Lei Lei

I have written many things before and after Lei Lei was euthanized. Since I do not know if I can open this memorial again, I will enter my favorites.

First though, a brief biography. Lei Lei, a sweet Formosan Mountain Dog. Came from Taiwan, couldn’t understand English, bad experiences there. For long weeks, weeks, months, she didn’t make eye contact. Then she and I traversed almost, nearly 10 years. 1/7 of my live, 3/4s of hers. Almost constant companions, except for my hospitalizations. I hated them. I worried about her nightly. She developed sarcoma and had her left forelimb amputated, but that did not stop her. Little by little though, she languished, I quivered, know time was seeping away. My last poem, tonight, October 10, 2018. She was euthanized September 20, 2018. I thought I wouldn’t make it, truth be told.
I cannot load her picture, thanks to Google Chrome freezing my Picasa files.

Diane Tomar

for Lei Lei
This dog is dying by inches
Her pancreas, her kidneys, her cancer

each push her nearer to it
eroding the life
we’ve shared for nine plus years
what I push from my mind is considering
when to let her go
when it will become kinder to bid farewell
and softly whisper into her velvet ear,
“I love you.”

 

In a parallel world
I too die by inches
but who wins this race is a question I dare not entertain
we each mark time towards hoped for rest
perhaps even bliss
more deserved by her than me

Considering loss
writing this
I ache in places I did not know existed
Fool, I think,
she is with you now
and there is only now
She gets that

But rushing back comes every unkind act
resentment for having to get up
walk her in the rain
Every small lacking in my soul
haunts me now
“Forgive me, I love you.”

for Lei Lei, Rudy, Sparky, Rusty, Robbie, Theo, Pandy, Missy, Saint, Gladys, Oscar

———————————————-

what sad ending now
as a small dog languishes
soon will leave me here

———————————

DO DOGS GO TO HEAVEN
UNLIKELY
CERTAINLY UNPROVABLE
ALTHOUGH SO MANY THEOLOGIANS
A FEW POPES
AND SOME HACKS WEIGHED IN ON THIS QUESTION
BUT ALAS THERE IS NO RAINBOW BRIDGE
JUST A FAIRY TALE WE TELL OURSELVES
WHEN GRIEF IS CRIPPLING

NO
LEI LEI IS ONLY A MEMORY
SHARED BY THOSE WHO KNEW HER
THAT MAY HAVE TO BE ENOUGH
BUT I’D LIKE TO BE WRONG
I’D LIKE TO THINK SHE’LL BE THERE
I’D LIKE TO BE SURE I’LL BE THERE
TRUTH BE TOLD

LEI LEI IS DUST ASHES
BUT FOR A WHILE
SHE BURNED BRIGHT
IN HER OVEN

GRIEF IS NOT SO CRIPPLING NOW
THAT HAPPENED QUICK-LIKE
I’M GOOD AT DENIAL
UNTIL I’M NOT
UNTIL NIGHT COMES WITH A SICKLE

IS MY PAIN EXAGGERATED
SHE IS JUST A DOG
MOST LIKELY GONE COMPLETELY
NOT IN HEAVEN
(BUT WHERE ELSE WOULD SUCH A LOVING SPIRIT BE)
IF SHE IS WAITING FOR ME
IF SHE IS WAITING FOR ME
IF SHE IS WAITING FOR ME
WILL IT COME TRUE IF I SAY IT
OVER
AND OVER
AND OVER

—————————————————

THIS SONNET FOR LEI LEI
THIS SONNET COMES WITH GREAT SORROW GREAT JOY
WHERE DID OUR LOVE LAY HOW LONG WAS ITS SPAN
LOVE’S SPAN FOREVER SO NONE CAN DESTROY
LOVE’S TIME UNENDING WHILE NEEDING NO PLAN
WE SWIRLED WE CIRCLED EACH ONE IN PASSES
WE FORGOT LIFE COMES WITH ITS OWN FAILING
BODIES GROW WEARY SOON ONLY ASHES
SORROW’S COMPANION PAIN SLOWLY TRAILING
MEMORIES IT SEEMS ARE ALL WE HAVE LEFT
LOVE NO PHANTOM KNOWS WELL IT’S ETERNAL
LOVE TIMELESS IN FLUX WHILE IT IS BEREFT
LOVE THROUGH ALL SEASONS REIGNS EVER VERNAL
LOVE OUR TRUE CALLING PRECIOUS GIFT WE RECEIVE
LOVE TRANSCENDS ALL EVEN WHILE WE DO GRIEVE

———————————————————————————–

DOES WRITING POEMS RELIEVE SADNESS

I WONDER IF MY SAD POETRY FEEDS
MY GRIEF OR RELIEVES IT SOME HOW
MY FIRST INCLINATION BELIEVES
IT STAVES GRIEF OFF AT LEAST NOW

I FEEL CLOSE TO LEI LEI WRITING
AT LEAST SHE’S ALIVE ON THE PAGE
IF SADNESS WILL BE MY COMPANiON
IT’S PREFERRED TO EMPTY RAGE

WHO HAS PERMISSION TO SEETHE
TO MOUNT ARGUMENTS SPURIOUS
RIDICULOUS ENTITLEMENTS
ALIGNED WITH THOUGHTS FURIOUS

I KNOW WHAT WRITING DOES FOR ME
IT ENLIVENS IT SPEAKS MY TRUTH
IT DOES LIMIT SADNESS
OFFERS ITS ATTEMPTS TO SOOTH

I BECOME LIGHTER COMPOSING
WORDS BECOME FRIENDS
WORDS STAVE OFF SAD FEELINGS
THEY BECOME MEANS TO ENDS

I WILL WRITE UNTIL MORNING
OR AT LEAST UNTIL DARK
I AM GRATEFUL
I HEARD LEI LEI’S BARK

AS I SLOWLY AWOKE
I WAS SURE SHE WAS HERE
EVEN BEING WRONG
DID NOT DIMINISH THE DEAR

FEELINGS I HAD
THINKING SHE VISITED ME
IF WORDS MADE THIS HAPPEN
THEN WORDS IT WILL BE

——————————————————–)

IT COMES IN WAVES
GRIEF SNEAKS INTO MY HEART NOW
EARLY ON IT WAS CONSTANT
I ONLY COULD MOURN
WRENCHING GRIEF
LATER BLESSED TIMES OF SOLACE
REMEMBERING LEI LEI’S ANTICS
I SMILE
BUT THEN SOME TRIGGER
A CARD OF CONDOLENCES
BRINGS SNEAKER WAVES OF GRIEF
SURGING OVER ME
AROUND ME
NOT SO PROFOUND
I SLEEP PEACEFULLY NOW
STILL NO DREAMS OF LEI LEI
PERHAPS SHE TOO SLEEPS
AWAITING MY ENTRANCE INTO PARADISE
WHEN SHE WILL GRACE ME ONCE AGAIN
IF ONLY IN A DREAM

—————————————————-

YET AGAIN I FEAR
WORDS NEVER STOP
NO ONE HERE
BUT AN EMPTY HOUSE
I’M NOT EVEN PRESENT
I’M EARNESTLY RUNNING AWAY
AWAY FROM THE EMPTINESS
TAUNTS BY THE HOUSE
SOUNDS I THINK ARE HER
UNTIL I REMEMBER

HER SHRINE LITTLE COMFORT
ANOTHER REMINDER
I NEED TO IGNORE
KIND FRIENDS SUGGEST
I GET ANOTHER DOG
IF LEI LEI WAS ONLY A DOG
THEN PERHAPS
LEI LEI IS SO MUCH MORE
(NOTE THE TENSE)
AN OLD SOUL
SHE ASSESSES WORLD EVENTS
ESPECIALLY ONES INVOLVING BONESS

WHAT SEA CHANGE HAPPENED
HUMOR RETURNS
HUMOR AND HOPE
TO FIND MY DOG
WAITING FOR ME
MAYBE NOT BORN YET

—————————————–

SITTING SHIVA FOR LEI LEI
JEWS SIT SHIVA
SEVEN DAYS SEVEN NIGHTS
GRIEVING THE DEATH OF A LOVED ONE
THEY SIT
RELATIVES FEED THEM
COVER MIRRORS
TURN OVER BEDS
ONLY GRIEF ALLOWED
SOON AFTER
GRIEF NOT SO CATACLYSMIC
IN LIKE KIND THERE WERE
SEVEN DAYS OF DEEP MOURNING FOR LEI LEI
HAUNTED BY HOWLING GRIEF
GRIEF LIKE A PART OF ME WAS AMPUTATED

BUT NOW DAY EIGHT
SOMETHING DIFFERENT
I AM CHARMED BY MEMORIES
ABLE TO SEE EVIDENCE OF HER
WITHOUT COLLAPSING
I RETURN TO MYSELF
WHILE STILL AWAITING HER VISITATION
HER SWEET HAUNTING

I’D LIKE TO THINK THIS CHANGE MEANS
WE CAN BOTH TRANSCEND
LEI LEI MOVING ON TO HER NEXT LIFE
ME NOT SO BROKEN
BUT I COLLECT HER ASHES TOMORROW
WHAT WILL I FEEL THEN
PREDICTIONS ARE POINTLESS

—————————————————————–

NOW IT IS FINAL
OR IS IT
TODAY I PICK UP HER ASHES
THE LAST MOLECULES
OF AN EXUBERANT SOUL
NOW I KNOW WHAT REST IN PEACE MEANS
ASHES DO NOT MOVE

TODAY I RETRIEVE WHAT IS LEFT OF HER
OR DO I
MY MIND WANDERS TOWARDS UNKIND THOUGHTS
ARE THESE LEI LEI’S ASHES
OR ASHES FROM SOME ANONYMOUS WOOD STOVE
SWEPT INTO A SMALL CONTAINER
DOES IT REALLY MATTER
SHE IS NOT ASH
LET HOPE BE HER
BE MY
BE OUR COMPANION
WE ARE NOT DONE YET

———————————————————-

LEI LEI IS GONE NOW
I HAD HER EUTHANIZED, PUT TO SLEEP
EUPHEMISMS FOR FORCED ELIMINATION
FROM HER BODY
WHATEVER ENERGY STILL RESIDED IN IT

I DIDN’T DESERVE HER
THIS THOUGHT KEEPS RISING IN MY GRIEVING MIND
WHO CAN SAY WHAT IS ENOUGH LOVE, OR KINDNESS
DID I GIVE ENOUGH?
I’M SURE NOT
FOR SHE WAS A FINE DOG
PLAYFUL AND EVEN MORE DELIGHTFUL
MISCHIEVOUS

SHE DIDN’T DESERVE ME
IMPATIENT AT TIMES WHEN I SHOULD HAVE BEEN PATIENT
IGNORING HER WHEN I SHOULD HAVE MET HER GAZE

FLOWN IN FROM TAIWAN SHE WAS LOST IN AMERICA
DIDN’T EVEN KNOW ENGLISH WHEN I MET HER
DIDN’T MAKE EYE CONTACT FOR MONTHS
BUT THEN CAME OUR HIGH HEYDAYS OF TIME TOGETHER
LEI LEI RACING DOWN THE BEACH
DIGGING HUGE GOPHER-SEEKING HOLES IN THE YARD
HER BODY UP TO HER CHEST IN DIRT
FLYING OUT OF THAT SCREENED WINDOW IN BOB’S PICKUP
IN PURSUIT OF SOME LITTLE FURRY THING
(I NEVER SAW IT – BARELY FOUND HER)

BUT ALL THAT LIFE, ALL THAT ENERGY
DWINDLED UNTIL SHE WASN’T EVEN INTERESTED IN HER FOOD
IN WALKS OR EVEN GOING FOR RIDES IN THE SUBARU
IT SEEMED SHE WENT THROUGH THE MOVES FOR ME
MAYBE

SHE DID LOVE THOSE TREATS I GAVE HER HOWEVER
WHILE WE WAITED TOGETHER IN THE BACK OF THE CAR
WAITED FOR THE VET TO BRING THE MEANS OF HER DEPARTURE
I’M GLAD SHE ENJOYED THEM AND GLAD I GOT TO WHISPER
WHAT A GOOD DOG SHE WAS
HOW MUCH I LOVED HER

DRIVING HOME WITHOUT HER
I SCREAMED, NOT ONCE OR TWICE
I LOST COUNT
NOT JUST IN PAIN BUT SOMETHING ELSE TOO
FEELING LIKE A PART OF ME LEFT WITH HER WHEN
SHE WAS TAKEN TO THE CLINIC
TO BE STORED UNTIL SHE COULD BE CREMATED

WHAT IS THE POINT OF CREMATION?
WHY DIDN’T I WANT TO BURY HER?
I DIDN’T WANT TO IMAGINE HER BODY BEING
DIGESTED FROM WITHIN, OR WORSE, MAGGOTS
VISITING HER
I WANTED A CLEAN SET OF ASHES
NOT THAT LEI LEI WOULD CARE
SHE WAS PAST ALL CARING

——————————————————————

I WALKED CRESCENT HARBOR TODAY
SEEKING SOLACE FROM THE SEA
TOO MANY MEMORIES
NO SOLACE FOR ME

STILL I WALKED I WALKED
BUT THE PATH WAS HAUNTED
LEI LEI KNEW THIS PATH WELL
IT WAS HER I WANTED

A FEW DOGS CAME NEAR
THOUGH NICE NO CONTEST
LEI LEI MORE SPIRIT THAN DOG
TEN YEARS I WAS BLESSED

NO LOVE WORTH ITS MEASURE
MUST ALSO BE TRUE
HER’S GIVEN FREELY
NOW SADLY ADIEU

ONCE MY LIFE SO MUCH RICHER
SHE’S NOW RUNNING FREE
WHERE ARE YOU LEI LEI
ON THE PATH NEAR THE SEA

——————————————————–

SONNET FOR OUR CANINE FRIENDS

Dogs such sweet messengers of true grace
asking for nothing with their loving hearts
except maybe a tennis ball to chase
some kibbles, a treat now and then, for starts
a warm bed, hopefully next to our place
snuggling close to lend us their furry parts
Ah, blissful to see their eyes on our face
as we awake to their beguiling arts
My dogs teach me kindness I have to learn
or risk not knowing the way of Love
They automatically know how to earn
a place in Heaven’s Big Sky high above
where they scamper awaiting us to arrive
Patiently watching while we are alive

__________________________________

A SHRINE FOR LEI LEI

 

HERE’S WHAT CONSTITUTES HER SHRINE

HER PICTURE FROM WHEN WE FIRST MET

HER COLLAR  – THOSE NECESSARY TAGS – NOW UNNECESSARY

RABIES, MY TELEPHONE – CHIP NUMBERS

THAT CARD FOR A MOTEL DOOR

“SERVICE DOG INSIDE DO NOT DISTURB”

SHE WASN’T A TRUE SERVICE DOG

BUT SHE MADE EVERYONE SHE MET FEEL BETTER

EXCEPT THAT ONE LITTLE GIRL WHO GOT IN HER FACE

LEI LEI WAS NOT GOING TO HAVE ANY OF THAT

DIDN’T GO WELL AT THE CLINIC SHE AND I WORKED AT

WHAT CAN I SAY

SO SHE WASN’T A TRUE SERVICE DOG

 

WHAT ELSE MAKES UP HER SHRINE

THAT CARD FROM A FRIEND WHO LOVED LEI LEI

WHO LEI LEI LOVED

DOGS TOUCH US LIKE THAT

AND FLOWERS FLOWERS FLOWERS

STARGAZER LILIES

THEY’LL OPEN AS TIME PASSES

AS GRIEF BECOMES A CELEBRATION

FRAGRANCE BALANCED AGAINST SORROW

 

VICTORIA SAYS I SHOULD GET ANOTHER DOG

I THINK “TOO SOON TOO SOON

I MUST GRIEVE – HONOR HER MEMORY”

BUT WHO SAYS ADOPTING ANOTHER DOG

ISN’T HONORING HER MEMORY

HARD TO KNOW

ALL I KNOW IS I AM ON THE INTERNET

LOOKING FOR A DOG TO ADOPT

IT WILL SPEAK TO ME

I ADOPTED LEI LEI A FEW WEEKS AFTER RUDY DIED

 

OH LEI LEI, YOU WILL BE HARD TO FOLLOW

I GUESS THAT MEANS

WE WERE MEANT FOR EACH OTHER

WE WERE

YOU HAD ME AT “WOOF.”

A donation was made in Lei Lei's memory and the memorial was created on October 12, 2018.

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