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Per Diem for July 2019: Dogs


This month, Per Diem features haiku selected by Corine Timmer that explores her love of dogs, a topic which is sure to connect with many readers. Her wonderful selection is a tribute to the presence, playfulness and companionship of dogs. And in true haiku style, it captures the precious moments that underscore the importance of the relationship between man and beast.

–  Rob Scott


In this haiku selection I would like to share with you my admiration and passion for dogs. The dog was the first species to be domesticated and they have been a loyal companion to humans ever since. Mutual respect and cooperation between canids and humans can be found in the stories of many indigenous peoples around the world and so too, in haiku. Many of you have a dog or know someone with a dog. In an age where many things in our lives are being reduced to what we can see and do on a screen, pets such as dogs can teach us not only about the reality of what biology is but about ourselves as well.

–  Corine Timmer

This Post Has 91 Comments

  1. Many thanks again to Corine — and to each poet included in her July Per Diem selections. Even more than usual, I looked forward to reading each day’s offering. Nice to read so many comments and additional dog haiku too. I’m pretty sure we could do an entire year’s worth and still not scratch the surface of all the great dog haiku that have been published. Appreciate! –Billie

    1. Yes, a great set, and it inspired me to response to a THF Haiku Dialogue photo with dogs! 🙂
      dogs on the run
      the pixels in the bark
      of each one
      Alan Summers
      Haiku Dialogue ed. KJMunro (July 31, 2019)

    2. It was a pleasure to discover and enjoy these poems. Thanks to Rob Scott and each participating poet and all those who read the poems and commented.

  2. Always deeply poignant to see a freshly published haiku by Rachel:
    long grass
    finding the puppy
    by his bark
    – Rachel Sutcliffe
    Such a lovely person who left us far too soon.

  3. warm in my hand
    her heart shaped
    dog tag

    by Maxianne Berger

    her dog has been euthanized and she holds the still warm heart-shaped dog tag. a very sad experience, not to go home with the whole warm pet….but the warm tag….the only thing closest to it.
    poem is worked so well to convey this passing….perhaps it was planned and expected,..

  4. was the owner having a heart attack/ in a car crash or both? the dog survives, it ?

    then they both…never saw it coming!

  5. this is a question for Rob Scot as well as Corine T.
    how is it that i no longer find links on mail notices
    for PER DIEM NEWS?

    it is difficult to have to go to the white window of another page in order to access this…to comment, and read new comments.

    The links appear on every mail notification for Haiku Dialogue, Music, Books added…and when you are taking surveys etc…..but not this group….did it get dropped off at a shelter somewhere?
    Please, can you bring it back? I miss it.

    1. Rob Scott….i forgot the other “t”….but not you, and the great job of doing these segments in the THF….

      Now…this new selected poem of corine’s :

      by LeRoy Gorman

      never saw it coming
      the blind dog
      dropped at the shelter

      OMG!!! this is so heart-taking.
      it makes me feel for the dog and the owner.

      even though the dog has lost his vision…he will still know that he is no longer at home…through the other senses, he won’t hear his owner’s voice, feel his owner’s pet, smell his home, his surroundings…paths will be different when he walks, he will feel the hard cement floor, on his paw pads, he will taste a food…very different than he was used to….etc…etc. he will know he has been abandoned….he will be surrounded by the lonely, frightened barks of other dogs and become just another bark.

      I also feel for the owner….what could have been so stressful in the owner’s life that he/she had to let this pet go? Did the owner have to go to an…assisted living center, has the owner passed away? Has the owner also lost his/her sight and could not
      adequately care for this dog and look out for its safety?
      Is the owner cognizant of the dog being surrendered? Did the owner have Alzheimer’s?

      It’s a two way street…the bonds that are made in life…may outlive us

      the poet leaves the reasons hidden….so i can fill it in myself.

  6. rush hour
    a stray dog sleeps
    at the luggage counter

    Tor Sverredal

    oh….how both lonely and hopeful this poem makes me feel. the dog wishes to be picked up and brought to a real…forever…home…by planting himself with the luggage…..a stray dog may have a very dark history and carries a great deal of baggage…just like luggage….traveling here and there…and not always treated gently….the whiff of luggage that has been in hotel closets, stuffed with unlaundered clothes and unrefrigerated foods, etc. the stray dog…may feel a bond…with these transient bags.

  7. lost dog
    I leave my voice
    in every street

    -Madhuri Pillai_

    WoW! my goosebumps grew all up and down my arms, legs and the back of my neck!

  8. lost dog
    I leave my voice
    in every street
    Madhuri Pillai
    Melbourne, Australia
    My commentary for the print annual of The Heron’s Nest:
    The choice of wording and the “line break craft” makes this both simple and brilliant. It’s a great opening line which many readers can pull out their own experiences even before we all go further into the poem: We have all suffered loss after all. The second line is intriguing and makes us wonder and so we need to visit the next line, and then revisit the whole poem all over again.
    I hear the echoes, perceived or otherwise, of that voice, travelling the street long after the human has left. It’s a great example of super clean concrete imagery and where the abstract aspect both heightens, and is heightened, by the concreteness through the poem.
    Alan Summers
    Call of the Page

    1. Thank you Alan for your commentary on my haiku, it brings back memories of searching for a dog in the lonely streets of a country town, one entire afternoon. The sheer exhaustion and desperation!
      Losing a dog is like losing a family member. It all ended well, someone having found the dog had taken him to the local vet.

      Thank you Alan, loved reading the commentary.

      1. Love your haiku, Madhuri. Glad it ended well. Thanks for the commentary, Alan. We can all relate to this but the second line is unexpected and brilliant.

        1. Dear Corine,
          Agreed, the second line is “unexpected and brilliant” and often too much attention is paid to what is consider the money line, like the money note in a song, or the punch line, regarding the last line.
          lost dog
          I leave my voice
          in every street
          Madhuri Pillai
          Melbourne, Australia
          I often comment in our courses how the middle line is so important as well, and here we have a great example of a good context setting up opening line, and a strong last line, but it’s that middle line that both cements and enhances those 1st & 2nd lines, and of course those lines bracket the middle line brilliantly as well.
          I can imagine someone relating to this who has lost a child, hopefully very temporary. It packs a power, and a punch, with every single carefully selected word and line.

  9. afternoon the length of a dog’s tongue

    Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

    even my dogs love this one….they are sticking their tongues out at it…right now! GOOD DOG POEM Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

    1. Dear Shrikaanth,

      “afternoon the length of a dog’s tongue”

      AS Wendy says, a good dog poem- in single line, how much of a meaning compressed. Reading again again .
      with regards

    2. Wendy, I love Shrikaanth’s haiku, afternoon the length of a dog’s tongue. Brings a smile to my face too, all dog lovers can relate to this.

  10. Dear Michael Smeer,
    My esteemed friend and poet,Greetings.
    Really a wonderful choice, making me read all over again, especially from the last line, unique rhythm and meaning -catching.
    with regards

  11. spring breeze—-
    the pull of her hand
    as we near the pet store

    Michael Dylan Welch one of your best….it reminds me of so much of my life…from childhood… after my fifties…when a dog may have passed on….and my heart was not healed enough to get another pet…i would hang out and visit the dogs in the local pet shops… your poem…this person, be it child or spouse….(more likely-child), is very much heart ready to have this companion… beautifully expressed…it brings tears now.!
    That use have this set in spring….perhaps, a hint for an Easter basket gift???

    1. last line should read….That “you” have…not That “use” have…..

  12. Wonderful haiku tribute to ‘man’s and woman’s best friend’! Reminded me of my Montana experiences with our old Heinz 57 dog, Jolie

    spring snow melt…
    backyard filled with

    1. jolie will be remembered by me, Al, (and perhaps the rest of the readers of this blog) now that she has left surprising, frozen sculptures in my mind. …captured from your picturesque poem!

  13. my anaysis of Santōka Taneda’s poem

    (unconventional japan poet, who died in 1940)

    autumn night
    I received it from the dog
    and gave it to the cat

    is it a hopping thing or a flying thing?
    fleas can work here: but so can a bird….

    i believe he is speaking of a “knowing”, an instinct, a programing, and relating to the true nature of these two animals:

    the dog will go after the bird and catch it, giving it to its master, the master gives it to the cat…the cat will kill the bird and eat it.

    deeper than fleas…what do you think?
    how can this be compared to human instinct?

      1. sorry programming, not programing
        i am a notoriously poor speller…these are not typos!

    1. Wendy, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think the dog bought him a bird or a rabbit, as dogs do that, and then he gave it to the cat. But it could also be a toy and the three of them playing together. I think everyone who has a dog and/or cat will associate it with one of their own experiences which is great. It means the poet has left space for personal interpretation. I had a dog called Bella who was an excellent hunting dog. She would catch rabbits all the time and bring them to me. I was not able to skin the rabbit and eat it but certain Portuguese visitors suggested I should. I have eaten rabbit. I would give it back Bella and more often than not she would eat it. With a dog like that one could survive in the wild 🙂🐾

      1. yes, corine…in the reading of haiku, it can be” finished” by the reader, when enough wiggle room is left…then it could be a mouse, a rat….etc.

        because this poet, liked to go on frequent long begging walks….we can’t assume that the animals were his pets…or even present at the same time. As far as a toy, doubt that he could afford that! But i agree with you, it’s always OK to dream into the poem.

        i always like to find out what the original poet meant….for historical reference, as well as, to get a deeper understanding of the mindset/heart/and experience of the poet…and to study the architect of the poem

        btw: there are many videos on how to skin an animal,
        many years ago, i saw one where a young woman did it in the back of her station wagon or van…i had been considering feeding raw meat to my dogs, and researching it online…when i was enthralled about this topic.

        1. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could ask Santōka Taneda. However, the mystery does make the haiku interesting. For a dog to bring for example a bird or rabbit to its master, the two need to have a relationship in place (from my experience). In the wild, canines will carry their food back to their dens to present it to the pack’s Alpha. In the case of domesticated canine, humans are their Alpha. This act of gifting can be seen as a sign of submission and respect. Also, toys can be natural such as sticks, pine cones, or fruits. I am not brave enough to skin an animal but I do believe I could grow towards it. My brother can do it but I can’t even watch. In Portugal, where I live, the distance between the source of food and it’s point of consumption can be short and the sea is never far away. There is still a deep connection to natural environments. It’s a good learning experience.

  14. slow migration
    from sun patch to sun patch
    an old dog
    -Terri L. French

    a sad but true portrayal of an aging dog, terri, i can feel all the achy bones ravaged with arthritis….seeking the warm sun in the garden, to lay them down….and as the earth moves…the dog must have to get up and move with it….to yet again lay in the soothing warmth of the garden bed, or yard. thank you corine and terri for sharing this tender poem.

    1. Thank you, Wendy. As I age I feel I, too, am looking for more sun patches to move into. I can relate to this old dog.

      1. a warm joint hug and a welcome to arizona…is offered to you, terri…where the sun moves slowly…so i can keep up with it.

      2. A lovely haiku. I too can relate to it. Half of my dogs are over twelve and starting to suffer from age and I am not as fit as I was ten years ago. My mind these days is faster than my body. Warm wishes from Faro, Terri. “Where the sun moves slowly so I can keep up with it” Love that, Wendy!

        1. thanks for the compliment, corine. What’s the warmest you have experienced in Faro?
          i extend an invitation to you as well…but now, we are just starting monsoon …so bones will be felt, getting up from a chair, or after riding in a car, the boomers, (myself, included) are wobbling into the supermarkets ….but so many months of the dry weather, balance out the hip cycle. the dogs snack on cosequin ds
          How was/is it in England during your visit?

          1. Probably 45 degrees. And I don’t like heat. I hide indoors during summer between 11.30 and 18.00. The dogs get hot but we wet their sandpit (and under the bushes) with the hose pipe. I buy beach sand. They love it and dig themselves into it. The old ones join me in the house. England was nice. I lived in England for four years so I feel a connection. I have family there too.

    1. what a fun one here: Radhamani sarma!

      i picture it well. surprised by a very large dog, is it real or stuffed?
      its nose/mouth, maybe too intimately close to your face.
      not sure if you are totally receptive to it???

      this may all hang on what you mean by “boom”
      my first image was a boom microphone…..

      yes, how dogs can be overly zealous in their desire for contact, how they get into your face, “licking” it, liking it or not

      1. Dear Wendy,
        Greetings. A very good question; yes it is partially fun too. Sometime back, when I along with my friend entered into his house, me scary ; but his grown up large sized friend and dog and pet, upon his entering, ran upto him,jumping unto face,touching his cheeks, a gesture of fond affection too, searching his pocket, for biscuits. This in poetic terms a boom ; aint i right?

  15. first cherry bud
    an old gardener
    silences the dog
    -Magdalena Banaszhiewics

    Wow!… Magdalena, i can relate to this one….anytime i give attention to a plant, or a bird in the garden, even my husband… the dogs bark…sometimes they pick up on my surprise, and they want to protect me…on the other side it could be ownership issues, wanting to savour that moment of the first bud, and calming the dog down to accomplish it is very clear here. Thank you Corine and Magdalena for sharing this precious moment.

    1. Wendy, it’s such an amazing haiku. Thanks for sharing your experience. When I first planted my pear tree it took forever to bear fruit. But one year I had a pear growing on it and I would inspect it every day. I couldn’t wait for the moment it was ripe for picking. Then one morning I looked out the window and there was one of my dogs, Caramella, plus pear in her mouth. I had to rub my eyes and look twice. I mean what dog likes pear? She didn’t eat it. I think she was jealous of the attention the pear got. I was not very happy. 😆

      1. they know…i am totally convinced…via non-verbal communication!
        they know…who and what shares our fascinations….not always with pleasing results..

    2. Dear Wendy,
      Reading over again, your wonderful haiku, plus your comments on the same.Especially “ownership issues”
      Very interesting indeed.
      with regards

      1. thank you, S. Radhamani, for your attention to my posts, etc. so glad you are finding them interesting. animals are a large part of my life, they keep my heart, and my undying attention. corine is doing a wonderful job by running this subject/and group. i feel comfortable sharing with other animal lovers, and honoured that corine picked one of my dog poems for per diem/and discussion.

  16. Most enjoyable dog haiku! The ones posted above and your selections, Corine. Looking forward to the rest of the month!

    I loved one I read by Karen Hoy:
    a new month –
    different seeds
    on the spaniel’s ears

    — Karen Hoy
    Publication credits:
    The Haiku Calendar (Snapshot Press 2003); Fifty-Seven Damn Good Haiku by a Bunch of Our Friends (Press Here 2010)
    Award Credit: Runner-up, The Haiku Calendar Competition 2002

    And here’s one of mine:
    autumn dawn—sheepdogs bark the fog off the sun
    Publication credits:
    The Heron’s Nest, September 2015; also Never-Ending Story 2017 Anthology of Haiku in Chinese and English

    1. Marrietta, I love both yours and Karen Hoy’s. I can relate to seeds on ears, inside ears, inside the nose, and paws. And barking the fog of the sun. Lovely! What a treat to read so many canineku.

    2. Marrietta, thank you for sharing Karen’s and your poem. Each really brings a highlight characteristic of the two breeds into clear and very creative focus. The long, wavy ears of the spaniel, sweeping up everything it sniffs and explores in its path, looking for birds. etc. weaving in the playful idea of which seeds she will bring back from the garden this time….talks of an active and informed planter knowing when to begin planting which seeds on-going planting, “there is a time for everything” and shows the passing of time. and yours the powerful image of blowing fog off of the sun with sound of barking to show the strength of the bark joining it to the part of the day that this group of dogs may be actively herding.

      1. Thanks everyone, as I’m married to Karen Hoy, and she’s too modest, may I say thank you to everyone for liking her haiku. 🙂
        It’s also going to be anthologised yet again, with a new major anthology, yay! 🙂
        kindest regards,
        Alan Summers
        Call of the Page

  17. I’m really enjoying this series, Corine.


    April mizzle …
    I miss the smell
    of wet dog

    A Hundred Gourds, 1:4 September 2012

    1. Thanks, Marion. Ah! the smell of wet dog. Strange how we can miss things that are not necessarily pleasant at the time of occurrence. I like your use of alliteration in this haiku. It blends the mizzle with the smell and the missing into a powerful sensation.

    1. Wise choice Michael.
      Love the rhythm. Wonder whether presentation in monoku form would suit it more.
      Thinking “movement”

      I like Nick Virgilio’s Sackof kittens haiku for that reason. The form being right for the ku can make more of an impact. Just my thoughts.
      Hope you are keeping well.

  18. Corine,
    I love dogs too, and John Bird’s poem today rings so true, they talk and grin and converse…
    I love the participation in the comments, lovely lovely poems

    1. Pratima, I am glad you are enjoying the poems. I love this haiku by John Bird. I had a dog that could smile and grin. Her name was Bella.

  19. It’s an honor and a pleasure to serve as this month’s guest-editor. What fun to read all the extra dog haiku in the comments 🙂🐾

    One of mine

    my dog wags her tail
    in circles

    First published in Barking Mad Haiku (an anthology of dog haiku), November 2018

    1. Corine…i love your homecoming haiku…i loved it the first time i saw it in Barking Mad Haiku…but i love it even more now….the other day, our older adopted dog, Mesa, for the first time in over five in a half years…wagged her tail…in a circle. It’s like she found a new language:

      here 5 years
      maybe this is
      my forever home

      (c) 7/02/2019 by wendy c, bialek

      i surely can relate to your pick of Billy Wilson’s
      the stray dog’s ears poem.

      Our younger rescued shih-tzu mix…. was called Tara by her previous owners….but i had difficulty saying both dogs’ names together…the “T” had me tongue-twisted…so i changed it to Kara.
      The transition was seamless…she perked her ears up…right away
      and came when i called her. Normally, i always have respected and stayed with a given name….why burden them with anymore adjustments.

      in billy’s poignant poem top, righthand, corner ….i feel the respect being shown to the stray dog, the tenderness to make it feel at home, with at least a familiar sound….taking the time to whittle down the seemingly, endless names…but working cooperatively with the dog to arrive at it or as close as you can to the original name….from the love shown in this poem… it seems to me they won’t stop until they find it.
      sometimes it’s easy…like if the dog is ginger-coloured….maybe they called it ginger.
      I could go on and on wagging about these lovable dog ‘ku …but its potty time…

      1. sorry Billie i didn’t get your name completely right, but i came really close.
        bet you would still come if i called you, Billy…..

        1. Ah, Wendy, I also answer to Bobbie and whatever. Many thanks for your kind words about my stray dog haiku. It is such a treat to be part of Pier Diem and I thank Corine again. On a side note, my newest rescue dog (who is rescuing me) was a stray, so the shelter did not know his name. They named him Parker, which seems a wonderful name for a human, but not necessarily a dog. We are both stuck with it though, since he responds as though he’d known it since puphood. So looking forward to every new dog day this month! –Billie

          1. Billie,

            the shelter where mesa, (also a stray), rescued me,…they named her where they found her….it was either mesa street or mesa a town in az….they didn’t tell me which it was. But they said they often use the place of the found animal for its name…if there is no chip or other identification.

            Is there a Parker Place?

            i love that you used,( i think) “winter’s end”?
            in your poem it made me feel like you were reassuring
            the stray that it wouldn’t have to suffer in the cold anymore.

            mesa was five months old when they found her loose,
            in the cold december desert nights, a tiny deer-eared chihuahua…all of five pounds of her.

      2. Thanks, Wendy. It’s lovely to learn more about your canine companions and I like your analysis of Billie’s haiku. My street dogs changed my life for the better in so many ways. 🐾

  20. pelting rain
    under the shelter
    a dog and a cat
    failed haiku
    Issue 34, Oct. 2018

    1. Dear Tsanka Shishkova,

      pelting rain
      under the shelter
      a dog and a cat
      An observation leading on to a well tuned powerful write. Appreciate.
      with regards

  21. .
    small town
    the dogs don’t take
    to strangers
    — Erica Ison
    Lovely one by Erica Ison, whom I’ve had the privilege to meet very early on! 🙂
    Kirkstone Pass
    a sheepdog gathers its part
    of the world
    Alan Summers
    Muttering Thunder vol. 1, 2014 ed. Allan Burns
    sunflower forest
    undulating the boy
    and a dog
    Alan Summers
    Sense of Place Hiking Trail – touch ed. KJMunro (Haiku Foundation, November 2018)
    traffic snarl the wolf with me plays dog
    Alan Summers
    weird laburnum ed. Michael O’Brien (May 2019)
    Isle of Dogs
rumours of rhyming slang
    kept secret
    Alan Summers
    EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration 2019 -Year of Indigenous Languages
    a dog fox slips
    into snowflakes…
    after Kate Bush
    Alan Summers
    ephemerae vol. 1 issue 1 April 2018
    ed. Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy
    lean moon―
    the question mark
    of a dog’s tail
    Alan Summers
    Mainichi Shimbun (Japan, May 2013)
    Best of Mainichi Shimbun (Japan 2014)
    wet prints
    the sun takes the dog
    Alan Summers
    hedgerow: a journal of small poems (Issue 1, September 2014)
    ed. Caroline Skanne
    the threatening clouds
    an imaginary dog
    takes a walk again
    Alan Summers
    Blithe Spirit 25.4 (November 2015)
    From the haibun “The Beat Is Back”
    at the back
    of a fast ute
    yap of cattledogs
    Alan Summers
    sundog haiku journal: an australian year, sunfast press
    (1997 reprinted 1998)
    starlight and memory the wink of a one-eyed dog as it sneezes
    Alan Summers
    monoku version
    crowded street
    the space
    a dog’s deposit
    Alan Summers
    Presence 7 (1998)
    Art Feature: UKMO™ Collection (2004)
    Collection: Does Fish-God Know (YTBN Press 2012)

    a blue heeler cattle dog
    coursing the wind…
    its bark
    Alan Summers
    Brussels Sprout (1995) ed. Francine Porad
    goodbye to autumn

    a day spent watching dogs
walk their owners
    Alan Summers
    Blithe Spirit (vol 23 no. 4 November 2012)
    Woof! 🙂

    1. To Alan Summers
      Dear esteemed poet,
      How many images , well drawn from all walks of life, aligned with ‘dog ‘ theme.’
      with regards

      1. Thank you! I was lucky enough to meet a lot of different breeds of cattle dogs in Australia, and all sorts of canine encounters in various countries. 🙂

      1. Cheers! .
        In memory of Spot, named by the neighbour’s children, who adopted me, and we went riding into the sunrise after feeding the horses in our care (Queensland, Australia 1990s)

  22. pelting rain –
    boy shares his umbrella
    with a stray dog

    New Year’s Day
    near the church
    hobo with a dog

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