“Here, Body” (Your Body Is Not Even Your Good Lab)


Here, Body

The body is not your good dog.
It may sit, lie down, roll over,
but there’s a limit to its Rover
aspect. No spank
will keep it from
accident; no leash
train it to the right; no yank
make it heel

You tell it what to want, but
it will vaunt
its fleshly, furry ways,
sneaking food when already fed;
taking up all the room on the bed;
whiffing what should not be sniffed;
its passion aimed at but a toy–
here, girl; here, boy–
that can never love it back.

It will decay
though you say stay. Still,
you will love it,
this not-good dog;
for even as you scold and cajole,
and despair
of calling,
you will find yourself
cradling it;
you will find yourself
in its arms.

This is an older poem I am reposting for MagPie Tales, a writing blog hosted by Tess Kincaid. Tess posts a picture prompt each week; Tess’s prompt, an image by Zelko Nedic.  I am also posting for Open Link Night of Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, a great poetry blog.  My rather silly picture, prompted by Leonardo, is above.



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Children’s counting book 1 Mississippi -for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms. Or, if you in the mood for something older, check out Going on Somewhere, poetry, or Nose Dive, a very fun novel for those who are somewhat discontent with their appearance but love musicals, cheese and downtown NYC.

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38 Comments on ““Here, Body” (Your Body Is Not Even Your Good Lab)”

  1. janehewey Says:

    i love this, K. I’ve been in the woods for a few days and am behind on all reading. this is a pleasant way to dive back in. Here, Body speaks right to my heart, which is appropriate as it is in my body, right? …. this poem has so much voice and presence and is a brilliant start my day of reading.

  2. Grace Says:

    I love it K ~ I don’t have pets but I can relate to the soul as distinct and yielding for freedom from the body ~

  3. tigerbrite Says:

    I enjoyed the poem and the drawing. If you are in the States maybe you are glad of the rain ? Hope so. It’s hot as hell here (south east Spain) I’ve been the the pool 4 times today already.

  4. Susan Says:

    “Here, Body” sure does give the picture of the moving lump of loving you call a pet. At first I thought it was extended metaphor, for the hard to control self, but I gave that up 4 lines in. I love your drawing!

  5. Jinksy Says:

    Absolutely love this take on the Magpie!! Clever you…

  6. brian miller Says:

    really great turn on this k…the body will be as good as we take care of it…but then even then it will start to decay or deteriorate….can def relate to this one…smiles…

  7. You are sooooo right. LOL I love my little 10 pound Yorkie to bits! 🙂 And, they do try to rule the roost, don’t they…even 10 pounders.
    Lovely capture of the prompt!

  8. I like your extended metaphor and playful imagery, which works on more than one level. This I think is my favourite bit…

    “It may sit, lie down, roll over,
    but there’s a limit to its Rover

    … because of the wordplay and line breaks.

    My body never does what it’s told! 😉

  9. Linda Fraser Says:

    I enjoyed the fun of instructing one’s body as a person would instruct their dog. This is brilliantly composed and cause for a reflective grimace, since the body (nor the dog in my experience) will comply. Thank you for sharing, K. =D

  10. Dogs are easier to whip (not literally) into shape and submission than bodies. For sure.

  11. hedgewitch Says:

    Yes, the body is just not anything like as obedient as a good dog, as I’ve noticed the last two weeks. But the poem is good enough for me. I especially like the last stanza, where mind and body have to learn to love each other, or things would be bleak indeed.

  12. hypercryptical Says:

    Love it! It has made me view myself differently…

    Anna :o]

  13. kaykuala Says:

    However it acts or reacts a dog is always lovable. Relatively easy to train and faithful to the core. Rightly said K!


  14. David King Says:

    Indeed, you will find yourself. This really has it all in terms of response to stimulus. Love it very much, so much delicacy and subtlety.

  15. Mama Zen Says:

    This is so true!

  16. I take my hat off to you for this one…

  17. Karen S. Says:

    Oh my this is clever….nicely done.

  18. janu Says:

    Excellent comparison here…wonderful.

  19. gabrielle Says:

    this was a joy to read–for the playful metaphor and the acceptance and love it engenders. so very refresshing!

  20. heh heh heh………..love it!

  21. Tess Kincaid Says:

    Certainly not my good dog…fun artwork too K…

  22. This is hilarious and SO creative. These are my favorites (especially the line breaks):

    “aspect. No spank
    will keep it from
    accident; no leash
    train it to the right; no yank”

    “its passion aimed at but a toy–
    here, girl; here, boy–
    that can never love it back”

    “you will find yourself
    cradling it;
    you will find yourself
    in its arms.”

    And in that last bit … we of course have no choice but to be in our own arms. But especially in the final years, months, days … we will cradle ourselves unto death.

  23. Kim Nelson Says:

    Oh my, yes! The biological, temporal body has no choice but to age, die, decay, regardless of our dedication to youth.

  24. Ruth Says:

    I love it, K! – just an awesome write, the metaphor perfect… love the shape, the unexpected (or not quite expected) rhymes, everything…

  25. Jj Rodriguez Says:

    cleverly written… love it!


  26. Helen Says:

    Your Mag is so incredibly clever from title through last word!!! Image as well, of course.

  27. Margaret Says:

    This is so much fun!

  28. Okelle Says:

    This poem really speaks to me.

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