Therein lies the fur, filled with running wind,
Milkweed in the scruff, the scent of wild-wood,
Some mystery-hearted forest where pulse begins.
Therein lies the Centaur, satyr, and god-disguised swan,
Ageless wonders prowled upon by an age-old Parthenon.
You broke your wolf’s tooth through those haunches of lore.
Therein lies the fur, filled with barking dust and dandelion war,
With a spine that stretched back to the she-wolf and city-birth,
The peeled nerve of a howl once tremored your Aurelian lips.
Therein lies the serf, hunter, fairer hand, and lord,
From wattles and daub, the wandering-sands of Saracen, or Crusader’s moor.
You kept the path beside to remind that instinct shines as the holiest earth.
Therein lies the fur, the warm, ungovernable peasant of sleep,
Ever prophetic in your skies by eyeshut-trace of the hunting moon,
Twitching at the day’s thousand faces, all asleep in themselves.
Therein lies the soldier, nurse, chaplain, and fell-prayer,
Mange-like war is the whimpering season with its flea-bitten welts of stars.
You struck blind but true at the throat of gas-hissing war.
Therein lies the fur, outracing the rain and the spout,
Nested with more birds and Autumn song than rain,
Your sleeping ear pooled like cool eaves of the barn.
I sing once more like a boy into your unfolded ear.
Listen always for my ancient, choral voice and your chores of play,
And race earback to the sun in the belly-grass of your free-eyed fields.
Leave your last paw mark, torn on the red clay of my hand.
You are forever wrapped in human touch, ageless and aged,
And if ever the dark in madder darkness encroaches,
Leave black eternity to my faithful eyes.
For Dingo, dog of war.