Fritz

Fritz

We ran on Michiana soil.

We ran in lake effect snow.

Amidst the silence, the darkness,

we ran through mist and shadow.

 

fritz

 

Fourteen years of unconditional friendship,

filling our lives with joy.

Back and forth you went,

from rawhide to chew toy.

 

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Through cloudy eyes was a full heart,

a soul, yearning for outdoor companionship.

Joining you for adventures,

I can think of no better kinship.

 

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Now, as you lay in the soil you once patrolled,

your mind rests, a life fulfilled, despite.

One day, I will step out of the Darkness

and meet you in the Light.

 

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Rest in Peace, Fritz-ey Boy.

 

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Love,

Nick.

 

 

 

Invictus by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

The Lone Wolf

The Lone Wolf

Bitter the cold, the night.

Banking on faith, His pride.

A Michigan winter.

Deep in the pines.

 

Snug, nearby, His den.

Inside, concealed, lies He.

‘Tis the eve of battle.

A battle of effort, survival, of poetry.

 

A wounded moose, the finish line, the prize.

A race against time.

Long years have passed.

Finally, it has come.

 

Eyelids flicker, settling.

A deep sleep.

A dream, unforced.

His mind, unsettled.

 

The Wolf in a pack.

A pack with the Wolf.

Halfway there.

Painfully, The Lone Wolf wavers, commits.

 

Forging ahead, He strains.

Pushing past the pack.

The lead is taken, extends.

Pain clinging, fading.

 

Euphoria.

The Wolf, the Alpha.

Solo.

The world below Him, behind.

 

The moose within sight.

Survival, the prize, within grasp.

His chains, broken.

The Lone Wolf, alone, conquering.

 

Lonesome, He falls.

Crawling, scrambling, fighting.

Strength, betraying.

Cannot get up. Cannot look back.

 

The pack, closing in.

Fear, setting in.

Gravity, opposing.

Hope, disappearing.

 

Time, waning.

The pack, approaching, passing.

The win, slipping.

Moose, the prize, out of His control.

 

Grief, the indescribable kind.

Real, tangible heartbreak.

Torn, He concedes.

A mental debt.

 

Here in the den.

Where the shadows lie.

A deep sleep.

Eyelids flicker, opening.

 

An Michigan winter.

Deep in the pines.

The Lone Wolf, alone.

The race awaits.

 

na

The Last Hunt

The Last Hunt

by Nick Arndt

 

Once more into the night.

Banking on faith, in spite.

Every shadow has fallen.

Echoes of wolves a callin.

Safety at his expense.

Courage, the best defense.

Enduring pride and will.

Any chance of a kill?

Sincerity in his eyes.

Running low on supplies.

Bitter is the dark.

Hoping magic will give a spark.

Quiet footsteps cross the ground.

Trying not to make a sound.

Guided by light, by none.

This will be the last one.

WE ARE ONE (Fritz, my German Shorthaired-Pointer) by Nick Arndt

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Clock sounds at six.

Still dark and bitter cold.

Early January in Northern Indiana.

Should I retreat to Dreamland?  No.

Break loose from the Chicago Cubs bedding.

Put on my insulated running attire.

He hears me coming down the stairs.

I am greeted by the fine wine of a canine.

I am immediately followed to the kitchen.

Homemade oatmeal kind of morning.

Fluids prepared.

Is he aware?

I lace up the Brooks.

Constantly interrupted by a wet nose and tongue.

Grinds like a puppy, not a ten-year-old, like himself.

His presence and fur warms my body and soul.

We are one.

Choker-leash bells break the silence.

Tail is wagging, uncontrollably.

Out the garage, into two feet of white powder.

Dark, oak-shadowed road.

Turn back?  No.

Best friend by my side.

Into Spicer.

Woods is outer space.

Headlamp lights the snowy trail.

No more leash.

Gone.

Nothing healthier for a creature.

Freedom in the wilderness.

What mischief is he getting into, now?

Sounds of bells shatter silence, periodically.

Truly, we own these trails.

Comes back and checks on me every few minutes.

Prancing like some sled Husky.

Always knows where I will be.

Share the water.

Trudging through deep snow.

Marveling at God’s creation.

Spotted deer seem jealous.

Exit the woodland paradise.

Home approaching.

I can smell the hot chocolate.

Woodstove awaits.

Six legs on the road.

Racing the last quarter mile.

I drop the leash.

Every man for himself, survival.

Breathing elevates then subsides.

Door opens.

Smells fill our nostrils.

We settle down.

Lying by the hot-coaled woodstove.

Rest on each other.

Trust in one another.

We are one.

FUMES AND BOXES by Nick Arndt

The sun will soon rise above the shadow.

I close my eyes.

The wind blows.

Chills spread all over my body.

 

Mind spinning.

As a fallen leaf takes multiple paths before reaching the ground.

So does the mind.

Peace must be reached.

 

The whole world stands still.

Time to make my move right through.

I cannot go back.

There is no escaping the present.

 

My mind begins to run wild, again.

Like it never learned lessons.

Sitting on the edge of what I used to be.

And what I could be.

 

I’d rather be alone in nature.

Where the wild things grow.

Safe and sound with no worries.

What does it take?

 

Back to reality.

Eyes never straying.

Body shaking.

Listening and trusting my own heartbeat.

 

In the midst of life.

Recalling wisdom.

Trusting God.

Smelling fumes and seeing boxes.

SATURDAY MORNING by Nick Arndt

Saturday morning,

Midnight black crows high, soaring,

Echoing battle.

 

The sun is shining,

Scarlet leaves, from oaks, falling,

Binding battleground.

 

Complete town flocking,

Hourly-groomed ground shaking,

Fitting the moment.

 

Critics babbling,

Reporters interviewing,

Holding pens, notebooks.

 

Runners propelling,

Death-bitten faces drooping,

Revealing hard work.

 

Muscles contracting,

Precious, salty sweat leaving,

Focusing the mind.

 

Racers move, fading,

Yells and cheers, in ears, piercing,

Quitting thoughts arise.

 

Leaders approaching,

Finish line, results, waiting,

Motivating all.

 

Death, hell is ending,

Terre Haute within grasping,

Rewarding the strong.

 

Hours of training,

Satisfaction, pride thriving,

Punching tickets, now.

 

(This haiku was crafted in 2011.  A haiku consists of three-line stanzas with a 5-7-5 syllable format.  It reflects my vision of preparing and racing in the Semi-State.  “The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants is the will to try it and the faith to believe that it’s possible.”)