“Shiloh’s Ode To After Autumn”
During our first year or two, Snz and I spent a fair amount of time at a friend’s place. We’d bend an elbow, throw a dart, bank an eight ball or two, while forever feeding a fine analogue juke box. The bar was called Cody’s, named after our buddy’s dog. And a great dog he was, and I was a big fan. When Cody sired nine puppies, we got dibs.
Took Snz damn near three hours to pick, but only minutes to name her—Shiloh. And Shiloh and I began going everywhere. Walking from Wrigleyville to breakfast near the driving range at Diversy Harbor and on to Oak Street beach. All that stopped, year three, when she had, back to back, torn ACL’s. But then we’d hang at the bars around Wrigley when the Cubs were out of town. She was a well behaved regular, and known by most on the strip.
And Shiloh was great company when I began playing with DOS based bulletin boards, then moved to Dreamweaver and the WWW. She got me off my ass and away from this or that toggle at least five times a day. Much needed.
Autumn had arrived, and Snz was in law school, when I threw up my first website. It was a pitiful looking thing. It was 1996 ugly. But content is king being the catchphrase, I needed something fresh to post. “Poetry—oh no.” I said out loud to an under the desk Shiloh. She barely looked up. “O.K. you post something.” She could not have cared less.
Lightening. Not a poem about my puppy, a poem by my puppy. Make it simple and silly and who’s to argue with a puppy’s point of view. No one’s going to take it seriously. They’ll view..read it, if at all, as a joke. Filler. Content.
So I began poemin’ my first poem ever. But didn’t post it. Until Snz got home and said, ” It’s fun..why not.”
Shiloh’s Ode To After Autumn
The light goes out now, much quicker
the air is thin, with a chill
the squirrel seems just a bit thicker
I get closer, but not quiet, still
we’re not at the lake quite as often
when there, there’s a damp from the east
the ball, tossed, lands on land softened
then rolls less the length of my leash
Why is the above getting lower
Why do the leaves riot and rust
Why does the Orange rise slower
and, “let’s go,” no maybe, a must
I believe it gets white; I remember
I believe it gets pure; I think
it’s a clean carpet they call December
made to run through, roll in, and drink
It’s a ghost of a gift, I’m recalling
just appears, disappears, reappears
first falls, doesn’t stay, just stalling
weathered reasons refusal to fear
Then, when all sounds make my throat run
just when my bark is for keeps
it falls with a feline-like motion
December, white, wet, and nose deep
And that’s how a jones begins.