Monday, June 06, 2005

Barker

Barking

Southern sunlight wakes me,
skin cooled by morning;
after all, it’s only Spring.

Across from the hotel, penned in a triangular yard, lives loquacious German shepherd, nameless as far as I am concerned, especially since he always seeks company – if not always, at least from 5:30 AM at which time he begins his calls for companionship. Someone, perhaps the red-boned old man who inhabits the neighboring house, puts Young Barker in the pen – he’s not out late at night except occasionally – and YB begins his deep-throated yell, repeated over and over again – I ask, half asleep, rolling over, What, YB, What is it you want? I would be happy to heave a bone or bomb from the balcony if only you would grant another hour or two of sleep --

On the balcony, planters
show young greens, scattered
by scant attention and shade.

Do you imagine, Great Shepherd, that you are the reincarnation of red rooster who lived here in ancient times when Turks ruled the land? Do you long for the days before Christian knights won back the city for the Hapsburgs and changed the golden mosque into a dark cathedral? Oh, YB, the long years until socialism, the long years of socialism, and now – delight in the free market!

White-bellied finches with Hungarian names
dart about the roof, swoop
to the gardens below, as always, optimists –

Hapsburgs must run for office while ill-educated bankers steal the wealth of the new Hungary! YB, sound the alarm, bark from early morning until the cool evening, remind us that there is hope while poor dogs can still rebel and keep the affluent nervous in their sleep.

The morning dog sleeps,
neglecting his rooster duties.
Perhaps his red-boned master
drank too much last night.

2 comments:

anders said...

This is so funny. It reminds me of August Kleinzahler's introduction to his book of selecteds, "Live from the Hong Kong Nile Club."

Also, aftertaste of tone found in Pynchon, "Vineland."

Chuck said...

Thank you, Jack. I think Pynchon graduated from Cornell the year after me -- must be a sound of the times. Chuck

P.S. Didi is right: a comment is greatly appreciated.