Two Poems

by Stuart Gunter Issue: Spring/Summer 2020

Dead Dog at the Beach

Chacala, Nayarit, Mexico

I was sitting with the old hippie
in his campsite by the beach.
A dead dog in the waves
like a kid’s grotesque float. 
The flies swarmed in after each 
wave, dispersing as the next one 
crashed. We talked of the atrocities 
of war and paying required visa 
fees to get into Mexico, the dog 
bobbing up and down as we spoke. 
It felt like home, his campsite, but he
did not offer me a seat. We talked 
more about government and the 
legalization of marijuana, a ranchero
band playing to the diners in the beach 
restaurants, the pulsing drums filling 
the beach, the trumpet piercing the air. 
As we spoke of things, not quite small 
talk, an old fisherman in a white
and blue boat swept in toward 
the bloated dog, sliced it open throat 
to tail, and hoisted it by the foreleg into 
the boat, driving back out to sea, chum 
for his next catch. A black dog posted 
on the bow, like a telling figurehead. 

The Fishermen

Chacala, Nayarit, Mexico

The old fisherman sits on an upturned
plastic white five-gallon bucket, smoking
after a day walking up and down the beach
hawking blankets. His younger compadres
further down, casting and wading in the 
shallow surf. Jupiter rising in the western
sky as the waves beat against the shore.
Crowds of locals at the tapas bar under 
the palms and bougainvillea eating and drinking 
and laughing, woodsmoke and sewage on the air, 
ranchero music blaring from a tinny radio.



Stuart Gunter

Stuart Gunter is working toward a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling at Longwood University and lives in Schuyler, Virginia. He likes to paddle the Rockfish River and play drums in obscure rock bands. His poems have been published in Poet Lore, Hiram Poetry Review, Appalachian Journal, The Madison Review, and The Chattahoochee Review, among others. Find his band at www.chamomileandwhiskey.com.