The Black Dog
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I'm sitting in a place I once knew

I'm aware of announcements

and what I might owe

I don't really know what words are anymore

words are just a hard dry sound,


all I know

is the brown silence

of this room

Old Master rich shadow of time


faint overlapping absences,


I call back all memories

I insist on their playing here

I demand my relatives    living and gone   find purchase

I won't be misled

I defy my eyes and all their sorrows.


A door jams as ever

the house still deals my father tasks.

Mirrors are cameras of time,

him definite as ever

setting another fire

its lick crackles off the living wall,


I pursue myself in the mirror

it's no small matter

gained and greyed and all the usual and thinking

what to think now?


Horses whine in the dark outside,

the great reality flanks of them earlier today

shuddered at flies,

with baleful knowledge they looked through me,

great invisibles themselves now,

I look into my  eyes and can't decide,



what to think now?


My Mother has become

a kind of bird

closing in on itself for warmth,


Father and I                 round talk

about this

while she sleeps       (we think)

in her bed



we'd like to ruffle her feathers

(we think)

we'd like to get her


and running again,

we'd almost like to annoy her into being well,

we need her,


eat identical meals identically


suffer mostly out of sight.


by Paul Leyden

In Memory of Peggy Leyden



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