On Iverson Beach



We roam the driftwood

Over on Iverson Beach

Logs washed ashore piled high

By high tides rather than high waves

For the beach is atop Port Susan Bay

Where vast mud flats flow at a low tide

And the sand lies a swamp at the high

There’s an old bird sanctuary nearby

Houses set high on the pilings

And space for a dog run

Seasoned by wild scents 


Here McGee can run free

Following native instinct

It is a course in Wilderness 101

Where unseen he greets the invisible

Spirits of those before him in the wild

Horse & hound Mallard & canvasback

Here unselfconsciously he also leaves

His signatures for those who follow

The fresh scent of an old breed

Born for the marsh & bay

Soft mouth for fallen fowl


The puppy takes the point

Weaving wide nose to trail

At bends he pauses to look back

Careful never to lose the sight of me

Conscious of the fact that his freedom

Is irretrievably bound to my permission

Yet eager to test the limits of my grace

As I’m eager to test the limits of God

And so we spend the day at play

In fields made by the Lord

For an old man & his dog


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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7 Responses to On Iverson Beach

  1. willow1945 says:

    Very well done; I especially like the last three lines, lovely.


  2. the dog is to man as the man is to God – and the joy of their existence flows from their freedom


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