"Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness."
Khalil Gibran

Saturday, August 12, 2017

You -

There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
and we don't now and never did lie to each other.
Pablo Neruda

2010 ~ 2017

They gave me your ashes
and I did not understand how this could be
when I had seen your shadow in the morning –
it was you –
you followed me from my room
you, who was always more darkness than light
snipped from the ink of night
but always so warm to the touch –
and now, I recall, that this morning I put out my hand
but you slipped through my fingers and were gone.
The ashes were heavier than I expected
and whatever they are, they are not you.


Izy Gruye encourages us to Write Unseen in The Imaginary Garden this week.


  1. What a heartfelt tribute, and sorry to hear about Jasper. Warm greetings to you.

  2. I am sure all dog lovers will feel your sorrow as I did. I could hardly speak when my last dog died as it hurt so much. Thankyou for writing this most moving poem.

  3. Beautiful tribute, Kerry. We become so very attached to our oets, I think especially with our dogs. I was told that God gave us our corresponding lifetimes so that we generally could be their caretakers for all their life, generally outliving them.
    I miss my Adi sooo much, much more than any relative yet who has died, including my parents. She was my buddy. Teary eyed thinking about her here. I feel deeply for you now, you will always miss your Jasper.
    I've been told and believe it that God has a Doggie Heaven and that we might see them there. That Romans 8 tells of all God's creation are waiting for His final chapter for our world in expectation. It is in the Eighth Chapter of Romabs, with Verses 22, and before and after. Perhaps a little cryptic but I have hope. BTW, our Adi died in 2013 and her ashes are sitting on a bookshelf in our living room.
    Finally, I like Neruda. And my Adi is all over my other blog.

  4. We went through this a few weeks ago. It's a rocky road out of that loss, without that loving and accepting and giving presence at your side. All my sympathy. (The Neruda is something of a comfort, but nothing can take away the empty.)

  5. Oh gosh, what a thorn in the heart. The pain of parting is the price we pay, I suppose, for all the unflagging love and wonderfulness they bring to our every hour. Jasper is a very handsome boy, by the way!

    You might like this song by Emmylou Harris, who runs her own shelter called Bonaparte's Retreat:


  6. Here is the studio version. The background music is doggy goofy and I love it.


  7. Kerry, I'm sorry that Jasper is no longer with you, except in phantom thoughts. I never understood why dogs have such short lives; why our best suited companions stay with us for so short a time. RIP Jasper.

  8. They give us so much... of course we grieve... this tribute is beautiful

  9. Oh my God, this reduced me to sobs, Kerry. I am so sorry. I know EXACTLY that glimpse of him in the morning, then being handed the ashes. I remember being handed that small take-out box containing what once was my big noisy boy. I felt the same way : how could this be? He came to you as did my Pup to me, just after death, likely as their bodies were going into the crematorium. Their spirits flying free, but still attached to us, as deeply as in life. This breaks my heart. How you will miss him!

  10. My heart just broke a little, with understanding (and yes, also pain). They live (in us) after soul has left flesh, but nothing we can tell ourselves can convince our hearts that the thing we keep alive with our minds is the love we used to touch.

    This is beautiful and breathtakingly true.

  11. Oh how this broke my heart. The shadow that slipped between your fingers, the weight of the ashes that is not Jasper. My husband thinks I am crazy but I have the ashes from my last three cats sitting on the sideboard right beside the Japanese tea set. One day I will scatter them but not today. I know it is not them but...sometimes I think I hear them and that is enough for now. I am so sorry for your loss.

  12. Oh, Kerry, this is one powerful poem. You have captured so well just how it is. It happens so fast. Sneaks up on us without warning. And then suddenly, the one who loved us unconditionally is gone. I do have ashes from two previous dogs. They are not them, that is for sure. I have three dogs now, and I truly dread the day. I think experiencing dog deaths is among the saddest things a person can experience. With people, at least one can communicate...but with dogs, they slip away speechlessly and do not understand our voices. Sorry for your loss, Kerry.

  13. You have struck a chord in the hearts of any of us who has lost a beloved pet, including me. Thank you for gifting us this beautiful poem.

  14. What can I Say? I'm sorry. This is too real. May the beautiful memories ease the pain.

  15. Animals are such a gift, and their lives are far too short. I am sorry you hurt as I have, so many times.

  16. Oh sad. There is that in ashes. And how we love the darkness and light of a favorite dog. Very poignant, the feeling of that nose slipping from the fingers--it seems almost corny to write about it in the comment but very touching and real in the poem. So sorry, Kerry, for your loss. Thanks for the poem. k.

  17. Many thanks for so many kind comments - I cannot reply to them all without shedding more tears.

  18. Strange -- strangely apt, perhaps -- that the vox humana which strikes a note we all swoon to is the shadow of a beloved animal. We have two sets of ashes on a mantel, four strays buried out back by the glory bush. And then we have Mama, the black cat who we thought we had lost, now living out relative comfort in Florida in a private room in our house. Who are we without our animal familiars? And what presences still console us, somehow there in the shades of shadows? So sorry for your loss Kerry, we all grieve.

  19. Always such a heart wrenching time when losing a loved soul, may the happy memories bring light back into your heart.

  20. Straight to the heart - I've had to put dear animals down that meant the world to me. I cry for a day or two and then it staggers a bit - I can still cry over a few but as you know, they do become more "thank you" tears. I guess a heavy heart means we loved so very much...

  21. goodness Kerry there is the weight of immense sadness in these words and the touch of eternity too.

  22. Hey Jasper, say hi to Schooner and Jonnie and Bumper and Kobe for me, will ya?

    Dogs go to heaven. People aren't good enough to deserve grace.

    peace to you, Kerry, as much as you can. ~


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