DOGS IN TOPANGA
2000-2018

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"The poems are evocative, charming, touching, insightful. And haunting. I laugh at one, cray at another. I couldn't stop reading." - Jack Grapes, author, Method Writing, The Naked Eye and Any Style

"Terrifically fun and touching! The poems are earthy, real and revealing, clearly as much about the poet as about her dogs. Robbins reveals her own pain, healing, and soul-searching. Her guides are, of course, these angelic, rough house spirits, the so-called DOGS OF TOPANGA." - Beth Grant, actress, Rain Man and The Artist

"It's more than a book about dogs, it's a book of deep wisdoms." - Gary Johnson, author, Head Trauma: Sonnets and Other Poems

"A joyful experience. The silliness and majesty of each special animal shine on every page. The metaphors and rhythms are both childlike and sophisticated." - Janet B. Fattal, screenwriter, A Twist of Faith and co-author, A Narrow Bridge

"An inimitable blend of the profound and the playful. Also uplifting, healing and joyful." - Linda Klausner, author, American Beat Yogi: Hindu and Indian Themes in Allen Ginsberg


DOGS

Happy.
They’re naturally happy.
They naturally wag their tails
And are happy.

Can’t we learn anything
From dogs--
Are we that stupid--
That we can put men into space
Or fly an airplane through one of the
Tallest buildings in the world
And we can’t learn to wag our tails
Like a dog?

 


 

MY DOG IS CRAZY

My dog is crazy or at least unusual.
Last night she kissed me on my forearm,
Never did before, and this way
Let me know she needed to go out.

She only rarely kisses me as if to say I love you,
Most often happy not touching,
Not snuggling, not held.

Still, she hates not being with me,
Rips up the house if left alone.
At the pound where I found her,
I learned that people brought her back
Not once but three whole times,
Learned that even earlier she’d been
Abandoned and abused,
Not unlike some people I have known,
Even, sometimes, myself.

And still, like most of us,
I know my dog means well,
Barks up a frightful storm
If anyone comes near the house,
And if she’s on my lap
She bares her teeth and growls
If anyone approaches.
I know she means to guard me,
Has attacked at least four dogs
All five or six times bigger than herself
To keep me safe.

And, still, at home,
She keeps her distance, also like
Some people I have known,
Or even like myself, who sometimes
May have trouble letting people know
My own devotion and my love.

 

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"Jane Marla Robbins has a keen eye for moments of beauty, and a wicked sense of humor... Pure magic" - Hope Edelman, author, Motherless Daughters, The Possibility of Everything

"A free-spirited California dog lover celebrates the joyful, healing presence of canines.... A touching, poetic tribute to the irrepressible nature of man's best friend, and to a rapidly disappearing bohemian culture." - Kirkus Review

 

"This intimate and strikingly honest collection is a study of love, laughter and even loss. These poems illustrate that a dog's intuitive, unconditional love is the closest thing to holy." - Kelly Grace Thomas, author, BoatBurned

 

"I expected that reading some poems about dogs would be enjoyable. But I did not expect to laugh and cry the way I did. Each poem is a story, artfully crafted and keenly insightful. I love this book. Dog medicine for the soul." - Harry Hart-Browne, actor, playwright, Special Delivery