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Voluminous Loving to Do

I look at my Golden for infinite moments.
Her eyebrows move in that way
that makes me love her with fiery guts,
that makes me feel more love than imaginable,
and I turn away, voice bouncing off walls,
“You must live longer than I.
I don’t have much business left here,
but you have voluminous loving to do.”

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  1. #1 by Find an Outlet on November 15, 2011 - 12:46 am

    No. Her loving is for you and you shouldn’t wish to outlive her because you don’t know what will happen to her, which is usually nothing good at all. Now don’t make me have to drive to Kansas.

    • #2 by Carl on November 15, 2011 - 8:56 pm

      We don’t have much sense in Kansas but we want our dogs to be immortal, and how can you blame us?

  2. #3 by Carl D'Agostino on November 15, 2011 - 6:02 am

    If the “Golden” is a retriever dog and anything like yellow labs, I understand.

    • #4 by Carl on November 15, 2011 - 8:58 pm

      Yes – Also like Chocolate Labs – They are made by God as a gift we don’t necessarily deserve.

  3. #5 by pattisj on November 15, 2011 - 8:02 am

    Oh yeah, this hits close to home.

    • #6 by Carl on November 15, 2011 - 8:58 pm

      Thank you for commenting!

  4. #7 by ebbtide on November 16, 2011 - 10:52 pm

    I completely relate… sometimes I think the purest form of love I’ve ever had is from my dogs.

    • #8 by Carl on November 24, 2011 - 8:00 pm

      Thank you for commenting! It’s good of you to stop by.

  5. #9 by Find an Outlet on November 17, 2011 - 7:28 pm

    I can’t believe how I’ve totally misinterpreted this poem. I really have no business reading poetry. Everybody thinks this poem is beautiful, I do not. I think it’s depressing and sad and even selfish.

    This poem, to me, is not about the love we get from dogs (or cats). That is already stated in the first couple lines. This poem, to me, says, I am about to die, probably by my own hand, but I want my dog to live. That’s not what makes your dog immortal. In fact, my animals have saved my life many times and of course I am not immortal, but I will live a long life because of them, this I know. Because they need me, and future animals will need me, I will not take my own life nor will I end up in a nursing home. They empower me in many ways. I have seen too many people die and their pets end up with the needle. Sometimes the pets end up in our disgusting town pound. Sometimes family members dump the pets in remote areas.

    And labs were not made by god, they were designed by man to serve them, and continue to be bred by greedy merchants who charge a thousand dollars while beautiful, natural, unique mutts get euthanized by the millions every single day.

    I’m sorry if I sound angry, it’s really at myself for being so clueless. I obviously read much more into it than you intended. I think I will stop trying to decipher poetry, it just hurts my head. Perhaps I will try Basque, or maybe Icelandic.

    • #10 by Carl on November 24, 2011 - 8:11 pm

      I get fearful reading your comment, that this was your reaction, but there is nothing wrong with how you interpreted the poem. When I write a poem, I put it out there knowing full well that there will be different reactions. Some reactions will be gratifying beyond belief, but some will be discouraging to me because I have not done very well and I have come across with a message that is different from the one I intended. That’s part of the whole deal.

      Labs and retrievers do have more amenable and loving personalities than many breeds and most mutts, and if man had anything to do with it, he got lucky. I get just as discouraged by breeders as anyone, and all of my dogs are rescues, so I’m not contributing to the euthanization, but I understand why some people are better to buy from a breeder, so breeders aren’t all evil.

      And back to the poem, luckily it is a moment in time and not a constant feeling; otherwise the speaker would be suicidal. Depressives have these bad moments, very bad moments, and perhaps this is one of them, when the beauty of the dog’s purpose is so perfect that it contrasts with the empty meaningless of the depressive dramatically. Not many humans get that sort of emptiness.

  6. #11 by siubhan on November 23, 2011 - 9:01 am

    Carl, I think there is a beautiful sadness in this. but it does sound a little as if you’ve given up, and that makes me worry. clearly, to me, you still have much of beauty to share with the world yourself.

    • #12 by Carl on November 24, 2011 - 8:21 pm

      Thank you for commenting. Luckily, this is not a constant feeling, but it’s a scary one.

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