Friday, February 16, 2018

Jeremy Seligson writes

Old Friend, Welcome the Lunar Year of the Dog, 2/16/2018

All the letters for Dog are included in Dragon ~
Who knows? ~ one day a dog may grow into a Dragon!
All the more reason to welcome it! All the more to cheer!
I see a red one in front of me standing in a green field
Staring over at something far away, maybe
Another dog ~ yellow ~ peering off the hill.
Soon one or the other will bark. I would fear dogs
And before that loved, and now I love again;
Yet, with a touch of caution. Rapid ones can kill;
A puppy can break your heart. I have died from a growl
And have had my heart broken by a whimper.

James is a soul in India, who loves dogs so much
That he rescues their sick or broken bodies from the streets.
He takes them in and repairs them best he can. He shelters
Hundreds in outdoor pens. I have stayed in them, too.
The first hour, scared of being ripped. The second,
Of getting sniffed. The third, feeling licked all over by blind
And crippled, great and small ones, pink and blue ones...
James, who is an American, with wife and daughter, has lived
In Rajasthan for eighteen years, free of fear, full of hope.
Every dog loves him and so does every volunteer ~ as far as
I can see. One out of twelve of us is reborn a Dog.
Happy New Year of the Dog to you, and everybody else!
Let us be kind to each other today.

With love, Fred Jeremy Seligson

Image result for year of the dog paintings
Zodiac Dog -- Thailan When


  1. Shengxiao, the Chinese zodiac assigns an animal (and its reputed attributes) to each year in a repeating 12-year cycle which approximates Jupiter's 11.86-year orbital period. In addition, "inner animals" are assigned by month, "true animals" by day, and "secret animals" by hour. The yearly animal merely represents how others perceive a person, or how he presents himself, not necessarily their actual character. The 12 animals are linked to the traditional Chinese agricultural calendar, which is divided into 24 2-week segments (solar terms); each animal is linked to 2 solar terms; unlike the 60-year lunar calendar, which can vary by as much as a month in relation to the Western calendar, the Chinese calendar varies by only 1 day, beginning each 60-year cycle on 3 or 4 February. Dragons are intense, powerful, erratic, intelligent, magnanimous, charismatic, charming, authoritative, confident, eloquent, and artistic, but may be manipulative, jealous, selfish, aggressive, vindictive, or deceitful. Dogs are productive, enthusiastic, independent, may be rash, rebellious, quarrelsome, anxious, stubborn, or disagreeable; they are seekers of true love and pursuers of humanitarian causes. The Jade Emperor summoned all the animals and decreed that the years on the calendar would be named for each animal in the order they arrived. To reach the meeting place a river had to be crossed. Cat and Rat decided to ride across on the back of Ox. But Rat pushed Cat into the water and then jumped onto the bank and was thus 1st to arrive; since them cats have made constant war on rats. (The cat is not on the zodiac because it was introduced to China by Buddhists from India centuries before the cat's arrival.) Ox was in 2nd place. Then Tiger arrived, having been delayed by the river's strong current. Rabbit came in 4th; it had tried to jump from stone to stone across the stream but finally had to cling to a floating log that washed it to shore. Dragon was delayed, 1st by bringing rain to a drought-stricken village and then by blowing onto shore the log that bore the helpless Rabbit. Snake hid itself on Horse's hoof and, as the neared the meeting place, suddenly appearing, causing Horse to fall back in fright and thus beating him. Goat, Monkey, and Rooster arrived together after cooperating to cross: Rooster found a raft, and the other 2 tugged and pulled the weeds away. Dog, the best swimmer, was late because he dallied, bathing and playing in the water. Pig stopped to eat and then fell asleep, causing him to finish in last place.


    Between Notspringnotsummer, soundtrack courtesy of bird chirps and distant insects.
    Adolescent sun, past initial timidity but its untested tyranny tentative still.
    People in the park, some in shorts some in sweaters; children greening themselves in the grass.
    Some sort of toy chihuahuaterrier mix of a lot of little and not much of large bounds across lawns, satellite dish ears heavenward, windshield wiper (misbuilt in back!) aquiver with boundless welcome, petunia tongue pinkly sampling the sprawlers,
    heedless of that other dog making its stately way through the same expanse of soil oblivious of all those lesser beings in its presence (though each thinks itself the center and primary recipient of the awakening cosmos).
    Just as the fyce ostentatiously lifts its back leg in a tree's proximity, the haughty dog hikes its own arrogant leg and pisses all eternity over the little dog's head before proceeding on its uncaring way with no backward glance at the wet Why Me? etched against a shivering muzzle.
    Springs and summers revolve revolve round the sun's reigns and falls. Green kids brown and pale, redden, fade. Park people wrinkle and perish.
    The canine autocrat loses a foreleg to one hubristic auto but otherwise surrenders little self regard or aristocratic inattention
    except when it's winter and the ground is ice and the amputee must balance on two pins front and back near the withered tree.
    Sometimes he slips, loses his grip, pisses all over himself, shakes it off, and dares the fyce to smirk.

    --Duane Vorhees


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