Fur, Surf, and Yelps of Pleasure


Your ears are long and floppy,

no, they are short and prick

up keenly every time I

will hurl a driftwood stick


into the waves that leap high

as if they try to catch

it with their foamy fingers

before you come to snatch


what's yours and to retrieve it

and have it tossed anew

(till you tire of the game),

which I will gladly do.


Your hair is soft and curly,

no, it is straight and flies

when you chase after seagulls

to hear their outraged cries.


You are quite tall and slender,

no, you're a meaty guy,

you are the happy medium,

no, only one foot high,


yet you'll ooutrun all your peers

when you have seen a friend

who has showed up, tail wagging,

at the bay's other end.


You're a little ruffian,

you're of the gentle souls,

you like to frisk and gambol,

no, you take peaceful strolls.


You are my beach companion;

I am the one you trust,

and we have each other's back, 

though, sometimes when you thrust


your wet nose in my knee pit,

I can get mildly cross,

but then you lift your head, and

your eyes say: "Sorry, boss,"


and I forget all anger,

and pet your fleecy neck;

we both savour the moment

until you're off to check


out a huge batch of seaweed

to look what hides between

its tangled blades and bladders

and bronzy shades of green.


Your goal is to discover

the low tide's offerings:

all those delightful briny

and slightly rotten things.


Close to us, a boat sails past;

you woof a loud 'Ahoy'.

I find a piece of sea glass;

you maul a washed-up buoy.


And there, in a small tide pool,

lounge with astounding poise

three giant purple starfish;

you wonder if they're toys.


You spot a seal or otter

and your excitement grows.

It looks as if you're eager

to have a sniff at those.


I don't know what you dream of

but I can make a guess,

your sweet mischievous eyes are

quite ready to confess


your wild, ardent desire

to rush into the blue --

yes, I am convinced that is

what you would love to do.


You'd dash with gusto into

the surf's delicious foam,

then dive deep to meet creatures

who call the sea their home.


to race through eelgrass meadows,

lush-green forests of kelp,

chasing a squid or seahorse,

and somehow I can't help


but wish we were together

visiting that strange realm,

enjoying sensations that

enchant and overwhelm


us clumsy dry-land dwellers

who don't own fins or gills

or flukes that move the water

creating all the thrills


of gliding like a dolphin,

a whale or speckled seal,

who swim with speed and vigor.

How splendid that must feel!


I hear you bark a greeting

at the incoming tide;

you challenge one more billow;

the sun is smiling wide.


It's rays still warm my skin, though

it is now standing low.

I turn to you and shout out:

It's late, we have to go!”


You raise you snout up high to

take in a final whiff

of all that coastal goodness --

I'm waiting by the cliff


till you return with ocean

drops gleaming in your fur,

filled with great joy, behaving

as if the whole world were


a splashy, smelly, breezy,

playground, untamed and free,

a wonderland designed for

the likes of you and me.



Copyright: Silke Stein 2023