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Time… And Time

On the way to California for the Bromberg/Tuna gigs I got a phone call from home as I was about to shut down my phone on the plane. Our dear little Nana went through her door into summer. She was named after my maternal grandmother Vera… who we always called Nana. Incredibly tough and resilient… both of them.

Nana, the dog, came to us in a supermarket parking lot. She had parvo and a number of other puppy ailments but we stuck with her and against all odds, she survived. She was incredibly loving and well… delightful in every way. She is the last of the Old Ones to go. Marlo, Zola, Vinnie, Glory, Hazel, Napoleon… they are all gone… free to roam beyond the stars. Nana was almost fifteen years old… a testimonial to strength and well… G_d’s purpose. Run free little girl… run free!

Derek Walcott is one of my favorite poets and I have used this poem many times to chronicle passing. I use it here again.

The silence
is stronger than thunder,
we are stricken dumb and deep
as the animals who never utter love
as we do, except
it becomes unutterable
and must be said,
in a whimper,
in tears,
in the drizzle that comes to our eyes
not uttering the loved thing’s name,
the silence of the dead,
the silence of the deepest buried love is
the one silence,
and whether we bear it for beast,
for child, for woman, or friend,
it is the one love, it is the same,
and it is blest
deepest by loss
it is blest, it is blest.

May we all be worth of our dog’s love and loyalty!

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  1. Fred “The Elder” Harner
    January 6th, 2012 at 00:29 | #1

    Thank you. Amen.

  2. January 6th, 2012 at 00:35 | #2

    I learn from my dog how I should treat people: with steadfast and unwavering devotion. They know no other way than to serve the ones they love. My little dog is like a clock which comes alive when the kids return from school each day. It reminds me of my youth when I saw David Bromberg with his ‘big band’ at my high school on Seton Hall’s campus. The next year I grew up and graduated to see You and Jack at the Capital. And so the river flows. Have fun with your dear friends.

  3. Greg Sherrow
    January 6th, 2012 at 00:46 | #3

    The story of Nana is beautiful. How lucky you both were to find each other. She is over the Rainbow Bridge now, free as the wind.
    Thank you for sharing your love for your furangel and your moving poem honoring her passing. I am so sorry for your loss, Jorma. I wish you could have been home with her instead of finding out the way you had to. Nana will be in your heart forever.
    Rest In Peace, Nana.
    I have no doubt you will channel your grief into the blues you play in California. I wish I could share that time and space with you. I have loved and lost many like Nana too.

    Greg Sherrow

    PS-Mr. Walcott’s poem is sad but lovely. It made me cry. I will add it to my most revered poems and such in my Facebook profile.

  4. Cyndy Consentino
    January 6th, 2012 at 08:29 | #4

    Dear Jorma,
    So sorry to hear about your beloved Nana.
    Our pets are so important in our lives, like little treasures.
    Nana is sparkling away in pet heaven.

  5. Patrick Filacchione
    January 6th, 2012 at 10:41 | #5

    As a fellow dog lover, my sympathies go out to you.

  6. Buzz
    January 6th, 2012 at 11:17 | #6

    I share the sorrow of your loss ,only because you share so much with us.Thank you for including fans and friends in the tapestry that is the passing of time.

  7. Brett E
    January 6th, 2012 at 12:21 | #7


    So Sorry about Nana!!

    Enjoy the gigs, and safe travels.


  8. Carter Dunkin
    January 6th, 2012 at 12:27 | #8

    Sorry for the loss of your companion, I know how close we get to our dogs. Thank you for the beautiful poem – it will be a good source of comfort when needed most.


  9. January 6th, 2012 at 17:24 | #9


    Sorry to hear about nana. I know what joy pets can bring to someone’s life.

    Really looking forward to the gig in Santa Barbara. I caught the last show with Charlie Musselwhite at the Lobero, and it is a very nice Venue. Any chance I could hitch a ride on the tour bus up to the Fillmore? Just kidding.

  10. John
    January 6th, 2012 at 21:10 | #10


    I’m so sorry for your loss. Love prevails, and words fail.


  11. Phil
    January 9th, 2012 at 00:08 | #11


    My brother and his wife just lost their second love in the past 2 years.
    I sent them this poem, I know it will ease their pain.

    Keep rocking Bro,


  12. January 9th, 2012 at 14:25 | #12

    We lost Thor the WonderPoodle at the age of 15 1/2 this past February … even though at his age & Nana’s you know it’s coming, the deep sense of loss still hits very hard. Wonderful poem… R.I.P. Nana …

  13. William
    February 16th, 2015 at 10:14 | #13

    Jorma – I’ve been poking around, searching fruitlessly for something you wrote – or quoted – many years ago about the passing of a beloved dog, perhaps for Marlo or Vinnie, I don’t recall – and arrived here. Walcott’s poem above, lovely as it is, is not the piece I remember. What I’m thinking of included lines, if memory serves me right, having to do with heaven being no heaven at all if our dogs aren’t there to meet us…or something similar. My sister’s Red Nose American Pitbull Izzy (yes, Izzy), a rescue 17 years ago and beloved by all who know her, is not far from passing through her final door, leaving only our memories and countless photos.

    Not sure if you will see a comment posted on such an old blog entry of yours, but if you do and you can remember the poem to which I am referring, I’d love to hear from you.

    Many thanks and may all our dogs live forever in our memories….

    atitlan at comcast.net

  14. February 16th, 2015 at 18:35 | #14

    ‘No Heaven could Heaven be… if my dog’s not there to welcome me.’

  15. William
    February 17th, 2015 at 08:17 | #15

    Thanks Jorma…looking forward to your SOPAC performance next month. Let’s hope it warms up a bit by then…