Poetry Four



A woman on the street calls him “Marshmallow–”

she clearly eats too many “sweets.”

A stranger at the park calls “Snowball!”

Turns out he’s from Minnesota.


“Cotton Ball!” simpers a beauty queen at a café,

who clearly uses one to take off the makeup on her face;

“Fluffy Lamb,” snorts an actor from Scotland–

he grew up on a farm.


Most people call him “Fluffy!”

Children. Adults.

People like fluff,

don’t like to think too much

(and my dog is so deep).


We all wear our own Rorschach glasses,

like to name things,

as if it helps us get a handle on



—Jane Marla Robbins

From: Dogs in Topanga 2000-2018




 The sun doesn’t know

there’s a coronavirus.

He shows up daily –

not burning, but smiling,



If you listen, he tells you

he’ll be here tomorrow

and next week

and a thousand years from now.



 The mustard flowers on the side of the road

don’t know about it.

It’s only early March and still, a few showers

and they’ve rushed out like an army.

They only wash their hands

of all the panic

and wait for rain.



My neighbors’ bougainvillea flowers

only know the brilliant fuchsia of their faces

which shine in sunlight, mirrors

of our own amazing light.


—Jane Marla Robbins



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