Fetch? Balls and sticks capture my attention
seconds at a time. Catch? I don’t think so.
Bunny, tumbling leaf, a squirrel who’s—oh
joy—actually scared. Sniff the wind, then

I’m off again: muck, pond, ditch, residue
of any thrillingly dead thing. And you?
Either you’re sunk in the past, half our walk,
thinking of what you never can bring back,

or else you’re off in some fog concerning
—tomorrow, is that what you call it? My work:
to unsnare time’s warp (and woof!), retrieving,
my haze-headed friend, you. This shining bark,

a Zen master’s bronzy gong, calls you here,
entirely, now: bow-wow, bow-wow, bow-wow.

  • Mark Doty, “Golden Retrievals” from Sweet Machine: Poems. Copyright © 1998 by Mark Doty. Reprinted with the permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

  • Source: Sweet Machine: Poems (HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 1998)

Poet Bio

What People are Saying

"I learned that to channel a poem you don't need to act or be dramatic. You just need to listen to the words and tell your own story with them. "
Eleni Spiliotes
2018 NH POL Champ