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= 17 =

About The Poem

Down in West Haven, where my family live, we are about a mile from the ocean or actually Long Island Sound. The Sound is very much part of our lives. Long ago, on foggy nights, people could lie in bed and listen to the ships talking to each on the sound. It was a conversation that went on all night among the various tankers and other ships. You'd hear a long, low booming sound followed by a higher booming sound followed by a series of short, high whistling sounds.

In this poem, I talk about a glimpse of an old wino and his dog. I wasn't making judgments at all, too innocent maybe. I had never been drunk and now I can't imagine the misery that old drifter must have been in. The sun, the sand, the happy dog, they all sort of blend in and I imagined what it must be like to die that wine death in a stupor. But like I said, I was pretty clueless and just looked at the whole thing as a little snapshot. At least the dog and I must have been happy.

Sand and Sun

When
a dog ambles across
scathing sand with wagging tail
head bowed before the booming breakers
turning clumsily on four legs to
catch the brilliant sun, full on
a friendly canine face
pale tongue

when old weary legs lie stretched from
a wall worn by sand and wind
feet encased in old black lace-ups
feet tired
and sun makes tired and wine makes tired
and eyes make tired

Sleep

Sleep - grit has lost its teeth
wind is like warm water -
warm
tingling mixture
barking happily

Copyright (c) 2017 by A. T. Nager Clocktower Books. All Rights Reserved. You may not copy or use this material without the author's and publisher's written permission for any purpose under penalty of US and international law.