Green Hills Literary Lantern






God’s Dog


I set my watch by a type-A dog

who walks his old man past our house, morning

and evening.


How taut the leash;

      how tight a heart-string must link them  

yet pull them apart.


Nose to the ground stone,

      God’s dog scans sidewalk slabs as if reading

tomb stones unwritten on.


Old man, back on his heels,

      knees locked in a water skier crouch, gives ground

by chopped steps,


the tug of war all but lost

       by timid pace to dogged race as momentum yanks

all futile restraint like dead weight


but total surrender would jerk

      equilibrium’s rug right out from under, spilling

the old man head-first.


Leaning back  

      into gravity’s lap, he must ache to fall slack in his

living room La-Z-Boy.


But God’s Dog

      tugs his master faster than ever the closer to

happy hunting grounds


they get,

      where fat park squirrels, arrogant illegals,


scratch green acres

of Eden for acorns

      ‘til  God’s Dog,  hell on a hot scent,



dashes for up-scale rats,

      that hop-scallop, bouffant-tails a-twitch,

and  leap for tree amnesty.                                                     


Dogged dog circles, barking

      at bark, then pisses his cock-a-leg leash, golden shower;

to christen and claim oak and all in it.


Trotting home,

      he pants silent laughter, dragging his

legal limit,


 his botched Job,

       his cross to bear, anchor and rusted rudder,

his timid master,


who mutters and fusses

      like tin-can clatter behind a newlywed couple’s

back bumper.


But opposition’s

      thread, keeps them tight as a well-tuned  

lute string,


and home

      in time to see favorite TV shows from his living

room easy chair.




Tim Leach has been a showboat actor, a soldier, journalist, advertising copywriter,  publicist  and more. As artist and photographer, his work has appeared in juried art shows. He has attended the Bread Loaf and Sewanne writers’ conferences, among others, and his poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Southern Poetry Journal,  Potomac Review,  Sou’wester,  Kaleidoscope, Tulane Review,  Epicenter,  Natural Bridge, The New Writer, (British), Pegasus,  Literati Internationale,  New York Quarterly, the Blue Collar Review, New Millennium, the Atlanta Review, Iconoclast, and Art Times.He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has been a finalist in the River Styx and New Letters competitions.