moaning at the moonlight

You may disagree with what is against your sensibilities & beliefs, but sometimes the reasons for a culture’s differences are tied up with a history, still in memory through those who lived it & continue to remember it. & so the habit persists. i have a dog, & though the farming of dog meat (not all that popular) is grizzly & seems sort of pointless, it seems tied up with a time when Koreans had no food & anything that could be eaten was eaten. A hunger few of us can comprehend & this hunger is remembered even by my wife. So before you judge, think of reasons why. i should add, most people don’t like eating dogs, it is an old, dying tradition.

moaning at the moonlight

the moonlight, stencils
Halla’s silhouette—a rare sight.
& so a grieving hound moans
Halla shouldn’t have to reveal
the camber roll of her fluted form, at night

— at least i hope that’s why
it bawls like unoiled pistons
& not because it is late

late enough for its master
muffled by sleeping farmers
to beat the poor thing tender
making the meat of it more succulent.
but, i have no right to tell another culture what
is fair & just nor judge: they have known
hunger, knotting into habit
& it goes some way to excusing them.

Boreum’s Fight with the Sea

TSomething a little different, a somewhat mythological piece, though the hero of the poem is a dog, my dog, who you may recognize from other poems of mine. i am sure many of you may know what this is a parody of.

Boreum’s fight with the Sea

At first the sea retreated. clenched
its face up crenellate, maw all molars
— Boreum flashed her canines, sun dyed
accent dripping off them. The sea whispered orders

in the ears of black-head gulls, formation! Signaled
themselves into a boomerang, which split
the sun— their beaks fixed bayonets
—nosedived kamikaze at Boreum, some speared

the scoria & billowed like tattered flags
— Boreum got out of dodge to avoid the
incoming reserve of gulls following the flops
— hoop curved rewind upward parabola

pouty pinions nipped, they stalled firm
& limbered to land. the sea sent the next trick-up-its-sleeve
commanded a light brigade of waves
—Boreum blinded by the coruscating sun in their foamy

manes— volley of pebbles, glib as katabatic wind
as solid, chewed up by their fat hooves, Boreum
in a briny, shallow crevice, waited
out that cavalry, insensate with its own aplomb.

The sea had pulled all its punches, weary
it opted to negotiate— Boreum had just one hope
: she wanted to be best pals with the sea.
From the grapple of paw & wet salt came friendship

which sailed beyond their differences. Good sea : Good dog.
Heading back home Boreum wouldn’t quiet nor
still, barking & wagging wagging & barking her
tail & tongue, for her new pal the sea.

dead Jindo soliloquy

Daniel Paul Marshall

i hope Tim Miller at wordandsilence doesn’t mind that i quote his long poem To the House of the Sun in a sonnet about a dead Jindo?

Dead Jindo Soliloquy

Maggots dripping from its black
mouth like molten Bramley oozing from a split in pastry.
A white hire car likely hit it: 99% more traffic
accidents in 2016— this poor Jindo won’t make
statistic. Maggots waste not want not. i turn to my
dog & say, this body too will look like that
it is not exempt from that fate
i quote from scripture: Miller, HOS, Book 24:1.
She’s ill at ease, her eyes & tail tell all.

The corpse has many lessons, wants so little,
gives flesh & sinew to the dust or hungry animals,
its stiff tongue never argues, only lolls
in mockery of fretting that the living deal

—the breathlessly anxious are the joke of the…

View original post 1 more word

dead Jindo soliloquy

i hope Tim Miller at wordandsilence doesn’t mind that i quote his long poem To the House of the Sun in a sonnet about a dead Jindo?

Dead Jindo Soliloquy

Maggots dripping from its black
mouth like molten Bramley oozing from a split in pastry.
A white hire car likely hit it: 99% more traffic
accidents in 2016— this poor Jindo won’t make
statistic. Maggots waste not want not. i turn to my
dog & say, this body too will look like that
it is not exempt from that fate
i quote from scripture: Miller, HOS, Book 24:1.
She’s ill at ease, her eyes & tail tell all.

The corpse has many lessons, wants so little,
gives flesh & sinew to the dust or hungry animals,
its stiff tongue never argues, only lolls
in mockery of fretting that the living deal

—the breathlessly anxious are the joke of the dead.

edgelands

this poem made an appearance at The Poetry Shed sometime last year, June i think. some may not have got to read it so here it is again. thanks to Abegail Morley for publishing this.

edgeland

where the throat of the grass is driest
never having sampled Jeju’s mineral cool spring water
that cuts through the cypress forests trimmed with ferns
to the doorsteps of houses & into farmers’ taps.
where bored looking boats are anchored in brackish water.
where the stucco of tiny houses flakes like acne,
in desperate need of grouting round the kitchen pipes
from which steam seeps like abstruse enjambments.
where forlorn buildings are without evidence of life
but i can hear faint whisperings of soap opera ghosts
& old Korean songs about homesickness, love & parting.
where after years of salt water walloping it,
hand prints of rust splay the lighthouse’s cheek.
where tires weigh down fishing nets for no apparent reason
: nothing moves except the wind sailing gull-kites
who hover round the restaurant to harpoon chance meals.

where a bitch & her scar faced tyke stray,
tugboat eyed & peculiar for Jeju’s homeless dogs,
because they do not scatter like the tourists’ litter
but chew at the hub of my boots, paw at my scarf,
bury wet noses like washed cherries in the crevices of my clothes.
the mother worries that the tyke is being a pest, winches it away,
as if she knows that pestering might make me alter
my decision to feed her some morsel hidden in my ample pockets
-supine, she scuffles with the pup who claws her dugs.
i hold the pup up for closer inspection; it seems so familiar with me,
at ease, as if it greets me from a previous incarnation;
i wonder if the circumstances were better last time we met?

on the perimeters

 

on the perimeters

poor street bitch, famished & lonely, tiptoe
your perfect parabola, study me
for sudden movements, then scuttle anxious bursts
in mimicry of all the other homeless dogs,
risking the treacherous oscillations of traffic
to protect the precious cargo you ferry to life

: you must have 5 pups or thereabouts due.
in your warm hammock-womb
they swing to the omniscient hush of the sea
& develop in the only peaceful sleep they’ll know.
i don’t read in your tidy steps any complaint
about our leftovers being your only nourishment.

how are your sufferings measured?
if you do wrong, you wedge your tail between your legs & pin your ears back.
if cut you bleed & whelp, if throttled whine.
if without your permission we approach your pups you snarl.
if you see another dog you sob for their affection.
if cold you dither once it slinks beneath your fur.

so we’re not so dissimilar, you & i.
the disused perimeters of this island appeal to us,
the outer reaches skeptical of inward things
affect us, so too the elements & lonesomeness. we chose to be
as far away from tourists & their selfie sticks as possible;
it’s here, where we’re the only life for miles, we meet.

 

the harbour town, hallim, where i live, has an abundance of street dogs & they must have lived such miserable lives to distrust people so much. should you wave a tin of tuna before them they wouldn’t come & take it from you, for fear of what you may be capable of; regardless how pure you know your intentions to be.
i respect their capacity to endure. to endure loneliness. to survive. they cannot grumble. they have not the mechanism for grumbling & yet their complex emotions are plain to see when you note how they abandon a comfort to elude us. that we are to be steered clear of. not to be trusted. i think we can learn something about ourselves from their insight.