The dog on the path appears

from the shadows of nothing.

About the size of a wolf,

it does not growl, nor does it move

its down-pointed tail. Like solitude

or winter, a glaze across

its smooth black coat. A bat

cuts through dusk’s thinning light.

Under my boots mule dung and sand

sticky with resin-wet needles. The sun

rolls back. Bees and time linger

in gravity’s gold hue. Clay rooftops

of Litochoro burn red. Clouds lose heft — 

divested of earthy commitment. Slanted

forward, I continue up. There are goat

smells — I hear them crying but cannot see

their shaggy brown coats. Wind gusts

through the cauldron, Zeus hurling judgments

down at Echo. Soon, no shadows or root-held

stones, just loosened slake and time-pressed snow. 

No birds or trees atop the mountain. Gods,

not dogs, above the muses.

They say a poem is never finished, only set aside. The poet is always tampering, fixing, loving or hating the work. By the time it is sent to a literary magazine the poem has been worked pretty hard. If it is good enough to be accepted to CV2, it is a moment of celebration, an opportunity to let go — happy for the recognition, glad the poem has found a dignified place to rest and shine before the reader tampers, fixes, loves or destroys it!

— Jim Nason