Tag Archives: heaven

The Heaven of Animals

The meadow is his home now.
Up high in the mountains,
he lies in the shade
in a circle of trees
among the wild iris.

He yawns and stretches,
flips over
and rolls and rolls,
groaning in pleasure
in the tall sweet grass.

At any moment
he will sit up, alert,
ears sharp,
sniffing the air,
eyes intent on something
we can’t see
off under the trees.

His world is perfect now,
though I know he misses
the pats, the belly rubs,
the love in our voices:
lie down.
stay now.
good boy. mjh


I wrote this five years before Lucky Dog died, remembering a beautiful spot the three of us discovered. And, imagining the inevitable, I sobbed. This supports my hope that “any horror could be faced / and become a poem.”

I borrowed the title from a poem by James Dickey. If you’re looking for that one, here’s a link. And, here’s a poem I wrote soon after Dickey’s death in 1997.

Listen to The Heaven of Animals

My Virtual Chapbook (table of contents)

this simple truth

I wish the stories all were true
that we love to tell
and I could be again with you
in Heaven or in Hell.
That I could be again with you,
and all our friends as well,
would bring the greatest joy to me
in Heaven or in Hell.

But we all know this simple truth
that on this earth we dwell
in measured days of age and youth
not Heaven nor in Hell. mjh


For my Mom, who taught me language and love.

Listen to this simple truth

My Virtual Chapbook (table of contents)