How to Dig a Hole

Best after a good rain
when the earth is soft
and odors are amplified

Follow your nose to an interesting spot
then loosen the soil with your claws
to get through the top layer of grass

Throw the dirt with your paws
between your legs so your bellycoat
captures souvenirs

Push your snout deep into the world
fill your soul with the essence of life
the very stink of living

Return home and once inside
shake the wet from your fur
leave stains on the carpet

Then wag at your human
as drops to his knees
to worship your work

(For today’s prompt, take the phrase “How (blank),” replace the blank with a new word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.)

About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.
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20 Responses to How to Dig a Hole

  1. jai says:

    Good one. Once, a dog I owned dug up a mole and the little critter latched onto the dog’s snout. You talk about some howling!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Those nasty little moles don’t know how to play fair.

      Liked by 2 people

      • jai says:

        No, they don’t. Sadly, I have had to poison them to keep them from destroying my lawn, which they literally did a couple of years ago.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh no! That must’ve been tough.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jai says:

        Actually, I was so pissed by all the damage it was like getting revenge. Very satisfying. Cruel, I know. My husband, who uses a cane, couldn’t even walk in the yard without fear of falling.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Being a poet, I empathize more with the poor moles. Sorry.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jai says:

        Growing up on a farm/ranch, I often witnessed the death of animals. It was a part of that life. My mom occasionally decapitated an old hen to make chicken and dumplings for Sunday dinner. Then there was hog slaughtering. Wolves or foxes that raided the chicken coop had to be dealt with. And I occasionally hunted with my dad. Most people never think where those chicken breasts, hams, and steaks come from that they buy in the grocery store…but I do. Like you, my husband empathized with the moles, but it was better I eliminate them than my husband, who is in poor health, fall and break a bone—and maybe me too. But I truly understand how people who grew up in the city, as did my husband, feels.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. thelongview says:

    Lovely poem! So full of dogginess!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this poem in its entirety (even when I feel partial to stanza 4)! Such a great study for grade school poetry students. 😍


  4. Stacey C. Johnson says:

    This pairs so well with yesterday’s!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. berniebell1955 says:

    ‘I looked at Bartholomew’s blog
    Read his poem about a dog
    Then the mole-poisoners lament –
    Will comment.’

    Our meadow is full of voles – and we delight in them sharing our living-space.

    I’m from farming family, understand killing when needed ….

    But I can’t agree that this was needed. And – the revenge aspect – so many things are amiss here.

    Here’s a prompt for you Bart – Bees. Why they are disappearing – the divide between wild-life and ‘civilization’.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Susi Bocks says:

    lol I love the imagery you’ve created, Bart. First thought – pupper butt!!

    Liked by 1 person

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