High Coo – Homage to Lisel Mueller and What the Dog Perhaps Hears


“A dog’s hearing is four to five times that of a human.” See https://dogsonlygear.co.uk/dog-hearing-vs-human-hearing/

Lisel Mueller is a German – American poet who won the Pulitzer Prize for her book Alive Together: New & Selected Poems in 1997. Her poems are extremely accessible, yet intricate and layered. While at times whimsical and possessing a sly humor, there is an underlying sadness in much of her work.” See https://www.best-poems.net/lisel_mueller/index.html

Today we honor Lisel Mueller and her provocative poem:

What The Dog Perhaps Hears

by Lisel Mueller

Lisel Mueller

If an inaudible whistle
blown between our lips
can send him home to us,
then silence is perhaps
the sound of spiders breathing
and roots mining the earth;
it may be asparagus heaving,
headfirst, into the light
and the long brown sound
of cracked cups, when it happens.
We would like to ask the dog
if there is a continuous whir
because the child in the house
keeps growing, if the snake
really stretches full length
without a click and the sun
breaks through clouds without
a decibel of effort,
whether in autumn, when the trees
dry up their wells, there isn’t a shudder
too high for us to hear.

What is it like up there
above the shut-off level
of our simple ears?
For us there was no birth cry,
the newborn bird is suddenly here,
the egg broken, the nest alive,
and we heard nothing when the world changed.


And here is my humble haiku response: Can You Hear It?

Always on alert –

together we are stronger.

Love is protection.


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