death of her litter

in the summer 보름, my dog, which means Harvest Moon, or brightest moon, as she was born on the harvest moon, gave birth to a litter.
i did everything i could to stop this. we didn’t have enough money to get surgery at the time, so i just had to keep my eye on her, as male dogs loiter round the farms. but our cleaner let her out one time, didn’t watch her & hey presto an unwanted litter. he was surprised that she didn’t listen to his command to stop, she is a good dog who always follows us;- this became his first experience of nature’s drive to procreate, & at the age of 66.
보름 didn’t cope well after the pregnancy, due to the summer being particularly gruelling. though i fed her properly, she still got calcium deficiency, which was scary as shit.
the whole litter but a couple died, & i was left with the depressing task of disposing of their little, mole like bodies each time. not a nice thing to do.
when i finally had the money to get surgery, 보름 kept jolting while under anesthetic, so she couldn’t have the surgery anyhow. she is menstruating again now, & i have her locked up in the porch of my house & when i let her out, she doesn’t leave my sight- fingers crossed for no puppies.
if you are wondering why she doesn’t live in the house with me, well that is simple, 보름 doesn’t like it, she is an outside dog.


death of her litter

amidst the smeared wet shit on new fur, womb fluids,
saliva & piss, the dried milk in blind mouths,
soft, pink gums that slip on their mothers seeping dugs,
pawing themselves, like shadows across rustic floors,
with their most functioning sense; their thalidomide
limbs not yet in working order. they resemble moles,
eyes fastened like the mouth of a woman’s purse,
mimic a gulls cry from a cliff, writhe like eels in a bath.

of the 8, 1 didn’t survive the big push out the womb.
i held it in my palm, white & pink, stiff, mouth agape,
tongue out; it looked so tired. i held that dead 1, too long,
got death all over my hands. death in my nose, but not a scent,
death in my throat but not a taste & too its presence without form.
i washed my hands with new soap, but nothing would come off,
even with water so hot it made the boiler rattle like a box of hammers.

i buried it, but as it had not even slept in the grass
dreaming the texture of meat, no meaningful words came. 보름
was unperturbed. next day. another died. she sniffed & licked
it same as that 1; i couldn’t tell if she knew. though when
i tried to take her iind pup, she yelped like a worm, leapt up me
in sad face; this one got disease in it, it had to be removed.

my wife tricked her with beef & kelp soup, all that iron
rich soup sent her into a REM stupor whilst we, like glue passing
through water, snatched that iind dead pup. 보름 had
a frenzied night, her reactions all too human, as if she’d failed,
misplaced it, mistakenly turned her back as it blindly crawled the dark.

we’re down to 5. i harshly snatched the iiird & buried it while 보름
watched, this time: she kept trying to carry it off in her jaws.
& i woke to No 4 the next morning & burned it with dead palm leaves.
i think something beyond us is preparing me for something.

they’ll not know the paradise of chasing pheasants through timothy
grass, the lazy naps on warm tiles, neither ruffled torsos
in the dawn of their nerves as they rollick & tumble; this tiresome
procedure of mothering must come to some good end for 4.

(photograph by me of 보름)

17 thoughts on “death of her litter

    1. i would love nothing more than to understand what you are trying to say. you seem enthusiastic though, which is very cool. do you see a political forecast in the poem, if so i hate to disappoint, but this poem really is about an actual experience, i am not trying to allude to anything political. but, saying that, it is your prerogative if you choose to interpret something in a certain direction, no quarrel from me.

      1. I do no longer recall what I was getting at. Sry. Rereading, I notice, however, your line that “I think this is preparing me for something greater”… Bonkajeedevi is a mantra I was given but have not been using as I ought. I am currently carrying my poeticpostcards project forward with surprises for capitol hill & trump tower area mental health professionals. … For what it might be worth.

      2. ah yes, i see how you might interpret that line. that is perhaps a more personal line, & therefore ambivalent to a reader.
        you have a long hard struggle ahead if you are going to try to ‘surprise’ capitol hill, i fear they may be all surprised out of their wits at the moment.
        what does bonkajeedevi mean? i could Google, but i’d rather ask you. & how ‘ought’ you to use it?

      3. i think i get the jist. i gave up prayer & meditation after reading that Bodhidharma didn’t close his eyes, as the world must be seen.
        i like you less orthodox approach to poetry therapy, i find the calm, soft voice approach aesthetically intolerable, i’d rather your particular brand of rapid thoughts, even if i can’t quite follow.

      4. I pull large amounts of incomprehensible junk out of the void. But I find on a 2nd reading it usually makes sense enough. I had never fooled with prayer before until quite recently, but it seems to me to be effectual for the most part. Meditation (along with such things as walking, automatic writing, eating & sleeping properly) are parts of my daily practice. Though not orthodox. More amorphous than crystalline.

      5. I need to start bringing in $s in the next now to six weeks from now though. We shall see how things shake out post-treatment (primarily alcohol). I have some business ideas. More inclined to get wages in restaurants or something, not IT. Anyway if all my interaction is with computers, I get depressed. If I found something with more human mixing that might work.

      6. best of luck with that. wish i could help, but i can’t. i am not at my best helping people with personal problems. doesn’t mean i don’t want the outcome to be profitable to them in whatever form that takes. i don’t live with money, not strictly true, my wife takes care of all money, i have no account, she gives me nothing, i don’t ask, until i need something, by need i mean, i have worn my clothes ragged. then i do, i get it, its done, i go back to not handling money. it is a comfortable arrangement for me. i can’t deal with bills etc. i own a business with my wife & if i did the bureaucracy we’d be under in a matter of hours.

    1. thanks but i think it may have been for the best as they may have gone to a miserable life spent at the end of a chain eating crappy food. probably best they died before they could enjoy things.
      that sounds terrible doesn’t it, but if you see how farmers treat dogs in Jeju, you’d understand what i am talking about. no one would buy them, they go to market & if they don’t get bought they get sold for meat, very grim.

      1. I’m saying that when the time comes for your pet dog to pass, you could help it achieve Pure Land rebirth, or at least get to a divine realm with your supportive chanting. Read the article and let me know your thoughts.

  1. Sorry for you and your dog to go through this. I know the veterinary options are limited for you and you tried your best. Here in the US and in a lot of other counties with more options we are still plagued with unwanted dogs and cats because people are too lazy or ignorant to get their pets fixed.

    1. it isn’t ideal, but luckily she is healthy & happy. although right now she is bored from being under lock & key & only being able to run around a small garden, it is for the best & only for a couple of weeks after that i’ll take her out.

      1. I am glad she is healthy. I remember that soup your wife made very well, it is really nutritious. As you say, it’s only a couple of weeks, but I can understand her frustration.

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