Imitation of Form

I’ve been reading Kyle Vaughn’s Lightning Paths and working my way through the writing exercises each day, from cover to cover. Today’s prompt is Imitation of Form, in which writers write their own versions of specific other poems. I’m going back to a prompt by Travis Crowder in the Open Write on http://www.ethicalela.com in April 2019 to share an imitation of form about one of my three Schnoodles today.

This poem models Christopher Smart’s poem written in the 1700s, “For I Will Consider My Cat Jeoffry” (later mirrored by Mary Oliver in Dog Songs with her poem “For I Will Consider My Dog Percy”).

For I Will Consider My Dog Boo Radley

For I will consider my dog Boo Radley.
For he was rescued from the grief of neglect and abandonment.
For he was alone and starving and trembling in a crate in the back of a van.
For his rescue name was Einstein because of his wild and matted hair.
For he was chosen by Kim but bonded with Briar.
For he was re-named Boo Radley because he spent time behind a closed door.
For he is of the tribe of Schnoodle.
For his Schnoodlehood is a mixture of French and German.
For he is highly territorial about his pillows and blankets.
For when he is picked up, his ears sag down, but when he is put down, his ears perk up.
For he lives by a predictable routine of quirky habits and idiosyncrasies.
For one of his favorite games is glove wars.
For another of his favorite games is teasing keep-away.
For another of his favorite games is pant-leg-tug-of-war.
For he threatens wildlife ferociously but seeks protection from the ding of a cell phone.
For he merely tolerates his rescued brother Fitz.
For if he meets an admiring stranger he will chastise her harshly for cooing over him.
For he has an angel harping on one shoulder and a devil pitchforking on the other.
For when both of his humans are not home, his world gets tilted and he takes to his kennel.
For he lies on the back of the chair and rests his head on his humans’ shoulders to read their books and emails.
For he licks his lips to request his bedtime drink from a bathroom cup instead of a water dish.
For he punishes himself and assigns his own timeout in the kennel when he regrets his mischief.
For he is the bed police, Mirandizing anyone who moves a muscle.
For he keeps watch over his humans by night and sleeps by day.
For he puts his nose out the car window and breathes the exotic air when we go on safaris.
For he prances about the house like a show pony with his whale-spray tail.
For he catches popcorn.
For he gets tornadic zoomies indoors and rearranges all the furniture.
For he breakfasts upon plain yogurt and graham crackers in bed on weekends, lying like the Sphinx.
For he is now loved and cherished.
For he rules the Johnson Funny Farm.

-Kim Johnson

Made with Padlet

5 Replies to “Imitation of Form”

  1. Bravo! This mirroring format truly captured your four-legged creature! I feel like I know him so well now. This line made me laugh: For he threatens wildlife ferociously but seeks protection from the ding of a cell phone. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love all this about your “Boo Radley” but this speaks to me today … “For he licks his lips to request his bedtime drink from a bathroom cup instead of a water dish.” Persnickety. And he knows it! Beautiful post, Kim! Happy Holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kim – I can hardly pick a favorite line in this poetic tribute to Boo Radley. I love this imagery of an angel harping on one shoulder and a devil pitchforking on the other, that he regrets his mischief and puts himself in timeout (my son’s dog, Henry, does this also), that he must drink from a cup… I. LOVE. HIM. And all his quirks and his fantastic photo. PRECIOUS. As is every line penned by his extraordinary poetess mom ❤

    Like

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