The Quiet Castle

entry picture

When he’s tired

Freaked out


My dog Tito steps into his crate, draped in green and gold fabric

To look less like a cage, or a prison.


He stretches, turns around in a perfect circle,

Sighing in comfort

In safety

A sigh of a protected soul,

Dozing off on a velvety black cushion that he himself chose

When he sat on it at the pet store.


A year ago, Tito lived in a shelter in Spain,

And slept in a cage with no velvet cushion and no green and gold canopy,

Nothing to dim the incessant barking.


I thought Tito would see a crate as a prison

He deserves freedom

We run on mountain trails, he drinks from alpine streams

That’s freedom

He climbs into his crate, turns around on his velvety cushion and sighs

That’s freedom, in his quiet castle.


Why do I feel imprisoned, when all I need is to turn to face

East, South, West and North

Breathe in deep, exhale and let my body relax.

Put down the phone, stop doing, and be

Be with the anxious thoughts, the grief, the hopelessness,

Drape them in green and gold

Or a gust of salty ocean air

Or snowflakes

Stretch out on a velvet cushion

Or a bed of autumn leaves.


Take off your shoes and feel the earth, dig in your toes

Chant sacred sounds

In your quiet castle

The door is open.


The door of Tito’s crate is open

Except sometimes when it’s safer to close it

Because when he’s alone he wanders around

Panics and destroys things, lost with too much space.


I wander around sometimes too

Panic and destroy things

Gnawing on my Instagram feed

Jumping up and down in my in-box,

Doomsday scrolling and careless binge-watching.


In those moments, I tell myself to remember this:

Dear girl, close the door of your quiet castle

Lock yourself safely inside,

Turn in a sun-wise direction

Breathe in, breathe out

And gaze at the green and gold canopy above.


dogsrescue dogdog wisdomdigital detoxanxietypranayamabreathing

◄ Haiku written on my walk to work in the Spring

Reunited ►


Profile image

Stephen Gospage

Sat 20th Aug 2022 17:13

Very enjoyable, moving poem.

Profile image

Russell Jacklin

Sat 20th Aug 2022 13:00

Loved that, I could visualise little Tito and his action being mimiced by your self, dogs are a blessing, rescue dogs are a joy and a concern wrapped up in one fur coat

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message