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Another Reason Why I Don’t Keep a Gun in the House February 23, 2009

Posted by Jill S. Schneiderman in contemplative practice, poetry.
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Another Reason Why I Don’t
Keep a Gun in the House

Billy Collins
Poet Laureate of the United States
From Sailing Alone Around the Room, (Random House, 2001)

The neighbors’ dog will not stop barking.
He is barking the same high, rhythmic bark
That he barks every time they leave the house.
They must switch him on on their way out.

The neighbors’ dog will not stop barking.
I close all the windows in the house
And put on a Beethoven symphony full blast
But I can still hear him muffled under the music,
barking, barking, barking,

and now I can see him sitting in the orchestra,
his head raised confidently as if Beethoven
had included a part for barking dog.

When the record finally ends he is still barking,
sitting there in the oboe section barking,
his eyes fixed on the conductor who is
entreating him with his baton

while the other musicians listen in respectful
silence to the famous barking dog solo,
that endless coda that first established
Beethoven as an innovative genius.

billy collins: complete resource for Billy Collins poems, books, recordings

Sylvia Boorstein, meditation teacher, psychotherapist, and storyteller, read this poem in a recent dharma talk. I like it because it speaks to the creativity that can arise unexpectedly from what might otherwise be experienced as annoyances.