My dog has been gone for quite some time now. Still, I look for a living dog where ground is set aside for meadow beauty, meadow brown and meadow fescue, meadow mushroom and the blushing cheeks of meadowsweet where there were larks unequaled singing. No singing here, at the moment. I see the meadow rue and the meadow saffron, bright eyes of the meadow mouse, all manner of beauty speckling other beauty. I watch where a bird throws itself overhead and a mystery shadow is cast, and alert my senses to any sight or bark-like sound to claim as my dead dog's reaction to my heart's tattoo. For some reason, this day especially I miss him. I invite magic and call his life back to me until I feel sick... and must usher myself away.

The world is filled with handsome men and beautiful women, with each moving to individual purpose, and gain or loss. All are to be recognized and enjoyed as if walking through a museum or a carnival, depending on mood or circumstance. We have but to see each face, or think of it, to hear each voice, or remember it, and the museum, the carnival goes on and on with color, lights and movement……and all, in equal share, are bright, and none are pale. There is great beauty in this shared existence.

Observing Nature-#1 Hawks are executioners, slow spirals above the landscape. They bank sharp-sightedly over the ground. They are centrifugal above the meadow, pale-eyed, contentious looking for altercation, for something with quickening heartbeat, something that may briefly whistle or shriek as it is taken toward the rock face to be served as red fiber from the executioner's beak.

Observing Nature -- #2 The owl interrogates the darkness. It is judge and jury, and a bit Shakespearean in it's fine trappings of feathers that keep a secret of it smaller drama. It is somewhat dough-faced, reluctant to make acquaintance, yet is a scrutinized alliance on the list of the farmer's allies (from proven reputation of waging war against the rodent), or when not standing in solidarity with that task --- bright-eyed, statuesque, judging from some hollow tree, spinning its head at each encroachment all through the antisocial hours.

Observing Nature--#3 The blue jay is a handsome criminal, a gossip and instigator, bright colors with a pirate heart. It is a miscreant, a bully bird, a cousin of the crow. It tests courage on other birds, on felines or maybe on a lady's hat. It brings beauty to the world, though it is often an uninvited guest to certain depots, is impatient for its future, and whenever the opportunity arises, robs cradles of other birds to make its own children lunch.

Observing Nature-- # 4: The ant is lean and military, PFC, Continental, excited by an apple core. You are tireless to serve one fat mother and busy with the black earth, bits of scrimmage, static, ciphers, prophetic script. You are a dot-to-dot calligraphy over crumbs. You scurry through the pebbles, press your belly to the grasses, clean, trim in your dark uniform. You assist those in your army and war with outside factions, all this with tireless devotion, under heavy loads. You spend yourself in circles in a follow-the-leader chain after infiltration of an enemy camp and prove the claim with a granule of white sugar, swaggering secure in the belief that what is stolen is only taken if it's for the common good and shared. 

Are you feeling sad today? Are you busted to fragments that cower from possibility of other blows? Are you hurt by the present, by those present, those missing, or the dead? Are your remaining pieces cradling the abscess as you stumble through the dimensions, shunning reception, bruising your knuckles in dispute of companionship, and yet somehow you walk among the public and you smile for the sake of smiling because sadness and paranoia attract too much attention? Bless you, and may what started your day in horror release and drop you gently into peace. 

When there is little left in a relationship beyond the bare essentials: ---- Nearly as surely as there is a steel habit that responds to a horseshoe magnet,--- As certainly as dogs bark and doors swing on a hinge,-- A man utters a name of a woman. He knows it well. (He is here, and yet not.) (And she is here, and yet not.)  -- It's a hard bed of asthmatic breathing. He is enough a man and naked. She is enough a woman, and sufficiently exposed.-- It is the close of a day with nothing else in common. They pass back and forth the germs of an emotionally debilitating, separating, but non-fatal disease. It keeps them from knowing they are no longer touching each other.