Ruth Arnison


The Duke

Whenever I play the blues, the coonhound
across the road starts howling.

The fact that he’s called Duke & I’m not
into jazz is of no significance.

Even with the volume low he picks up
the vibrations & wails for losses
he can not understand.

If I could trace raccoon scent, I’d lay
it by his kennel — a memory line
back to his roots.



Ruth is the admin person for a research team at the Dunedin School of Medicine in New Zealand. Her poems have been published in literary journals, anthologies, and ezines in NZ, Australia, the UK and US. She is the editor of Poems in the Waiting Room (NZ) (