Tag: darwin

poem: grieving

Without warning
the words rip their way out.

“I miss my dog!”

i might have gone to him
for cuddles
to be confronted
by his absence.

i might leave the house
not having to worry
about walks,
free from fretting
over him
while i travel.
That momentary gratitude
that i can be on my way
turns into gutted grief.

By in large,
this flesh has grown numb
to the shuddering pain of tears.

Despair has given way
to emptiness.

A surreal stillness
has completely overtaken
all the loud wails of grief.

This is life now;
this is my new loneliness.

Only, i cannot see this
as movement forward –
i am an ostrich,
head firmly planted
in the sand,
choking on change
i never wanted to happen.

6 may 2016

poem: for Darwin the dog.

it started to pour
an hour
after you died.

i could not shake
the feeling
that the Divine
had finally lost
her composure.
My tears were joined
by an ocean
of saltwater rain.

This world is poorer
without your presence.

i can already feel
my will and heart
in the face
of this tsunami
of grief.

You will be
what i search for
in my dreams.

No doubt,
you will wind up
tucked inside
stories and poems
until i surrender
my pen
into death’s hands.

Still, i think of you
as though you remain
tethered to my soul –
i beg for forgiveness,
i give you all my love
and, sweet boy,
know that underneath
this mask of calm
and the unmistakable acceptance,
i ache with loss
and shine with gratitude.

2 may 2016

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

poem: Darwin the dog

IMG_1598Darwin the dog

He lays beside me,
ever faithful,
ever kind.

I have never known
love so unfailing,
even when I fail him.

We do not walk enough.
I rush him through the falling snow
to find a place for him to squat.
I consistently fall down
in my treat-giving obligations.
Too often, I work
when huge brown eyes
reproach me for want of play.

Yet he loves,
with tail-wagging totality,
feet dancing with joy.
He loves
despite my wreckedness,
through my wretchedness,
alongside my peacefulness.

As for me,
I cherish these moments,
knowing too well
how quickly life changes
and how fast the days
whip past us.

Someday, one of us
will have to survive
without the other.

Oh, but that is the fantasy
of the future,
for right now,
in this eternal moment
Darwin the dog
sits beside me,
breathes heavily,
stretches into repose,
sighs again,
and surrenders to sleep,
comfortable in the fact
that  I love him.

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.