Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Never Fully Gone

Collage created for me by my friend,

I feel it coming, this poem I will birth
on the seventh year of your passing
from this earth.
So close to tears, I realized, of course, it is you.
Just how much and how long I would miss you,
back then I never knew.
Like a burrowing owl, you have lodged in my heart,
like a prickle-burr that hurts, from which 
I do not want to part.
You live there, night and day, in a corner labeled Grief.
From the missing and your-being-gone
there is no relief.

Ghost voices whispering on the wind,
and wolf howls in my dreams,
you look right into my sad heart;
your wolf-eyes gleam.

The barn owl says to light the lamp
on the windowsill for you.
But how can you find me in this place
that was never home to you?

I'm homeless in the universe, alone, without you
and I fear you're out there somewhere,
feeling homeless too.
Lead me back, wolf-spirit,
to the land we loved together.
I will walk there again
as we did in any weather.

When I can hear the rhythm of
the turning of the tides,
my spirit may still find a home
once more, where peace abides.
Maybe your ghost shadow
will accompany the hours
as I walk forever beaches that,
for a time, were ours.

*** *** ***

I went to bed and slept, and then they came:
four beautiful, snowy white wolves
who already knew my name.
The first one came close,
oh! the beauty of her face!
pushed a friendly nose towards me,
as I stood still, accepting,
but respectful of her space.
We were at the beach, the wolves and I.
A visitation from the spirit-world
of the not-alive,
and from deep in my spirit,
which needs both wolves and ocean waves
to thrive,
because it has never been enough
simply to survive.
The barn owl called sleepily
in the early light to wake me.
Four white wolves live within me now,
never to forsake me.

***   ***   ***

And you?
big, black, laughing, hilarious
creature of the dawn?
You live in my heart
forever, now.
You are never
fully gone.

This is not the anniversary of Pup's death on January 15, 2011. But somehow I feel like posting this poem of remembering.  When I first wrote it, I was still living at the farm, where Pup had never lived. I worried that his spirit had remained in our former yard, across the street, as I could not feel his presence. I hope he has followed me back to the beach that he loved so much, that his spirit rejoices once again in the song of the waves.

Shared with Real Toads in the Tuesday Platform


  1. Each part is both heart-wrenching but also somehow fulfilling. Pup's presence has never left you and I don't think the location is important because he follows you.

    My big black dog still visits me in my dreams.

  2. Heart felt emotions cradled in heart, surely will make the two souls live together forever

  3. Beautiful Pup!! A memory that twists the heart, and leaves only tears. xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  4. I think we project our fears and mourning onto their spirits - hence the believing they are tied to one place. But I suspect, that if they went when it was their rightful time, they aren't limited. It seems only the restless ones "haunt" - whether to be set free or simply because we are still in actuality, "there" - in which case, they are both messenger and receiver - needing to assure us they are well and at peace, and ask us to release them too - not to be forgotten or "left behind" - but so they can travel, protect and guide us as we carry on with our own journeys. (at least, this has been my experience with several)

    These are really heartfelt poem Sherry, each a call and answer, one to the other. And for all the memories they bring and perhaps the tears too, they are still a gift, to be treasured, and from which to gather strength.

  5. Sherry this is a beautiful tribute to Pup. If you make me pick I'd choose the next to last with the four white wolves at the beach. I feel Kerry is right, his memories and spirit will follow you where ever.
    From my experience of losing Beagle Dog Adi, ever loving, faithful and a true friend, I'll tell of Katrin. Katrin, a white toy poodle, was given to us by a dying friend. The two opposites lived together, amicably but with Katrin subservient. The day Adi died Katrin took charge of dog responsibility for us. She never could replace Adi's love and affection but she really tried for mine. She sort of filled the void even though she definitely did not totally fill Adi's spot. Maybe I wouldn't let her but it was okay. I WOULD DO AS I DID AGAIN. Get another dog for both our enjoyments.

  6. Thank you, friends. Jim, sadly I am not allowed to have a dog where I live, and am bereft without them. First time i have lived without a dog, and it is hard. I well know how Katrin could not fully fill Adi's shoes. It was the same with Jasmine. She was such a sweet girl. But there was only one Pup.

  7. This poetic triptych is a lovely homage to your furbaby.

  8. A beautiful tribute to you pup. The words tugged at my heart.... and yes, I believe he’s always with you.

  9. The sorrow of losing a dog can only be outweighed by the memory of the joys you had together

  10. I believe Pup is out there, waiting for. I like to think he is jumping and leaping and howling at the moon, that he is all a-jiggle with joy that one day you and he will be together.

  11. Like a burrowing owl, you have lodged in my heart... this is a beautiful poem about a beautiful love...heartwarming Sherry.

  12. Man's best friend (a lady's too) will always leave an emotional impact unlike others!


  13. This is so beautiful Sherry! Your love for Pup is everlasting, and I think his spirit has followed where ever it is that you may go.


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