This is an oldie that I composed for my darling pup, Cuchulainn. He came to me when I existed in Belfast in the 1990s. He never left.
Your eyes close off
the chimney, the lights, and me
as you rest your head vigorously on my thigh;
your huge, dark paw, on my knee.
Will your resting inner consciousness,
the record-guardian of each sound and odor of time,
review our precursors' gathering -
the settlement in the middle of individuals and the wild- -
when you first went to the blaze?
What were the terms of training?
Who snarled at whom?
Did you take the best place by the blaze then, as well,
alternately did you procure it by degrees?
of our great carriage?
We lost all feeling of outside with your coming in.
You who would be known to each living thing by your
smell, sound, and sight won't impart the learning
your fine nose finds in our leaves, shakes, and trees.
Nor do we comprehend the warped ways you take,
The undetectable elixirs in which you move your pleased body,
On the other hand the back-scratching pine trees that keep your toys.
Attendant of old mysteries, you release us on in our building of flames.
We give your our own particular cot, as well,
In spite of the fact that you would take it, in any case.
Through you we see the world with our kindest vocabulary:
Puppy, pet, defender, companion.
I feel it in my thigh.