Tag: canine

Beginning and ending

Two poems about Darwin.  The first was written right after his adoption, when he was still a neurotic perpetual motion machine.  The second written the night before he died.


We are the same,
he and i,
living with these yawning voids
inside our hearts.

It is the price we pay
for not being loved well
when we were young,
and needed such comforts most.

we both learned to love
on our own,
but it’s not the same.
We can’t go back in time
and just fill ourselves up.

in the puppy’s sad eyes,
constant presence
and determined longing,
i see myself.
For many have i followed,
and many times have i gone
to outrageous lengths
to please someone enough
that they might love me.

written in early 2005


darwin 1We are the same,
he and i,
this old dog
soft sighs of sweet joy,
and his human
over impending loss.

We have both moved
so far
from where we started.
Lonely and wounded
in our youth,
we have grown
full of love,
fluent in gratitude
and constantly delighted
by kindness.

The yawning voids
were filled
by our own hearts –
learning to trust,
in the bond
flowing between
canine and poet.
We found contentment
in each other’s
constant company.
We bloomed in safety.

in the old dog’s dying eyes,
i see myself.
There is an immortality
to the patient kindness
i witness.
The love flowing out of me,
the saltwater rolling down my cheeks,
is met with breathtaking love
and unquestioning trust.

No doubt,
many times,
i will weep,
a gift of thanksgiving
and grief,
how well
this dog
loved me.

1 may 2016

the dog practices zen

They say it’s Dog appreciation day…. so, an old poem about my old dog, when he was still a young pup.


the dog practices zendarwin the dog

he sleeps upside down
in the rounded belly
of the papasan,
legs askew
hanging in the air.
soft sighs
and twitching toes
testify to his dreams.
even rolling over
is accomplished
with a slumbering vitality
few humans will ever achieve.
suddenly waking,
he attacks his left leg,
chewing it with the same
intense wholeness…
and, surely, stretching
should only be attempted
with complete attention
and unhesitating abandon.


4 may 2006

my muse

He sits beside me on the couch.  Snoring.  Sighing.  Stretching and staring at me through one half-opened eye.  Occasionally he whaps me with his tail if he thinks he can romance me into giving him a cookie or a walk.

darwin_poseWhen I pick up the paintbrush, or sit at the wheel, or (especially) when the laptop’s cover opens like it is now, he MOANS and flops on his side, surrendering to the neglect that is sure to come.  This human can get lost in what she does, something this canine knows all too well.  What he doesn’t realize is that in a lot of ways he is my muse.  One of the characters in the book ‘Rosemary’ I have been writing this year is based on him – for I could find no better example of a hero’s soul in my life than my dog’s.

Really, this blog entry is just to thank him for the wonderful years we’ve had together and for his willingness to put up with my madness for a few cookies.  If he were able to read it, I could also provide him with the comfort that I’m only going to be working for a couple more hours – surely he has enough dreams in his twitching toes to last that long.