Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

Black Dog

I’m having one of those days…you probably know what I mean and if not then the poem will explain it. I’d like to have found a picture of Black Shuck or some other similar devil dog but somehow I couldn’t summon up the energy to try. There is a joke in the final line, using a one word to mean two things at the same time… but it’s not terribly funny.

Black Dog


Hunt me down then,

Stalk me, track me,

Pin me down and corner me,

Pursue and torment me.

I’ll fear your shadow

Even in noonday sun;

Scrape of claw on stone,

Fetid breath, panting tongue.

The silent nights

When I wait to hear

The footsteps on the stair,

And know you’re there.

Black dog, you worry me.

by Viv


January 9, 2009 - Posted by | animals, Cafe Literati, literature, personal, psychology, Viv's Poetry, writing | ,


  1. Awww shucks. Sorry you’re having a rough day. It’d be okay if we could throw a ball and have the black dog chase it far away. Trouble is the darned thing would bring it back again! Repeatedly, if it were a Jack Russell. *chuckle* Hang on in there, it’ll get better.

    Comment by jennypaws | January 9, 2009

  2. It’s not that its rough; externally there’s not anything wrong.
    “Shucks”!!! Do you know the legends about Black Shuck at all?? One is bad enough but multiples..

    Comment by viv66 | January 9, 2009

  3. Strong poem Viv, I can hear the meanacing riff of Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” playing in the background as I read it…

    Comment by kevmoore | January 9, 2009

  4. Nigel is a fan(or was) of heavy metal but apart from a spell of headbanging to ZZTop at university parties(and only because people asked me to, because of the hair and never again after I got stuck in some weird position having air guitared onto my knees and then even further down) I don’t really listen to it much at all. So that particular song is unfamilar to me… probably just as well…

    Comment by viv66 | January 9, 2009

  5. “Black Shuck” was the inspiration for The Hound of the Baskervilles, wasn’t he? Or was that somebody else? I was obviously inspired by your referring to him! You’re right, I wouldn’t want multiples of him bearing down upon me.

    Oh, and your day can be rough, even though externally nothing’s wrong. Well, mine can, so I’m sure yours can too. 🙂

    Comment by jennypaws | January 9, 2009

  6. I think so. There are a lot of legends about him here in Suffolk but then I guess there’s a lot of empty lonely nights, bleak winter landscapes and too much good ale(Adnams). I am probably going to be conducting Ghost walks here and in Norwich in the autumn and winter, assuming I haven’t found something else to do by then, so I shall bone up on black dog legends. hahahaha..

    Comment by viv66 | January 9, 2009

  7. Me, little uncultured French girl, I have no idea what you are all speaking about!
    But I do know a Black Dog, and he is an investigator in the series The Commander. A scary but very interesting character!
    And I do understand the poem, and even feel it…

    Comment by Miki | January 9, 2009

  8. Ah the black dog is mentioned in many English legends, and whoever sees it will be dead within the year and other such stuff and nonsense.
    The black dog I meant was what Winston Churchill called his own bouts of depression. We got sidelined into another thing altogther.
    For Miki, worry has two meanings, the obvious one of making you worry about things and the other older meaning which is what you use to describe how a terrier dog picks up and shakes its prey(such as a rat) to subdue or kill it. Jack Russel terriers are masters at this, when they don’t just rip the head straight off. And you are a very cultured French lady; you can’t be expected to know all the quirks of English and our mad country.
    The Hound of the Baskervilles was the best of the Sherlock Holmes novels… and worth a read.

    Comment by viv66 | January 9, 2009

  9. When we first met Viv, I knew there was something special about you. I also knew the relationships you would make here on Cafe Crem were just what you needed in your life. After reading all of your poems I am so absolutely proud of you and my what a post and fine writer you are, not to mention such a great friend to others. You shine!!!

    Comment by Michael | January 9, 2009

  10. Thank you Michael; nice to have you back here.
    I think I might just go out with the dog for a while ….

    Comment by viv66 | January 9, 2009

  11. Viv, both Miki and I are great fans of the late Jeremy Brett (the definitive Holmes in my opinion) and have the entire series on DVD.

    Comment by kevmoore | January 10, 2009

  12. For me it’s a toss up between Brett and Rathbone…

    Comment by viv66 | January 10, 2009

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