Old Chained Dog

this chained dog howls
at every incident
choking on the collar
all day he grumbles
over most recent intrusion
this chained dog often
I am fused with him
and I bark, too, and I bark, so,
without a sense of why
I ruminate and gnaw our bone
contemplating that most recent intrusion
I am fused with tumultuous
surface of windblown water
mindless of all the volumes below
the dog and I choppy waters
skim the surface like a speedboat
crashing up and down
jarring crest and trough
comparing and expecting
remarkable how such
happenstance of recent interaction
tells the story of life’s injustices
echoes redolent of my lack
like knocking on a log
revealing hollow spaces
in the timbre of the sound,
this chained dog feeds on expectation
ever on high alert,
so I go and speak to him of gratitude
standing shoeless in the yard
with the crabgrass twixt my toes
amid smell of chlorine and clay
I attempt soothing incantations,
guided meditations and affirmations,
but the old chained dog looks puzzled
has a grumble for every affirmation,
he might simply wave a hand
to indicate the sidewalk
and its never-ending stream of intrusions
which he is powerless to stop,
meanwhile a gust of wind
rattles the chain-link fence
and sends a swirl of leaves
skittering down the street,
and the dog howls
who’s there?! who’s coming?!
I, too, feel the hairs stand on end
my calves and forearms prickly,
and the dog begins to gnaw
on old memories admixed with trauma,
so I stand ill at ease in the yard
feeling the tension of the old chained dog
echoes of old arguments
heard beyond my childhood bedroom door
in the pattern of my thoughts
like the syncopated metal shrieking
of chain-link, like a seesaw’s wail,
and try to focus on the clouds
and the mountains in the distance—
I always found the far distance soothing,
and dreamed of disappearing
into the background of a museum diorama —
allowing all I cannot reconcile
to lay down this diorama
a miniature landscape of my psyche,
myself in my context as I am
stemming from the soil from which I grew

Photo by Lucas Pezeta on Pexels.com

Published by Miles of Mindfulness

My name is Mike Bragg. I'm a Denver-based cycling enthusiast and a big advocate of mindfulness. I enjoy the outdoors, and I use mindfulness practices to help myself be more present with my adventures. I like to read challenging material, and I have a keen interest in ancient history and natural sciences.

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