Alexander Averin

Sunday 9 December 2012

For Finbar

Dear Diary,

I have recently bought a copy of A Thousand Mornings, a selection of poems by my favourite poet, Mary Oliver. I cannot choose a favourite poem from this book as I love every one but I was inspired to write one today about my dog Finn in the way Mary Oliver has written a poem about her dog Percy.  She admits to copying the format from the poet Christopher Smart and his poem For I will consider my cat Jeoffrey. So  this ‘idea’ goes on.  I spent an hour of this Sunday morning writing it and I must admit that while doing so I shed many tears ...   but then tears are always healing, often a sign that the spirits of those who have passed are close to us. I apologise because this is the second (sad) poem I have posted in a row! 

Finbar 1997-2012

For Finbar

For I will consider our dog Finn.
For I loved  him and am still bereft.
For he was kind and never hurt one soul.
For he  had a golden coat, a pure, soft, honeyed caramel.
For his nutbrown eyes were deep and wise.
For he read my thoughts.
For I read his mind.
For he understood my words.
For he had such powers to wrap himself around me.
For he was a  healer of the sick, a friend and guardian of our home.
For he would howl if ever I would weep.
For he held a mirror to my soul and shared my pain.
For he was brave and thought he was a man.
For he was cunning, like a gypsy’s dog.
For he was full of joys and jokes and loved to dance.
For he loved to run and race and play in snow.
For he loved to eat and lived for food.
For he would watch and wait for my return and know when I was close.
For he was kind to young ones: kitten,  pup or child.
For the cat and he were friends, cwched up before the fire, they washed each other’s coats.
For he was tolerant to a tiny fault.
For he treated my son as a brother.
For he considered himself one of us, a human.
For he suffered stoically at the end and was so brave.
For he is buried by the riverbank.
For his grave is marked by heavy stones of white.
For I still greet him as I pass and always wipe a tear.
For he loved me
For I loved him.
For he still waits for us.

Cait O’Connor

Bye for now,

Go mbeannai Dia duit,



Elizabeth said...

You capture exactly the spirit of a good dog.
Yes, a very sad poem again

but showing how much that good dog was loved.

Vee said...

Ohhhhh... where is my tissue box. You've done it again, Cait. What a marvelous response poem.

beth said...

what a beautiful poem !!.....losing our furry baby in july was one of the hardest things we've ever been through, so i completely understand.....xo

Anonymous said...

Lovely words.
Losing a pet is one of the hardest things to go through, all the more when they have been in your life for many years. I've been through it twice and won't do so again, just can't bear it any more.
These people who say 'but it was only a cat/dog' don't know what they're talking about do they?
Best wishes for Christmas.

Teresa Evangeline said...

I, too, have acquired that book of poems and it's chock full of wonderful word images. Mary is sooo good, isn't she? Just a gift to all of us.

I am not looking forward to the day my Buddy moves on from this life we have together.... :( You've honored your beautiful dog perfectly.

Mac n' Janet said...

You have made me cry, it was so beautiful and could have been said of so many of our pets, but you have said it so well, thank you!

Kay G. said...

Beautifully expressed.
I read recently that the Eskimos call polar bears, God's dogs. I am reminded of that when I see a sweet dog's face.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written and expressed. I can appreciate your deep sentiments as any person can who's journey in life is shared by an animal -persons who take the time and effort to be on the animal's wavelength are rewarded in so many ways, but the pain on their passing is indeed deep and heartfelt, made a little easier if we know they have been given the opportunity for a much-loved (and respected)life.
Finbar sounds respected, loved and treasured. I do believe these special family members wait for us.
Thanks for sharing this Cait.

Catherine said...

O Cait, have spent the day weeping and here I go again!! But in such a good way.....he was a brother to my son....that was the line that did it.....loving these tears and your words....thank you honey:~))

Floss said...

That's very beautiful. We have an elderly dog who currently needs injections for an incurable condition. Every morning and evening we have to hold her and inject her. She is so trusting and resigned as we do this horrible thing (which then makes her feel ill) and we feel so close to her in her brave suffering. We'll finish this phase of the treatment on Christmas Eve, and are so looking forward to a dog returning to health as we celebrate. So, although we are at a different stage to you, I love the way that your poem identifies your dog's bravery and connections to the family.

Thanks also for your comment on my Advent post!

LeeAnn at Mrs Black's said...

oh cait, I am so very sorry you have lost Finn. He was a lovely dog and your companion and friend. Harder still to be without a friend at Winter and Christmas. I do belive that a part of them remains with us, just as part of us goes on with them. Lovely poem. x

Fennie said...

Yes it's so sad when animals pass on and yet in a sense they never do for we remember them still and sometimes more even than humans.

Jenny said...

Beautiful poem. Losing an animal friend is so heartbreaking.

Mary Oliver is my favorite poet too. She amazes me over and over again.

The bike shed said...

Tears are healing - that's very true, and also that in grief there can be found the joy of memory

Char1020 said...

may I share your poem on my face book page I lost my soul mate
Louise and they only way I can cope with my loss is through poetry and art.

Char1020 said...

may I share your poem on my face book page I lost my soul mate
Louise and they only way I can cope with my loss is through poetry and art.

Writing from the Edge said...

I am so happy to have found your blog, Cait. I love your poem for Finbar - it says so much about him that I felt as if I knew him too. The best of good dogs. I was amazed to find that we have both been in so similar a situation - losing our beloved dogs and taking comfort from Mary Oliver. I shall look forward to reading more of your blog. I also loved your Keep Calm sign, and the quote about heaven being a library. As a writer, I would have to long as all my animals (ever)are curled up on all the library chairs and rugs.

Marion Williams-Bennett said...

"For he had such powers to wrap himself around me"

Thank you, Cait for sharing this with me at this time. This poem beautifully articulates the reason why we love these animals, why losing them undoes it the way it does.

I am sorry for the loss of Finn, sorry for his suffering. Grateful for his life, and the love that he gave you, you gave him.