Loyalty

Do not undervalue the persistent optimism
Of loving hope.

Nor underestimate the weariness or determination
Of following paws.

Don’t take too much advantage of the patience
Of a loyal heart.

Or be provoked to harshness by the limpid tenderness
In caressing eyes.

Don’t disdain as weakness the brave choice not to bite, even
In self defence.

Don’t dismiss as dependency the valour of staying put and trying
To make hopes real.

For only a hard, fear-ridden heart despises the tolerance
Of faithful love.

This was written for Rick Mobbs’ picture above. But as you will probably guess, this isn’t really about dogs at all, but has a much more personal significance for me.

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8 responses to “Loyalty

  1. words to live by, lirone, poignant and fitting and true

  2. Oh, yes. These images are deeply layered! Very nice!

  3. And when it comes as a product of choice, rather than blind obedience; it becomes all the more pertinent.

  4. I like the tone in this and yes its good advice for living

  5. ahh, lirone, the previous post abt faithful staying love possibly.. is this a continuation…? this one is just as beautiful if not more.. back to dogs, for me this line… Don’t dismiss as dependency the valour of staying put and trying To make hopes real… i cannot help but to think of my dog with regards to staying put… sit, doggee, sit.. now stay… thaz a biggee for my dog.. and she does well, except when she wants to go..

  6. Thanks everyone.

    Sometimes our society treats restraint and patience as weakness, sometimes as powerful virtues. In this and many other poems, I’ve tried to make the point that really it’s neither of these – the right response is different in each situation, and whatever is chosen is not necessarily to be despised.

  7. Restraint is not always a weakness, sometimes it can be a sign of true strength.

    -Bev

  8. “Don’t disdain as weakness the brave choice not to bite, even
    In self defence.”

    So very true. Crisp and wise words.

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