The wind has scoured the branches clean, but the old concrete dog standing at point in the shelter of the lilac still wears a coat of snow.


  1. “What is it that really matters? For the poppy, that the poppy disclose its red: for the cabbage, that it run up into weakly fiery flower.” ~ D.H. Lawrence

    The kid wearing nothing but a hoodie and jeans
    swoops across the boulevard on his skateboard.

    The light changes. No snow, but it’s freezing.
    Cars are distant specks, always moving closer.

    Early enough in the day, or in between.
    The wind has scoured the branches clean,

    but stone dogs and lions (stubbornly paired,
    flanking doorways) still wear their coats

    of snow. Beneath the scratchy layers of wool
    and viscose, I want to rub my hands together

    to make a little flame; to steeple my fingers
    then spring the gates open to a frenzy of wings,

    nestled bodies– all those jeweled dreams
    tumbling from the rafters and onto my lap.

    ~ Luisa A. Igloria
    01 13 2011

  2. Porches have this way of noting counterpoints:
    an anomaly of shorn branches, blackened leaves
    rotting in snow, a hiatus of spring hinted coyly
    by bare bramble bloomed past a promised season
    when lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d…
    but the old concrete dog standing at point
    in the shelter of the lilac still wears a coat of snow,
    like all memento mori—still and unmoved
    though life and laughter teem around hearths
    and homes and hearts that remember:

    Rover razzing rabbits out of cabbage patches,
    Rover playing catch where twigs snapped
    and whipped from wind and whistle were
    what passed, when retrieved, as love from
    a canine’s best friend, Rover roughing up crayfish
    strayed on breakwater boulders in lost beaches,
    Rover at the foot of the rocking chair whimpering
    when the chair was empty and forever still.
    When the wind had scoured the branches clean,
    Rover pined and pawed at a stone marker and left.

    There is a Canaan after this absence of foliage
    and this reign of gloom, as frisky as remembrances
    of the dog now sheltered by blackened lilac bushes
    still standing at point, an old concrete dog
    that wears a coat of snow. There is a covenant
    in the whistle of the wind: the leaves will be back
    on their twigs soon, and snow will be swept off
    this sentry’s back, but memories like fallen lilac
    will cover its back before it wears a coat of snow.


    Mr. Bonta,
    I have been reading Luisa Igloria’s poems triggered by your ligne donnee (given line), and I just had to chime in with mine. I marvel at how this is truly a limbering exercise for the poet’s mind, and how Luisa has created gems out of your Morning Porch lines. May I join you and her in this bright creation of beauty and thought?

    1. Mr. Casuga – Of course you may! The more, the merrier, and I’m honored. If you decide to post this elsewhere, just be sure to link back to this page.

      A very musical poem! Apparently the statue in my yard doesn’t mark the grave of a long-gone pet — or so various former residents have said. I’m not so sure.

      1. Thank you, Mr. Bonta. I reposted the poem in my litblog (ambit’s gambit) with notes about your Morning Porch and your collaboration with Luisa Igloria. See you at the porch tomorrow.

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