Monday, July 25, 2011

Mag 75 - Dog Days

Dog Days

I sat on the top step of the porch
Partaking of my second glass of iced coffee
And watched the clouds boil
Over the nearby hills
Their dark bottoms hinting
At a possible relief to the drought.

Dad had called these the dog days
He grew up in the sultry south
I in the intra mountain west
For me dog days were those where we prayed for rain
And the dogs cowered under the porch
As protection from the thunder clouds.

The horizon is lit by bolts of lightning
The purr kids dash up the steps
Past me into the studio flicking their tails
Yes, I am an idiot, I say to the dogs hiding beneath me
But I love the smell of ozone in the air
The hint of damp in the breeze.

As the first huge drops of rain fall
I surrender my position
Hoping it is not for just a promise this time
Let the sky open up and christen the earth
Please dog days
Bring the drenching rains.

J. Binford-Bell
July 2011


The dog days are the most sultry days of summer. The actual dates vary greatly from region to region, depending on latitude and climate. Dog Days can also define a time period or event that is very hot or stagnant, or marked by dull lack of progress. The name comes from the ancient belief that Sirius, also called the Dog Star, in close proximity to the sun was responsible for the hot weather.

Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky. With a visual apparent magnitude of −1.46, it is almost twice as bright as Canopus, the next brightest star. The name "Sirius" is derived from the Ancient Greek Σείριος Seirios ("glowing" or "scorcher"). The star has the Bayer designation Alpha Canis Majoris (α CMa). What the naked eye perceives as a single star is actually a binary star system, consisting of a white main sequence star of spectral type A1V, termed Sirius A, and a faint white dwarf companion of spectral type DA2, termed Sirius B. The distance separating Sirius A from its companion varies between 8.1 and 31.5 AU.


  1. Hi Jacqui - This is a piece so full of place and rich with memories. I too love thunderstorms. I really think you've nailed it with your language here, the 'clouds boil/ over the nearby hills' and you 'surrender your position.' A delightful read!

  2. Wonderful imagery... when I lived in the Midwest, I used to love to sit on the porch waiting for the rain, then a quick dance between drops to feel its reality, and on in to watch from the windows for the light show that would follow.

  3. Lots of memories of porch-sitting and sky-gazing and weather-watching. Thanks!

    —Kay, Alberta, Canada

  4. ah, i can feel this really well.. though we're currently having our rainy season here... a lot of pieces from the past could be traced here... amazingly put together and one to adore with.. thanks for the read!(:

    Brightest blessings!


  5. I know that 'waiting for rain' feeling and those first few drops that make that dusty smell. Nice poem.

  6. Weather gods bless us with quite a bit of the wet stuff, which makes the occasional Dog Days even more of a contrast...

  7. We are finally getting the wet stuff which is quite wonderful, Jinksy.

  8. Beautiful. I am ready for the dog days to be on their merry way.

  9. vivid capture of moments of dogs days.

    thanks for sharing with poets rally.

    Happy Rally.

  10. Lovely write! I loved the imagery and felt the humidity! We have our dog days over here in Mangalore, India between March and May! I could absolutely relate :)

    Loved your poem.

  11. Lovely ... yes, I am also ready for them ~

  12. This is absolutely fantastic, It's so vivid. To me, it's the opening scene of a movie. The unrest, the watching, the waiting and then it comes.

  13. I felt as if I were there, watching. Beautiful imagery in your words.

  14. Fabulous story-telling poetry. You capture the scene vividly and with an honest open feeling. I like this one a lot!

  15. I love the rain storms that are reflected so well in your poem. The only difference Is I'd stay on the porch to gather it all in.

  16. I would stay on the porch too except I do have a fear of lightning, Booguloo.

    Thanks everyone for the great comments.

  17. remarkable. This is quite good. I really enjoyed this. just remarkable.

  18. Great! I really feel like I'm on the porch with you.

  19. Beautiful, the dog days have this special thing about them :)

  20. Fabulous write. I love your style of writing.

    The dog days are certainly here. : )

  21. I sit here on the verge of our the beginning of our "dog days". I sit on your porch, so fully in the moments. You've captured this beautifully.

  22. Lovely emotive writing. Love the "purr kids".

    Just out of curiosity - do you find it an advantage to have word verification AND comment moderation on?

  23. I had word verification on after I had someone, who was a member of Google, that always posted in a foreign language. I did not like leaving on comments I was unable to understand. Who knew what they said.

    Then a couple months back a couple Nigerians started using my comment section as a billboard for their latest scam so I put on comment moderation. Perhaps I could take off word verification. Frankly it did not occur to me, J Cosmo Newbery.

  24. I have word from several people that they are unable to comment on my page so yesterday I removed word verification and allowed all direct commenting. According to one friend it's still not working. Jacqui, can you try it out for me please.

  25. So vividly written, brings back living in North Carolina


I appreciate all kind comments on my art and poetry.