Tag Archives: black dog

Black Dog Checks In

“It’s been a while.” He says.

Black Dog’s eyes are smudges, he leaks lipstick

I heard him before he arrived, muttering under floorboards,

beating like a moth behind curtains.

“Are you coming for a walk?” He asks in my voice

and I’ve not heard that one for a long time.

Black Dog grins

Teeth out, white wave crests gnawing at the shore


Arm in arm we walk across nightblasted sand

Me in my funeral suit, black dog in his fur.

We kick up blunt glass beneath sprawls of bladder-wrack.


“It’s been a long time since we came here.” One of us says

We stare at a squid-ink sea

Unbroken by birds or wind

“I’ve missed you.” Black Dog says.

I hear his smile.

We scream, wolf-howls until I cough black

Up and out, great stains on my shroud

All that black from the deep

All hacked out


We go quiet

We have nothing left

In the still air, lows the endless call

Of some floating bell.


Calling us home.



Black Dog part I

Black dog i

Black dog sleeps beneath the sofa. Some days he is only a shadow. Some days he unfurls; extends a paw, an ear. Some days he is solid; his coat curls like claws.  

When they go out, black dog licks my hand. His tongue is cold and feels like memories.

               “Tell me when we met.” Black dog says.

               “I don’t want to.”

But black dog doesn’t hear; he runs his head beneath my hand.

               Black dog spreads across the wall. When I called mum, he was a shadow. Black dog came to playgroup. Black dog came to school. The children played loud games and black dog called from the corners of the yard where the shadows pooled.

Black dog came on holiday and hid inside when the day came out.

               Black dog curls before the empty fireplace and puts his head on his paws. He looks at me with his ghost eyes.

               “Tell me when we met.” Black dog says.

Black dog arrives when the others are gone; crashing through undergrowth, panting, teeth white and whiskers wire. Black dog runs behind me up the stairs when the lights are out.

Black dog lies beneath the bed.

               “I’ll be company enough.” Black dog says when it rains.

Black dog is quiet. We play board games. The sun comes out and we read.

               “Go outside.” Mum says. “Play with the other children.”

               “I want to play here.” Black dog licks my hand. “I want quiet.”

Sometimes black dog is cross. He plants his tail. Black dog unfurls in dreams, all teeth and tongue. Black dog barks until I wake.

               “Sorry…sorry…” Black dog licks tears from my cheeks.

               “I forgive you black dog.” I think.

The house sleeps.

               “You’d forgotten.” Black dog says.

He puts his head on his paws as wind dances in the empty grate.

               “I’m sorry.” I say.

Black dog climbs into bed.

The cat sleeps downstairs.  

black dog