The House Dog’s Grave – poem

grave forest sunlight

grave forest sunlight

I’ve changed my ways a little; I cannot now
Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
Except in a kind of dream; and you, if you dream a moment,
You see me there.

So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
And you’d soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
The marks of my drinking-pan.

I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
On the warm stone,
Nor at the foot of your bed; no, all the night through
I lie alone.

But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
Outside your window where firelight so often plays,
And where you sit to read–and I fear often grieving for me–
Every night your lamplight lies on my place.

You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
To think of you ever dying
A little dog would get tired, living so long.
I hope that when you are lying

Under the ground like me your lives will appear
As good and joyful as mine.
No, dear, that’s too much hope: you are not so well cared for
As I have been.

And never have known the passionate undivided
Fidelities that I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided. . . .
But to me you were true.

You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures
To the end and far past the end. If this is my end,
I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.

Robinson Jeffers

You Were Here – poem

dog path forest

dog path forest

As I sit in those moments of quiet,
When sadness invades me,
I know that yesterday,
You were here.

Now you are away from us,
Not knowing your future,
Or when you’ll come home, but yesterday,
You were here.

It has now been a week,
A week since you last were in the house,
An entire week since we carried you away,
To the place where we did not know your future,
But just last week,
You were here.

Another day passes;
a week ago, you were still with us,
In daily reports from the clinic,
They did not know your future,
But we could still hope, and,
You were here.

More days pass,;
A week ago you left us,
Your head cradled in our hands,
Your spirit gracefully moving upward,
But for a few hours of that day,
You were here.

Sadness invades again,
As I know that once those hours pass,
I can no longer look back,
Over the span of a familiar week’s time,
To find that comforting point when,
You were here.

More time will pass;
Sadness will not so much invade as menace,
And I will mark the days,
Saying things like,
“last month, last summer, last Halloween, last year,”
You were here.

I dread that day,
One year from now,
That first marking of the time,
That your body was no longer with us;
Though we will never forget you,
Your tangible memory fades,
The feel of your fur, your head, your back, your weight against us,
The smell and sounds of you when,
You were here.

The emptiness is beginning to fade,
To change into another reality,
One with you still playing a part,
But a role of ethereal presence rather than physical comfort we crave;
Your memory, your spirit, your essence and counsel,
Dwell with us, but this feeling is not the same as when,
You were here.

Jenine Stanley

The Creation – poem

dog landscape sunset

dog landscape sunset

When God had made the earth and sky
the flowers and the trees,
He then made all the animals
the fish, the birds and bees.

And when at last He’d finished
not one was quite the same.
He said, “I’ll walk this world of mine
and give each one a name.”

And so He traveled far and wide
and everywhere He went,
a little creature followed Him
until it’s strength was spent.

When all were named upon the earth
and in the sky and sea,
the little creature said, “Dear Lord,
there’s not one left for me.”

Kindly the Father said to him,
“I’ve left you to the end.
I’ve turned my own name back to front
and called you dog, My friend.”

Author unknown