The Dog Days are the last hot days of summer which precede the autumnal mists and mellow fruitfulness.
I’ve been walking the dogs through the damps and the fogs and I love you,
I love you I cry to the sky and the shuttering sun.
I’ve been spending my days counting all of the ways that I love you,
And the sum of the ways that I counted amounted to one.
It’s the way that’s the best and it covers the rest and I love you,
I love you forever since weather began to unwind,
Since the sauropod plod through the memory of God, still I love you
Till the last lazy star fizzles out and the cosmos is blind.
You’re a child of the light, you’re a ghost in the night and I love you,
I love you: I whisper it low to the loitering leaves.
You’re as flash as the flight of a meteorite and I love you.
You’re the cream of the milk, you’re as subtle and silky as Jeeves.
You’re as pale as a bone and as true as alone and I love you,
I love you: I sing to the crystalline ring round the moon.
You’re as black as the tone of the membranophone and I love you.
You’re as luscious as honeydew sucked from a runcible spoon.
You’re as soft as the rose, you’re as solemn as prose and I love you,
I love you I shout it aloud to the teetering trees.
It’s the way your hair grows, it’s the splay of your toes, yes I love you.
You’re as sweet as the scents of September borne up on the breeze.
As the North loves a magnet or cops love a dragnet, I love you
In the darks of my heart, in the swells of the wandering wave.
As the Lady loves iron or Baptists love Zion, I love you.
You’re as pure as poitin of Knockeen, and as sure as the grave.
You’re so fresh, you’re so funny, so bang on the money, I love you,
As a packet of vinegar crisps loves a lager and lime.
You’re so slick, you’re so smart, so exclusive as art, and I love you,
As an old-fashioned poet loves patterns of metre and rhyme.
As an old fashioned poet I love you, you know it, I love you,
Though I’m crumpled and creased and obese and as ugly as sin.
I’m a popper of pills and I’m late with my bills and I love you,
And a world with you in it’s a wonderful world to be in.
from Girlie Gangs (Enitharmon, 2011), © John Whitworth 2011, used by permission of the author and the publishers.