Wraith of the Straw Man

tis easily the 100th time.
run, run, runaway
Blasts after a prairie dog.
pulling free from his Leash.
as his ilk will,
into the ethereal

his coat, the color of August hay
barely distinguishable in the hazy heat.
he is lost to me
as I stagger,
stumbling into every prairie dog hole.
jumping at every clicking grasshopper wing,
fearing a rattler.

i lose ground.
voice lost in the rush of wind.
lips too dry to whistle.

at the half mile mark,
he turns to make sure
I am still chasing him.
I glimpse a searing scarlet tongue as he laughs
leaping into the river bank.

I am weary and the temperature
on open plain is either
100 above or 100 below.
I give up
I turn away
I can do no more:
So long,
hope ya catch that
elusive carp or wily rabbit.

In disgust,
I salute
my straw hat
at the straw dog.

It’s his signal.
louder than Thor.
bolt of lightning
from a clear sky.
He is at my side.
He has served me well.
As he would tell it.

I guess I have finally learned
Chase me. I run away.
Leave me. I run toward.

How like a predator and prey.
How like love and betrayal.

it’s still a mystery.
how a color blind beast, at dusk
can tell the round of my back
at a mile’s distance.
in 40 mile an hour wind.

He nudges me faster with a wet face
a sharp, cool nip
against my bare skin.
He’s a’wanting to get home now
It’s later than he thought.

How like love.
How like madness.


  1. how fine of you to see the emotional aspects of this bit.. In that it is not about dogs at all, but about straw dogs and the faulty ” straw man ” argument.ahhhh you were listening in class.
    A wise author said:
    Everything is autobiographical. Everything is a lie.
    Does that answer your questions?

  2. I am intrigued by your words and expressions. They are spoken in such a way that sounds as if it speaks from experience. Spoken in real emotional detail. In such detail and feeling that can only come from one who is standing in the mists of the storm or has just blazed through it……. As I said, I am one who likes to break things down…. Are these your real emotional paths you are traveling down or have traveled before, or are you really good at decieving my judgement? I am left asking questions about “who you are, and what makes you tick?” Either way they are amazingly written and they make me look up to you more as a writer. They remind me to express myself artisticly. Excluding all moral, practical, religious, and political concerns that others may expect of me and to look through the picture to see the real story..

    Thank you for enlightening me…..

  3. Most writings we read and then try to relate the story to our own life in someway, looking to see if there is a glimpse of emotion that connects with our soul and we can then find understanding. I read your writings and they are deep with possibilities. Being one that has to break things down to discover the root of everything, I am finding that I am left in the end asking many questions out loud. I am thoroughly intrigued ! Thank you.

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