Black Dog – Guardian, Prophet, or a Figment of the Imagination

Black Dog hiding

Close to the ground

Eyes scanning the searing hot desert

Searching perhaps

For what or whom, no one is certain

Distant objects

Occasionally emerging from the wasteland

At first nothing more than color

Shapes blurred

Obscured by the rising waves of heat haze

Black Dog burrowed

Under a rickety pile of wooden boxes

Not stacked

But somehow holding a shape

And some shade

Tumbleweeds bouncing

Chased by tiny grains of sand

An earthbound comet of sorts

Passing by in silence

The miles of empty spaces

Offering nothing but misery and loneliness

To those who perchance pass by

Considering how to calculate

Black Dog significance

Possibly a sign

Harbinger of things yet to pass

Or a message in need of interpretation

Man’s best friend

Light or dark,

Real or imagined,

Shadows unconvincing of the truth

Black Dog waiting

Eyes that never blink

Returning to the footprints

Wagon wheel ruts and other signs of life

Marking them for another time

Reasons unknown

Travelers drift past

Less often than the tumble weeds

One eye on the trail

The other keeping pace with the watcher

Sharing space


Without fully understanding

Their quickened pace noticeable

Berth widened

Heads slightly bowed

Black Dog respected

Latest posts by R J Schwartz (see all)

R J Schwartz

I write about everything and sometimes nothing at all. I'm fascinated by old things, rusty things, abandoned places, or anywhere that a secret might be unearthed. I'm passionate about history and many of my pieces are anchored in one concept of time or another. I've always been a writer, dating back to my youth, but the last decade has been a time of growth for me. I'm continually pushing the limitations of vocabulary, syntax, and descriptive phrasing.

3 thoughts on “Black Dog – Guardian, Prophet, or a Figment of the Imagination

  • May 31, 2017 at 11:29 AM

    A lot of thoughts to ponder here, Ralph. Seems like Black Dog, man’s best friend in light or dark times, is a prophet or guardian watching times of past and future. Marvelous phrasing that makes me think deeply. Well done.

  • June 1, 2017 at 9:29 PM

    Such a nice snippet of life and the questions we have concerning our furry friends. They have such keen senses and we wonder what they are thinking as they scour their domain, Some wonderful imagery Ralph, and so well constructed and penned. A joy to read. Cheers!

  • June 2, 2017 at 11:44 PM

    The “black dog” is a euphemism for “depression” here, Ralph. This is a wonderful poem. Great job.


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