Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. Leonard Cohen

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Like a dog who's been kicked too many times
He leads with his growl
Teeth bared
All aggression and anger
He's come to expect pain
so he strikes first
Dares anyone to come too close
It usually works
No one approaches
Fear begets fear
If only someone would try
to see past the savage snarling
and reach out a hand
Slowly, gently
Pat his tormented head
He might just roll over
for a tummy rub.

submitted for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Susan Says, Stretching Comparisons


Kay L. Davies said...

Achingly beautiful, Lolamouse. I can't bear the thought of a dog — or a person — being kicked. A super response to the prompt.

Heaven said...

I think when one has been kicked and abused so many times, he or she is on a defensive ~ Like the softness in the end, there's hope yet for everyone ~

Wishing you Happy day ~

Sabio Lantz said...

I love this metaphor -- and you have told it superbly. I work with patients who present mean-spirited out of habit and with a little nurturing and respect, they can soften up after a while.

I am a poetic ignoramus, but I would suggest:
(a) Punctuation
You only put in one punctuation - a coma after slowly.
Line breaks are great punctation too.
But I'd prefer punctuation to Capital Letters Which YELL.
SO .....
...kicked too many times,
he leads with his grow,
teeth bared;
all aggression and anger.

There, for example, I got rid of three unnecessary CAPS.

I won't continue -- you get my point. But again, I don't know anything about poetry -- it is just one reader's thoughts on a poem he REALLY (yelling) liked! :-)

Oh, yes, love you blog design!!

Kim Nelson said...

One of the day's best. Not only do you keenly honor the prompt; but also, you make several social observations about experience-based behavior, fear/hate/anger, and unconditional approach and loving. Excellent work.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Yes, there are many people like this - so sad.

Brian Miller said...

what a sad reality...abused by life...and now reacts on instinct...snapping back...and if only someone took the time to go beyond that growl...would they find him just in need of love...

Fireblossom said...

The most unlovable need love the most, so they say.

Susan said...

Perfect and perfect. I can see the Man because I can see the Dog, the extended simile works in each and every point, even when you get to the "if only"! I went back to my true subject in the end of my poem without such a cool effect. Of course, what if the hand is bitten off before it can gently touch the aching head? If we always expect the worst, we'll never even try. Great poem!

Mama Zen said...

Fantastic response to the prompt! This just makes me want to cry.

Ella said...

Wow Lolamouse! I too think abuse brings the cycle of defensive actions....so scary!
I too love the ending and how you worked through this!

Yes, love does soften us up :D

I <3 your poem