POEM: The dog days

Lazy as a dog in the heat
I lie beneath my air conditioner,
panting, unable to address the gods
on my own two feet like a proper mortal.
The dog days are upon us; the old
name persists although few people
know why, but I hear the Dog Star
scrabbling at the horizon, flame in his
eyes, his jowls dribbling humidity.
O Hermanubis, son of Serapis,
friend of mortals, trustworthy guide,
your canine kindred seek the shade now
and so do their human masters.
Only a tolerant few can rise like
Antinous Kynegetikos and seek
their leisure out of doors, coursing
the hounds in the shady wood
after the elusive deer. Blood
may be spilled in the hunt, but still
the leaves wither like the gardens
of Adonis, while the bees hum
relentlessly over the fading flowers.
Antinous Kynegetikos, call off your
hounds and let them rest!
Antinous Aristaios, with honey
and cheese refresh us!

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