash of a silly dog, me
feeling the beat, the blood in your hand.


27 thoughts on “Poetry Friday & #SOLC17: A Dog by the Sea by David Salner

  1. I missed National Puppy Day, so thanks for the fun pics. I love the poem you’ve shared, a new one for me. “How I want,
    for us to repeat ourselves, on and on, . . .” Such yearning in these lines.

  2. “the dog bounds off” –
    a bundle of energy,
    nose to the ground,
    experiencing the Earth
    in ways I never will,
    and so even as I tug
    on the leash to lead him away,
    the clock ticking as the day
    rambles on —
    I wonder at what half-message
    we left behind,
    and what puzzles he will chew on

    -Kevin, lifting a line for a poem as comment

  3. Tara, your poem literally took my breath away. I read it twice and will copy it into my notebook. You brought me right into the moment and I wanted to be there with you, but realized I might intrude. The three of you – so intimate. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Tara, this poem is GORGEOUS! I Love how it is not just about the dog, but about the walkers holding hands. Btw, is this the same Tara who said, no I’m not a poet, at NCTE ??! YOU ARE. YOU ARE!! This makes me so happy. THANK YOU. Keep going!!! xo

  5. I love all the images in the poem, and I wanted to be in that place of beauty, too. My favorite line: As the waves come in
    whorls of light unfold on the sand.

  6. Sigh, is there anything more adorable than puppies? As always, you’ve selected a fabulous poem to share with us. I learn about so many new poets thanks to you!

  7. My daughter-in-law posted their new puppies yesterday, and so then I knew it was Puppy day. What joy there is to have a dog. Your post makes me wonder if it isn’t time? And your intro I have to say is a poem too. I love hearing about your own time out with Sophie. And then this poem, a love poem extraordinaire! Thank you!

  8. We have a rescue cat who so wanted to get outside all the time that we got a harness and leash for him. He gets a walk every evening, though it’s more about laying and looking, strolling and sniffing than running and romping. Still and all, it gets us outside with nothing else to do but look at the sky and listen to the birds, so it’s a win-win!

  9. This poem is breathtaking, Tara. I want to read it again and again until I’m there, walking on the beach, feeling the “whorls of light unfold on the sand.” As much as my pokey beagle frustrates me with all her sniffing, I miss our walks on stormy days.

  10. Such a stunning poem, Tara – thank you for sharing. And I love those John Lewis pictures!
    As others are, I’m ga-ga over ” As the waves come in
    whorls of light unfold on the sand…”.
    (& YAY, puppies!)

  11. This poem is a beautiful love song. Thanks for sharing. My puppy is crying in my lap presently at the storm outside. I am clinging to him with the fervent hope that it will pass quickly. We have a wedding to prepare for!

  12. What more could one want, “on and on,
    you holding the leash of a silly dog, me
    feeling the beat, the blood in your hand.”
    We feed on the love of dogs and I suppose dogs can feed our love.

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