The Canine Collection of Poems

The Messenger

I dreamed I came upon a meadow
sunlit and fragrant, a small dog at my side.
As we walked on in silence I saw
across the blue ribbon of a river, a field,
where animal spirits licked the morning dew
from brilliant poppies...basked in sunshine...
batted at butterflies.

"Is this Heaven?" I asked.
He nodded yes and as we rounded a bend in the path,
I saw ahead a wondrous garden
surrounded by a halo of mist,
where animals and children lay among the flowers.
Cool breezes rustled leaves
and over all hung an aura of beauty and peace.

"Is this Heaven, too?" I asked.
"An honored place," he said, "for those who lived
a Hell on Earth - who died of neglect, torture,
unloved, unwanted and abandoned."

We walked on until we came to a precipice
that overlooked a dark canyon.
Lightning crashed above the horizon
and illuminated iron prisons on the desert floor.
I heard the wails of captive men,
the screams of women imploring for water,
railing against the absence of Light amidst an acrid smoke.

Before I could ask he answered, "These were their tormentors."

We continued solemnly
until the sound of laughter and music greeted us,
and we came upon a village square,
where carefree women, children and men played at games,
or walked arm in arm.
"They are happy," I said.
He agreed and replied, "These were their rescuers.
They are blessed above all."

I spent time among them until I awoke, bathed in a new peace.
For no matter what this Earthly day may bring,
I knew that no wrongful deed goes unpunished,
nor is any saving grace without its reward.

I hugged my small dog closer to my chest
and blessed him as a messenger of truth and love.

Jim Willis 2001

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