Have you met the Black Dog?
But I am not always aware
Of his brooding presence.
He never forces his attentions,
But let the natural sway
Of life have its way
With me and he is there.
If I acknowledge his hold over me
And face him down,
Overwhelmed I drown
In the baleful depths of his stare.
The blackness saturates every pore.
The abyss yawns;
Temptation beckons me
To submit to his vice-like embrace.
Suffocation follows my submission,
Midst the whirling cloud
A dead weight, loud
In its silent, crushing pain.
At length he yields his grip.
Stillness in the deep;
A rock beneath my feet;
A deafening emptiness heralds a glimmer of hope.
I cry with relief at his departure.
He sits benignly,
Eyeing me with a fixed and watchful look.
The Black Dog will never leave for good.
A friend by my side,
Ready to chide –
And to return should I misuse others – or myself.