NaPoWriMo Day 17 – The English Garden

The prompt for today. “This is a fun one – it’s a prompt developed by the comic artist Lynda Barry, and it asks you to think about dogs you have known, seen, or heard about, and then use them as a springboard into wherever they take you.”

Today’s featured online journal is Plume, which has published more than 120 issues since 2011! All of their archives are available, too, making Plume’s website a great place to discover new-to-you poets and poems. From their latest issue, I’ll point you toward David Wojahn’s “Threnody: December 2020” and Alan Shapiro’s “Sweet Nothings.”

First, I’d like to wish everyone celebrating Easter today,a very happy and blessed Easter Sunday.

My poem for the prompt ‘The English Garden’

Whoodles, Cavoodles, Schnoodles
Are one of a kind
Labradors, beagles and Golden retrievers
are warm, loving and kind
But of all the dogs I’ve seen
There’s one I remember

crystal clear-
a small, brown pug standing
under an oak tree, watching curiously
a girl in a candy-pink smock dress
gazing at the flowers.
‘Twas the sweetest sight I did see,

the dog and the child locking eyes
amidst the blooms of Spring.
All of a sudden the little girl ran
and the pug ran too, after.
Round and round, her podgy legs went
until she reached her mother

and there, she hid behind her.
It brought the muzzled-face to a stop
and made him look up with a frown.
The owner, a petite English lady
in a white chiffon frock looked cross
‘You really shouldn’t bring your child

to the park, until she’s been trained,’ she said, her voice curt
Leaving the young mother in shock
“Maybe it’s your dog who needs to be trained,”
said the father, standing near.
To which the lady, her face red, replied,
‘Why, he’s a pup! He only just came home yesterday,’

“All the more reason why,” the father said with a smile
and held his little girl’s hand and walked away.

This poem is based on a personal experience in the English garden in Munich. My daughter must have been 6 or 7 when this happened. I asked her today if she remembered this incident and which breed of dog it was. She laughed and replied, ‘It was a pug. How can I forget?” And I knew I had to write the poem to seal the memory.

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20 responses to “NaPoWriMo Day 17 – The English Garden”

  1. Andrea Stephenson Avatar

    A lot of people are very strange about their dogs! This is an amusing poem , all the more interesting when I knew it was based on a real experience.

    Like

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      LOL…we laughed over it too after I’d written the poem and even soon after it happened. It was hilarious how she felt certain that the untrained do should be let free and a child should be controlled :). I was however, miffed, at that moment.

      Like

  2. robbiesinspiration Avatar

    Hi Smitha, this is a sweet poem. The English are rather strange about their dogs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thank you so much, Robbie. I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂 They can be quite uppity sometimes. Lol! Must have something to do with being colonizers once upon a time.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Manja Maksimovič Avatar

    Ahh, how memorable this must have been if she still remembers, not just you. 🙂 What a horrible thing to say by that woman.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      To hear a dog lover understand that it was outright horrible makes me feel better. My daughter was scared out of her wits end. She was horrible😀. Period.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cheryl, Gulf Coast Poet Avatar

    Wonderful poem, Smitha! I love the true story behind it and the fact that you wrote it for your daughter, who will never forget the pug she met in an English Garden! I hope the dog owner also remembered the incident and put her new puppy on a leash, until it was trained, at least! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Cheryl, your warm words made me smile. I sent the post to my daughter :). And she was happy to see her memory translated into a poem and to see her picture alongside it.
      With regards to the dog owner, I do hope she remembers to put an untrained pup on a leash rather than expecting parents to do it with their kids. Lol. XXX

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sonia Dogra Avatar

    What an experience! And what an exchange of words. Memorable enough for a lovely poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thanks, Sonia. Well, my older one has provided us with a ‘treasure’ of such experiences. Lol. I’m so glad you enjoyed reading the poem. It was fun recalling the memory.

      Like

  6. boundlessblessingsblog Avatar

    Beautiful poem, Smitha and it reminded me of my golden retriever, Amber who too is a darling and when we take her to the garden she plays with the ball and with all of us. Too good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Amber sounds like a lovely, sweet dog. Thank you dear Kamal for sharing your memory of Amber here and for your good words on the poem. Grateful for them. XXX

      Like

      1. boundlessblessingsblog Avatar

        Welcome always dear Smitha. She is our daughter and gives us unconditional love. Take care and stay safe ❣️❣️

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Vineetha Brijesh Avatar

    It’s really a sweet one. Love it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Hehe, thanks so much Vin. 🙂

      Like

  8. SelmaMartin Avatar

    Lovely true story. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thank you, Selma :). I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it. Xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  9. paeansunplugged Avatar

    Smitha, this reminded me of my daughter’s similar experience. Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Ah really :). It’s unfair when dog lovers don’t put the leash around their dogs in public places. Thank you, dear Punam for your appreciation of the poem.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. paeansunplugged Avatar

        It sure is. You are welcome, Smitha.

        Liked by 1 person

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