from-the-compost-header

Worms

Alex Terrgi here. Here’s something humans don’t seem to know: dogs like worms. They are little chewy bites of goodness that tickle your throat on the way down. Today I found one in our back yard, underneath the patio, and I ate him. Then my human yelled at me for eating dirt.

This is not the first time she yelled about eating dirt. I know because my now-dead sister Goody Beagle told this story a few years ago:

Goody Beagle here. Today I dug a hole at the dog park. My human doesn’t like me digging holes, but that’s because she can’t smell anything. Sometimes there’s a smell coming from way underneath the dirt, and my curiosity gets the better of me. I’ve got to find out what is making that smell. Today it was a fat juicy worm, and I ate him. Then my human yelled at me to stop eating dirt. Sheesh.

Sheesh is right. Worms and dirt are not the same.

Hippies

It’s Haiku Friday. For the past 20+ years I’ve written one haiku every day. They’re not always good haiku, although some of them are excellent. (Check out my 7-book haiku series called The Haiku Book of Days.) A few years ago I added another daily practice, which I call the “daily draw.” I create some kind of image, and many times that image owes its inspiration to my daily haiku. I’m calling them “illustrated haiku” and someday the haiku and its illustration may blossom into a new haiku book. In the meantime, I’ll share a few of them here on the blog. Here’s today’s offering. Enjoy!

far out and right on
just bury me in tie dye
hippie to the end

Cousin Irene

A few weeks ago I wrote about how to make your internal critics go away by writing about them, and told you that my critic was named Ed.  But Ed is only one of them – like most of us, I have several internal critics, nearly all of them nasty.  Here is a piece I wrote years ago about Cousin Irene, the voice inside my head who is in charge of procrastination, laziness, and all the addictive distractions there are.

Cousin Irene lurches into the room, trailing leavings from her purse – a dried-up lipstick, a wallet with a broken zipper, a scarf that has gum wadded in it, and of course those old used Kleenexes. She doesn’t pick anything up, because that is my job. She plops down on the most comfortable chair in the room. Her bulk overflows the cushion and her dress rides up on her thighs; she is wearing nylon socks that only reach halfway up her meaty calves. She tells me it’s too hot to write today, and besides there is nothing interesting to write about, and even if there was something interesting, I would not be able to find it. She demands a glass of wine, even though it’s only two in the afternoon. She asks what’s in the refrigerator, and then says I should make her a plate of something, whatever is there. She turns on the TV; it is Judge Judy, which suits her fine, she likes to sneer at all those stupid people. She spills her wine on the front of her dress but doesn’t bother to wipe it off.

Writing the above was pretty effective at keeping Cousin Irene fairly quiet – any time I felt the urge to give in, I just re-read my description of her. But a few years after I wrote it, Cousin Irene starting shaking her bootie at me again. So this time I didn’t just write about her – I made her into visual art, picturing her in both a drawing and a sculpture. Then I put the sculpture in a birdcage (without the bird) and have kept her there since. I plan to keep her there forever, although sometimes she moans and cajoles and lies in attempts to make me release her. She’s also been known to burp and fart when she knows I’m listening.

Cousin Irene does not give in easily.

Save

Wings

It’s Haiku Friday. For the past 20+ years I’ve written one haiku every day. They’re not always good haiku, although some of them are excellent. (Check out my 7-book haiku series called The Haiku Book of Days.) A few years ago I added another daily practice, which I call the “daily draw.” I create some kind of image, and many times that image owes its inspiration to my daily haiku. I’m calling them “illustrated haiku” and someday the haiku and its illustration may blossom into a new haiku book. In the meantime, I’ll share a few of them here on the blog. Here’s today’s offering. Enjoy!

cold wings brush your cheeks
hidden in the purple clouds
dark angels flying

Friendship?

Alex Terrgi here. The other day I went to the dog park with my friend Jackie MuttMix. At least she’s usually my friend – when we’re at my house or her house we play a lot. Rough-house is what our humans call it, cuz we bite each others’ necks and stuff like that. But it’s all in good fun no matter how much we growl. If humans would learn our language maybe they’d know that.

But I digress. (Big word for a mere dog, right? See, we learn your language.) Back to me and Jackie at the dog park. It was a sunny day, so there were lots of dogs of all sizes and colors at the park. The minute we arrived, my “friend” Jackie forgot she was my friend and went off to play with a lab named Tucker. She ignored me completely and I was stuck playing with Dribble Schnauzer (his name tells you everything you need to know about him.)

So much for friends.

Pirates

It’s Haiku Friday. For the past 20+ years I’ve written one haiku every day. They’re not always good haiku, although some of them are excellent. (Check out my 7-book haiku series called The Haiku Book of Days.) A few years ago I added another daily practice, which I call the “daily draw.” I create some kind of image, and many times that image owes its inspiration to my daily haiku. I’m calling them “illustrated haiku” and someday the haiku and its illustration may blossom into a new haiku book. In the meantime, I’ll share a few of them here on the blog. Here’s today’s offering. Enjoy!

pirates hoard their gold
they give it magic powers
and think they won’t die

 

Good Ol’ Ed

I’ve blogged and written many times about my various internal critics. I give them names, physical descriptions, and personalities. This way they become real and cannot live as cowards hidden inside my head. I see they are not my friends and I am able to banish them – maybe not for always, but at least they stay away for a long time and when they do reappear I know how to banish them again.

We all have internal editors or critics. That’s the voice that tells you that you are stupid, a bad singer, clumsy, boring. It’s the voice that critiques every piece of writing you do, every conversation you have, the way you dance. This voice often shows up when you sit down to write. He, she, or it leans over your shoulder and whispers mean things in your ears.

One of my voices is named Ed. He used to tie my fingers up in knots and breathe dry ice into my brain. He doesn’t do this so much any more, because I found out that I could diminish Ed’s power by simply — writing about HIM. Here is one paragraph I wrote about Ed:

Ed is a middle-aged man with a sunken chest and a long thin nose through which he sniffs and snorts. He squints his beady eyes whenever he looks at me, suspicious that I will again try to write something. If I do, he’ll tell me I have nothing original to say, so why waste my time? His voice is usually sharp and piercing but he is capable of hissing his words, especially when he spots a mistake – any mistake, even a misplaced comma or a typo such as “teh.” He notes all mistakes in a black accountant’s ledger notebook that he always keeps with him. He reads the entries to me out loud.

And so on. As I wrote about Ed, it dawned on me that Ed is not my friend. And the more I wrote, the more obvious it became that Ed was a nasty, mean-spirited, chickenshit bully who did not want me to be happy.  So why was I listening to him? Why indeed. So nowadays Ed just pouts in the background, waiting for me to notice him again. I am determined not to.

Ed is only one of the voices in my head (and my body) who give me a hard time. Later this month I’ll blog about Cousin Irene, who is even worse than Ed. In August I’ll be blogging about two others who are in charge of various physical/mental attributes. Their names are Uncle ArthurItis and Aunt Nervine, and they are a pain in the you-know-where. Stay tuned.

 

Trombone

It’s Haiku Friday. For the past 20+ years I’ve written one haiku every day. They’re not always good haiku, although some of them are excellent. (Check out my 7-book haiku series called The Haiku Book of Days.) A few years ago I added another daily practice, which I call the “daily draw.” I create some kind of image, and many times that image owes its inspiration to my daily haiku. I’m calling them “illustrated haiku” and someday the haiku and its illustration may blossom into a new haiku book. In the meantime, I’ll share a few of them here on the blog. Here’s today’s offering. Enjoy!

when you get older
wear a hat, play the trombone
you’ll always be cool

Breedism

Alex Terrgi here. I don’t know why humans are so fond of creating new dog clans. Puggles and Labradoodles and Goldendoodles and I don’t know what all. It sounds like they’ve been reading too much Harry Potter.

My human says I am a “Terrgi” which is a name she made up because she doesn’t know what breed I am, because when I was a very young dog I ran away without my papers (whatever they are) and lived on the streets until the Humane Society captured me, then my human rescued me. Anyway, the humans don’t know my breed and this seems to bother them for some reason.

So my human decided to tell people I was a Terrgi just because she thought I looked like a cross between a Jack Russell Terrier and a corgi. Maybe I do, but why is that important? This whole breed thing is stupid. Why do humans have to put creatures in categories?

I am who I am. Terrgi or Whatever, it’s all the same to me.

Rats

It’s Haiku Friday. For the past 20+ years I’ve written one haiku every day. They’re not always good haiku, although some of them are excellent. (This particular one is rather strange.) A few years ago I added another daily practice, which I call the “daily draw.” I create some kind of image, and many times that image owes its inspiration to my daily haiku. I’m calling them “illustrated haiku” and someday the haiku and its illustration may blossom into a new haiku book. In the meantime, I’ll share a few of them here on the blog. Here’s today’s offering. Enjoy!

the laundry room rat
dies on a pile of clean sheets
outside his friends mourn