The dog on the path appears
from the shadows of nothing.
About the size of a wolf,
it does not growl, nor does it move
its down-pointed tail. Like solitude
or winter, a glaze across
its smooth black coat. A bat
cuts through dusk’s thinning light.
Under my boots mule dung and sand
sticky with resin-wet needles. The sun
rolls back. Bees and time linger
in gravity’s gold hue. Clay rooftops
of Litochoro burn red. Clouds lose heft —
divested of earthy commitment. Slanted
forward, I continue up. There are goat
smells — I hear them crying but cannot see
their shaggy brown coats. Wind gusts
through the cauldron, Zeus hurling judgments
down at Echo. Soon, no shadows or root-held
stones, just loosened slake and time-pressed snow.
No birds or trees atop the mountain. Gods,
not dogs, above the muses.
Published online September 01 2010.
They say a poem is never finished, only set aside. The poet is always tampering, fixing, loving or hating the work. By the time it is sent to a literary magazine the poem has been worked pretty hard. If it is good enough to be accepted to CV2, it is a moment of celebration, an opportunity to let go — happy for the recognition, glad the poem has found a dignified place to rest and shine before the reader tampers, fixes, loves or destroys it!
— Jim Nason