Tag Archives: Morrie

Panegyric Poetry: Ode to Morrie


Ode to Morrie

Oh you ball of energy, you little snarl of fluff.
When it comes to hugging you, I cannot get enough.
Your hair so black and curly, your teeth so sharp and white
that it is an honor when you choose to bite.

Your flair at ball retrieval truly has no equal.
However many thrown for you, you always seek a sequel.
Your eyes luminous marbles, your nails a lovely shape
from running over terraces to stem a squirrel’s escape.

Your hairy little jowls would put Borgnine’s to shame.
So many little mysteries for which you aren’t to blame.
What creature eats the birdseed spread out on the wall?
What other creature has your leap? What other dog the gall?

You give the cats their exercise and what possum would dare
to stray into a garden given to your care?
Oh brave little caroler when interloper passes,
Your mighty barks belie your size. No burglar tests your sasses.

At night you serenade me with your howling croon
accompaniment to ambulances or the rising moon.
My revered alarm clock, my companion after dark,
as now and then throughout the night I celebrate your bark.

Each day I laud thy energy, thy beauty and thy voice.
When I contemplate your dogginess, I cannot but rejoice!
This ode of praise I write for thee, I cannot help but pen it.
If there had been a dog messiah, my dear, you would have been it!


A Panegyric poem of praise for dVerse Poets

The Doggone Doggie Blues: dVerse Poets

The Doggone Doggie Blues

The naughty dogs who leave their marks when jumping up on me.
The naughty bruises that remain, spreading their stains on me.
I cannot stop this rudeness. I cannot find the means.
I cannot stop their tugging at my blouse sleeves and my jeans.

Unruly little denizens of my humble home,
they range wherever they may choose on terrace and on dome.
They jump up in the hammock when I choose to swing.
They jump up on my visitors to see what they might bring.

They dig into my planters and eat the tasty loam.
They even dig into my sleep to bring their mother home
from dreams where she evades them, living her own life
away from doggie pressures, away from doggie strife.

What pleasures might she find anew living all alone?
What pleasures might they miss for which her conscience would atone?
All in all, they make up for the problems that they bring.
All in all, their lonesome howls to sirens are the thing
that swell her heart and make her want to join along and sing.

I wrote this for the dVerse poets Anaphora/Epiphora prompt, but unfortunately missed the deadline. Been there before, will be there again, no doubt. At any rate, here it is for the world at large!

But, just had a brainstorm and posted it on the dVerse Poets Open Link Night, where we can post any poem on any topic. Tardy but still within the law!. Here is a link to others who published poems for Open Link Night.

What Will (And Won’t) A Dog Eat?

As I made my evening smoothie, I found the remains of my afternoon meal on the countertop. Hating to waste it, I decided to see what parts of it the dogs would eat. They’d already had their own meal hours before, but this is what I took out to the doggie domain–and the result:  (Click on photos to enlarge and read what happened.)

What will a dog eat? Clearly, everything!!!

In His Dreams

In His Dreams

I listen to his sad refrain.
Won’t I please throw the ball again?
The fright that I will not comply
is reflected in each eye.
They vilify and then they plead.
Throwing’s a must, not just a need.

As I accept the ball and throw,
long and hard and sure and low,
his retrieval skills are so efficient,
a dozen lofts are not sufficient.
He gives a snort, is here, then there
to catch the ball while in the air.

This small tangled ball of hair
curled up on the bottom stair—
I know he’s dreaming when I hear his yip,
see running legs, a sudden dip
of jaw that signals his success.
He’s caught the ball I threw, I guess.

His need to fetch so strong and deep,
I’m sure he does it in his sleep.
I wonder if I fully stand

within his dream, or is a hand
the only evidence at all
of one who throws the yearned-for ball?


Prompts for today are fright, vilify, snort, refrain and sleep.

What Have You Got in Your Mouth???

Morrie, what do you have in your mouth?

Oh, okay. Good boy. Fetch!

Diego, what did you have in your mouth?

Oh No! Bad boy! Um. Good boy?

Much as I hate to kill anything—even cockroaches and ants—sometimes your own interests have to win out. After suffering an infestation of rats in my laundry room a few years ago, I guess I can’t object too much to Diego’s efforts to protect his house and property. A few more yards and that rat would have been invading the dog or catfood or worse. They ate through a lidded very durable garbage can before to get to the catfood. R.I.P. little rat.

Morrie Plays Pool Basketball


For you Morrie fans, here is a video of my housesitter Ian teaching him to play basketball in the pool. Don’t worry. Ian isn’t really in the au naturel. He has on flesh colored trunks. Morrie is nude.

Morrie’s Ball: NaPoWriMo–last day for 2020!


Morrie’s Ball

I throw the ball and throw the ball,
over my head in an arc to the garden downhill from the pool
where every midnight I do aerobic exercises and yoga,
trying to stem the freezing-up of joints,
the spreading of spare tires around the waist.

I am allergic to the sun,
and so these sometime-between-midnight-
and-3 a.m.-sessions in the pool

have come to be habit,
with both me and the small black shaggy dog
who leaves his bed in the doggie domain,
no matter how late I make the trip to the pool,
carrying his green tennis ball.

It is the latest in a long progression of balls
chewed to tatters until they are incapable of buoyancy
that sink to the pool bottom to be picked up by toes,
toed to hand, and thrown down again.
When they are replaced in the morning with a fresh ball,
he still searches for the old one,
like a child’s nigh nigh, grown valuable through use.

Again and again he drops the ball in the pool
and I interrupt every fifth repetition to throw the ball.
Like an automaton, he returns with precision,
then is off like a flash so fast
that sometimes he catches the ball I throw before it hits the ground.
This little dog, faithful in his returns,
sometimes jumps up on the grassy mound
I’ve made for him in a big flower pot by the pool,
chews the ball,
drops and catches it before it falls to the water,
drops and catches,
as though teasing me
the way houseguests might have teased him in the past with a false throw.

Or, sometimes he drops it on the grass,
noses it to the edge and then catches it before it falls.
Over and over, constructing his own games.
Then, bored or rested up from his countless runs,
he lofts the ball into the water precisely in front of me
and I pause in my front leg kicks
to resume my obligation.

But this night, he returns listless after the third throw.

“Go get the ball, Morrie,” I command, and he runs with less speed and vigor down the hill to the garden. I hear him checking out his favorite places,  but he does not return, and when I call him, finally, he returns, ball-less, jumps up on his mound and falls asleep.

He’s getting old, I think.
Hard to imagine this little ball of energy
as being anything but a pup.
He’ll bring it to me tomorrow, I think.
But tomorrow
and tomorrow
and tomorrow
brings no Morrie with a ball.

When I go down to the hammock the next day,
his enthusiastic leap up onto my stomach
is the same, his same insistence
that I rub his ears, his belly, his back.
But no ball proffered for a throw.
No Morrie returning again and again for more.

I am feeling the older for it,
like a mother who sees her last child
off to University or down the aisle, fully grown,
but I am reassured three days later,
when I arise from the hammock
to climb the incline up to the house
and see lodged firmly in the crotch of the plumeria tree
five feet off the ground: Morrie’s ball.

He sees me retrieve it
and runs enthusiastically up to the pool with me,
where I peel off my clothes
and descend like Venus into the pool,
arc my arm over,
and throw the ball.
He is back with it
before I get to the other end of the pool.
If they could see
through the dense foliage
that surrounds the pool,
what would the neighbors think
of this 72-year-old skinny dipping,
lofting a ball over her head
for her little dog
in broad daylight?

Morrie and I don’t care.

Happy Ending

The final NaPoWriMo challenge for 2020 is to write a poem about something that always returns.




He displays such fierce bravado, barking at the man
who dares to try approach me. He’ll bite him if he can.
If he does not get his nuance, perhaps he’ll get his grasping.
If he can’t heed the exposed teeth, perhaps he’ll get their clasping.

If that human could but read the globes of Morrie’s widening eyes,
he’d need no communication in any other guise
from this dog that has decided he is his only rival
for his mistress’s affection. Every time, there’s a revival

of his barking and his lunging should this man dare approach me.
It’s as though he fears he’s coming with intentions to come poach me.
With everybody else, he is a charmer through-and-through.
He cannot wait to make a friend of anyone who’s new.

His emotions are a crazy-quilt of trying hard to please—
of greeting you with ball in mouth and jumping at your knees.
He cannot wait for you to sit to jump up on your lap
and insists on long ear rubbings before he takes a nap.

He’s every visitor’s best friend. Greets strangers on the beach,
and will bring a ball to anyone he finds who’s within reach.
Never will he wear out when chasing after balls.
He goes to bed when I demand and answers all my calls.

But why he feels my gardener of nineteen years duration
is a threat to me, and such a threatening aberration
that he flies to my defense whenever he is near,
is a mystery that I’ve not solved, and never will, I fear.


Prompt words today are bravado, globe, quilt, nuance and grasping.

Shelter in Place

Screen Shot 2020-04-21 at 1.58.30 PM

The dVerse Poet’s prompt today is the word “flush.” The poem is to be a quadrille—-exactly 44 words, not counting the title.