Sunday, January 15, 2017

Paying the Tillerman

six years ago today
you left this world.
Now a little sister
is heading your way,
and I am going home,
over the mountains,
to our beloved beach.

There is a price to be paid
for every journey,
tears for all the sorrow,
smiles for all the joy.
You pay the tillerman
and step aboard.
You take the journey
as it comes.

It brings wonders,
and heartbreak,
and it stretches
the walls
of our hearts.

I will carry you and Jasmine with me
on every walk on Chestermans Beach.
I will whisper a prayer of gratitude:
for you, for Jas,
for all the wagging tails
and puppy kisses
that have blessed my life,
with every setting sun
until I find you both again.

for the Poetry Pantry at Poets United. 

Pup is six years gone today, and I still grieve. And now Jasmine is making her way towards the Rainbow Bridge. She is eleven and a half and her tumors are aggressive. Yesterday the vet said we are near the end, in order for her to have a peaceful passing, not in crisis. We are hoping she will make it to the end of the month so I can have as long as possible with her. But time is precious now, and going by too fast. She is still smiling, though, her trademark smile.

The hardest part of loving dogs is losing them, as every dog lover knows.


  1. We cling to them as long as possible, and it is with love we let them go.

  2. You pay the tillerman
    and step aboard.
    You take the journey as it comes.. so heartfelt..beautiful.

  3. Nice tribute. "There is a price to pay for every journey" really landed for me. Now I'm thinking about Cat Stevens' song Tea for the Tillerman.

  4. We always speak of wanting balance... Your poem makes me wonder, if most of us understand the question. If we want balance, aren't we asking for pain and joy, laughter and tears, life and death?

    I hope your Pup visits your dreams today. Better yet, I hope the visit happens while you are awake...

  5. Each dog will have a special place in your heart. I hope you can be able to make it a gentle passing. Love her smile.

  6. This is so beautifully written. It made me emotional.

  7. I'm thinking about you both, Sherry.

  8. Oh, yes, does it ever stretch the walls of our hearts! Thinking of you, Sherry, as your walls stretch even more in these weeks with Jasmine.

  9. Hi, Sherry, such a beautiful emotional poem. I did enjoy reading it.

  10. You have such a loving heart. May your new journey bring wonderful moments.

  11. How beautiful, the thought of the brother and sister coming together in the afterlife, though.

  12. Your beautiful poem says it all. It is fitting that beauty wins over sadness.

  13. Beautiful - brought a lump to my throat. Our thoughts are with you, Sherry.

  14. I couldn't post today but glad I stopped by. My heart goes out to you. I definitely understand this kind of grief. Your poem made me want to cry as always when you write of Pup and now Jasmine will join him in your writings and thoughts.

  15. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Jas,


  16. The love of pets is the purest form. They only give love enhance your life and appreciate everything you do for them..They never disappoint you.They will even sacrifice their lives to protect you.The loss of them is absolutely unbearable. I feel your pain.

    Please take comfort in the fact you gave Jas the best life and all the love possible. Not many pets are fortunate enough to get the lives we give ours.I am so sorry.

  17. Oh Sherry this is such a beautiful and heart wrenching tribute! My prayers and love are always with you.

  18. Oh Sherry - I think Pup and Jasmine will be with you on that beach. Some animals capture our souls.. if we are loving enough to let them

  19. One thinks of the good times that their companionship had brought joy!


  20. There is a high price to pay for any love...perhaps it is why people become stingy with their love...because it just hurts so much. Something so pure about an animal's love, no pretense.

  21. Once you love something you never forget! I hope it gets better with time. My Ninja makes me so happy and is a sweet girl (the kitten I caught in a trap) but it can be bittersweet when she reminds me of my Boo.

    Have a great week! Big hug!

  22. This poem says it so well. Such a hard thing, letting them go--they give us so much, so freely. But there comes a time when they must go on without us. My girl is not far from that step away, but I will always remember how she has enriched every day of my life with her love. Hugs to you and to Jasmine, dear Sherry.

  23. Oh this is so sad. I think of how brave my little Faye was at the end of her life too. May her passing be gentle.

  24. That is so Sad Sherry as I read it. There is nothing like the love of these wonderful friends... you are in my prayers...bkm

  25. Oh, hard, hard--and worth the price. I would not get off the boat, refusing to pay. How lovely this poem is, Sherry, how lovely the promise.

  26. she saw you through to the precipice of your next journey, yes? so her time is well spent. XO ~


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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!