…the black dog walks alongside me…

I live in the Light
Light of love,
Light of hope,
Light of forgiveness,
Light of salvation,
Light of Christ.

Yet the Black Dog walks alongside me…
Rubbing me with fear
Panting into the air the smell of doubt
Nuzzling my pride
Fetching death
Collared, sinful desires.

Surrounded by Light,
vibrant heat burrows against me
permeated by Light
smells of desire
touch of want
hope of taste
yearning for fulfillment.

Throw a bone, scratch between the ears, beckon?
Turn toward the light, seek warmth of joy, hope, peace undemanding, undemanded?

The Dog is present darkness, physical, effusive
The Light ephemeral, Spiritual, transcendent
…which way today…


This post is in response to the prompt “…and the black dog walks alongside me…” found at Julia’s Place: musings of a retired but not retiring woman under the heading 100WCGU. I’m not good at putting in the link to her site, although I have tried!

Many years ago, I had a love who got into a terrific accident. He recounted later that in his chemically altered awareness, he had swerved to miss three large, black dogs.  The resulting accident left him with altered vision, massive scars and yet, he chose to return to his partying ways after about 8 weeks in intensive hospitalization, two 14 hours surgeries, two ten hour surgeries, and numerous other minor operations to restore his head to normalcy. May these dogs never be prominent in your life; may you seek the light rather than the shelter of your being’s lusty, thirsty callings which can never fill you.

It’s a daily struggle for many. God be with you.

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6 Responses to …the black dog walks alongside me…

  1. Such a struggle to claim the light instead of that insistent black dog. I feel the tug back and forth from the repetition in your poem. Such a hard life for some. It’s hard to grasp how a human being gets pulled so low that he or she wants / needs to escape this life.

  2. lorrainefort says:

    I had a difficult time in my adolescence and at one point attempted suicide. The sense for me, at that time, was that it would ease those around me, that my death would alleviate other’s concerns for me. I am grateful for the path that took me away from that darkness, those dark thoughts. Relationships, I believe, are the key but they cannot be in you, nor can they stop the incessant internal struggle. I don’t believe medication can stop it either, but knowing someone has God, that God loves them, offers hope even when they lose the one fatal battle and especially when they win one more battle…that’s kind of the focus of my thoughts above. Most who have gone this path, I believe, have fought valiantly and won over that darkness many times.
    thanks, for responding!

  3. I’m so grateful that I never get to those dark depths.

    As for your link at Julia’s Place, it took me to your login page so I found you the old-fashioned way 🙂

    • lorrainefort says:

      thank you for letting me know about the link issue, I will try to fix it! And I thank you for your response. I think the prompt was intriguing in many different ways.

  4. Powerful post, Lorraine. I heard a sermon once about the black dogs in our lives, and one of the final points was about the acquaintances we choose to listen to, and how sometimes we think that actually the Black Dog wants to change and maybe we can help. The minister smiled and said that if the Black Dog really wants to change, you can pray for him but must stay away from him; let God do the changing you mind your own journey.

  5. lorrainefort says:

    amen, Marylin, Amen! The guy I dated in college eventually died because of his addictions. at one point I thought I would marry him. 🙂 God is truly wiser than I am and I am grateful for those who kept at me to better myself and, if he chose, he would come to me a better person as well. Your pastor was really wise…perhaps the Holy Spirit spoke through him that day. Thanks for responding!
    someday, I am going to ask you to edit my life story…but it’s not ready yet… LOL

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