Today I toured Tor House, the home Robinson Jeffers built with his own hands. He wrote poetry in the morning, and moved stones in the afternoon. Their dog is buried there. I thought I should place this poem by Robinson Jeffers here, in honor of Dear Mandu, who is so deeply missed.
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 nights 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 that when you are lying
Under the ground like me your lives will appear
As good and joyful as mine.
No, dears, 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.
The man who led us on the tour of the house, tower, and grounds today could not read this poem to us. He found it too sad. We all stood by Haig's grave. He is placed by the house, as is Mandu. Robin and his wife Una chose to be cremated and scattered on the beach. Steve and I will probably choose to do the same, and yet, we place our animals here, our loving friends, our guides.
Robinson Jeffers climbed the tower steps each night at midnight to view the sky. The fog is in, here, and in Carmel. The stars are clouded tonight, and yet, I know they shine, just like the spirit of my Beloved and Well-Loved Mandu!!