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Office of Institutional Research

Communications & External Affairs

Kevin Killian

Kevin Killian This poetic trace was used in:
Poem 21: Response
Poem 22: Failed poem about dead gay dogs
Poem 31: Loss
Poem 35: Learning machines
Poem 37: Satisfactions are gaps in desire
Poem 39: A tongue listens to a war
Poem 40: American Picture

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.

There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.

There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...


“Dogs Don’t Have Souls, Do They?”

I remember bringing you home. You were so small and cuddly with your tiny paws and soft fur.

You bounced around the room with eyes flashing and ears flopping.

Once in a while, you'd let out a little yelp just to let me know this was your territory.

Making a mess of the house and chewing on everything in sight became a passion, and when I scolded you, you just put your head down and looked up at me with those innocent eyes, as if to say, "I'm sorry, but I'll do it again as soon as you're not watching."

As you got older, you protected me by looking out the window and barking at everyone who walked by.

When I had a tough day at work, you would be waiting for me with your tail wagging just to say, "Welcome home. I missed you. "You never had a bad day, and I could always count on you to be there for me.

When I sat down to read the paper and watch TV, you would hop on my lap, looking for attention. You never asked for anything more than for me to pat your head so you could go to sleep with your head over my leg.

As you got older, you moved around more slowly. Then, one day, old age finally took its toll, and you couldn't stand on those wobbly legs anymore. I knelt down and patted you lying there, trying to make you young again. You just looked up at me as if to say you were old and tired and that after all these years of not asking for anything, you had to ask me for one last favor. With tears in my eyes, I drove you one last time to the vet. One last time, you were lying next to me.

For some strange reason, you were able to stand up in the animal hospital, perhaps it was your sense of pride.

As the vet led you away, you stopped for an instant, turned your head and looked at me as if to say, "Thank you for taking care of me.

I thought, "No... thank you for taking care of me."

By Chuck Wells

I’m Still Here

Friend, please don't mourn for me
I'm still here, though you don't see.
I'm right by your side each night and day
and within your heart I long to stay.

My body is gone but I'm always near.
I'm everything you feel, see or hear.
My spirit is free, but I'll never depart
as long as you keep me alive in your heart.

I'll never wander out of your sight-
I'm the brightest star on a summer night.
I'll never be beyond your reach-
I'm the warm moist sand when you're at the beach.

I'm the colorful leaves when fall comes around
and the pure white snow that blankets the ground.
I'm the beautiful flowers of which you're so fond,
The clear cool water in a quiet pond.

I'm the first bright blossom you'll see in the spring,
The first warm raindrop that April will bring.
I'm the first ray of light when the sun starts to shine,
and you'll see that the face in the moon is mine.

When you start thinking there's no one to love you,
you can talk to me through the Lord above you.
I'll whisper my answer through the leaves on the trees,
and you'll feel my presence in the soft summer breeze.

I'm the hot salty tears that flow when you weep
and the beautiful dreams that come while you sleep.
I'm the smile you see on a baby's face.
Just look for me, friend, I'm everyplace!

My Heart Will Go On (Pet version)

Every night in my dreams
I see you, I feel you
That is how I know you go on.
Far across the distance and spaces between us
You have come to show you go on.
Near, far, wherever you are
I believe that the heart does go on.
Once more you open the door
And you're here in my heart
And my heart will go on and on.
Love can touch us one time and last for a lifetime
And never let go till we're gone.
Love was when I loved you
One true time I hold you
In my life we'll always go on.
Near, far wherever you are
I believe that the heart does go on.
Once more, you open the door
And you're hear in my heart
And my heart will go on and on.
You're here, there's nothing I fear
And I know that my heart will go on.
We'll stay forever this way
You are safe in my heart
And my heart will go on and on.

Will Jennings

The House Dog’s Grave (Haig, an English Bulldog)

I've changed my ways a little; I cannot now
Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
Except in a kind of dream; and you, if you dream a moment,
You see me there.

So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
And you'd soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
The marks of my drinking-pan.

I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
On the warm stone,
Nor at the foot of your bed; no, all the night through
I lie alone.

But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
Outside your window where firelight so often plays,
And where you sit to read--and I fear often grieving for me--
Every night your lamplight lies on my place.

You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
To think of you ever dying
A little dog would get tired, living so long.
I hope than when you are lying

Under the ground like me your lives will appear
As good and joyful as mine.
No, dear, that's too much hope: you are not so well cared for
As I have been.

And never have known the passionate undivided
Fidelities that I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided. . . .
But to me you were true.

You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures
To the end and far past the end. If this is my end,
I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.

Robinson Jeffers, 1941

I Am Not There

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.

Various sources attribute this poem to the one of the following authors:
(A) Mary Frye
(B) Joyce Fossen
(C) An unknown member of the Hobi Native American Tribe


The Creation

When God had made the earth and sky
the flowers and the trees,
He then made all the animals
the fish, the birds and bees.

And when at last He'd finished
not one was quite the same.
He said, "I'll walk this world of mine
and give each one a name."

And so He traveled far and wide
and everywhere He went,
a little creature followed Him
until it's strength was spent.

When all were named upon the earth
and in the sky and sea,
the little creature said, "Dear Lord,
there's not one left for me."

Kindly the Father said to him,
"I've left you to the end.
I've turned my own name back to front
and called you dog, My friend."

Author Unknown