Thursday, 9 June 2016


He, a grey blur on an even greyer landscape
dissolves into insignificance;
black dog is with him
tugging at the leash. 

She, spirit floundering feigns normality,
gouges out potato eyes strips away the skin.

Their progeny, his legacy, sense the change,
vying her attention, wail and whimper,
tugging at her skirts.

He has done this before,
in nearest every coldest season,
wandered from his narrow path,
seeking solace in high and lowlands,
‘bove barren frozen pastures,
neath lone skeletal trees. 
(There is strange comfort in his solitude.)

This time, depression to deep to lift,
he cuts diagonal as on silvered blade
sun glints a frantic Morse Code.   
Life pulsates out and once exsanguine
he is freer than a bird.

Black dog howls in jubilation,
his mark blood red on glistening snow.

Back home she (unknowing) waits for him,
waits to offer crying shoulder,
ease his gnawing ache, soothe his sadness
(as infants wail and whimper
forever tugging at her skirts).

Anna :o]

Sumana at Poets United has us writing of commitment and what better commitment is there of that of true love and loyalty in whatever life throws up.

For those of you who might not know, The Black Dog is a metaphor for depression.  

Also entered at dVerse OLN.  Cheers folks.

Image: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons 
Author: Vmarkousis


Jae Rose said...

Depression is indeed like a child - demanding attention, fraying our nerves perhaps even taking away a little part of ourselves... i suppose we can show the dog the door..and grant ourselves a little freedom from its ties.. skilfully and knowingly written

Sumana Roy said...

"Black dog howls in jubilation," and "Back home she (unknowing) waits for him,"...she absolutely knows how to deal with it...very hard but love eases everything i guess...beautiful Anna....

Sherry Blue Sky said...

What an acutely-drawn portrait of someone in the grip of hopelessness. The sketch of the black dog is depression personified, very arresting. Wow, Anna, you have expressed this so truly. It does take phenomenal commitment - and compassion - to stand by someone in such a pit.

Mary said...

You have really expressed depression so well, Anna!
It takes strong commitment to stand by one who battles depression.

Anonymous said...

Black dog howls.. you've painted a vivid picture here...

Sanaa Rizvi said...

I agree, it takes alot of strength and courage to battle depression.
Beautifully penned.

Lots of love,

Myrna R. said...

It's so difficult to stand by someone who is deeply depressed. But love supports that commitment. Your sketch is so telling, so vivid. Your poem is truly a painting of the pain of depression. Well done!

Panchali said...

Very moving piece, Anna!'Black dog howls'--- “black dog” is an apt word to use for the frustrating experience of depression. Very nice!

rallentanda said...

I admire people who can support and co habit with those ,whether they be partners or children, with a mental disorder.I have witnessed it and it is truly tortuous, a hell on earth.I am humbled by carers' strength of character and fortitude.. Their suffering is rarely acknowledged.You only hear about the suffering of the malfunctioning ones.

brudberg said...

To have to cope with a ménage a trois like that takes commitment... To always be able to share your living with the howl.. Very dark yet this has to be true love,

kaykuala said...

Black dog howls in jubilation.
Back home she (unknowing) waits for him,
waits to offer crying shoulder

Such jubilation once one had overcome the gnawing depression. Life could not be any better. More so when a loved one waited to accord support back home. Commitment was of extreme importance. Great lines Anna!


Amit Agarwal said...

Very powerful..gripping..your poem tugs at my heart!

Anna Montgomery said...

This is a powerful piece - for me, it demonstrates that the heart is stronger and more resilient than the mind. Excellent!

Bryan Ens said...

That you for the explanation of the metaphor. Re-read the piece after learning what the metaphor meant. A very powerful piece.

Toni Spencer said...

And here in Richmond, Black Dog was a wild runaway matted chow who gained a great deal of notoriety as being a "free" spirit. He was spotted around various neighborhoods for years until he finally crawled up on a porch and died and was found the next morning. But this piece is powerful and puts me in mind of Black Dog.

Truedessa said...

Depression is a reality to many whether it be a black dog or some other metaphor. A powerful message of love and commitment.

The Bizza said...

Stunning visuals to such a sobering topic. Well done.

Martin said...

Oh how hard to read yet heartbreaking. Love your powerful expression and such vital images like "on silvered blade sun glints a frantic Morse Code".