Posted by: janetleigh | February 15, 2008

Old Man’s Dog (final revision, I hope)


O let the long night winds blow
I hear Old Man’s dog howl down the road
then limps on
to yet another restless soul

past shadow-flits among tall trees
breezes whistle-play rust-rotted eaves
of this old house that’s not my home

silent figure slices through night’s dark
uncertain of the Old Dog’s bark
watching – waiting – agitating
then disappears from view

my house limps like Old Man’s Dog
inertia moving down the halls –
passing fears on floating ghosts
all remains are rotting bones

my soul picked clean from womb to tomb
no chance for change, no primal scream
no man’s best friend for me – alas
no St. Bernard to cross my path –
no freedom – no exit – no next dream

and tonight death is my soul’s repast.

Revised 02.15.08


  1. girl i love it.. the house lives.. and the “past” won’t die… just excellent….

    Thank you, thank you. I got such a charge out of your saucy salutation & cute comment that my face burst out in a smile. Thank you for that, Paisley :>

  2. Janet its great, your rhythm is getting better actually and it makes a BIG difference in the emotional impact. Well done.

    Thank you, Anna! I appreciate knowing what’s improving or impacting my writing. :)

  3. Chilly. I don’t think you could sing it any darker than:

    … my soul picked clean from womb to tomb ..

    Thanks so much for your feedback, Brendan. It helps to know what stands out for my readers.

  4. Janet, this really is very good.
    I love the imagery and the rhythm. A silent rocking.

    Kim, thank you for coming by to read and leaving me feedback on what you like about this piece. I appreciate it..:)

  5. Let night winds blow –
    I hear Old Man’s dog
    howl down the road;
    it limps on
    to another restless soul.

    above is just a idea. a sample tightening. enjoyed the song here.

    by the way, i need your e-mail. send me one:

    Hi, Scott. Thanks for coming by again! May I be honest with you about your revision, Scott? Your line breaks make it sound choppy and sterile. There’s no woo-woo there. No tension, no foreboding, etc. I believe for the integrity of the poem, the lines need to have a sort of haunting tension, woo-woo rhythm, and granted, I might be able to do something with word choice but I’ve read it out loud a hundred times probably, and I like how it sounds. Can a scary story around the campfire have a horse’s prance as sound affects to convey tension or foreboding? (hee hee, sorry, my bad..:) Anyway, I do like getting feedback and suggestions that will make my poems better. But, I won’t always agree with suggestions, either..:)

  6. Final revision? I’m working on some of those. One is going around in circles, getting ever more complicated as it goes. I like what you have done with this one. Black palette is a great category. best,

    Hello and Welcome to Poetmeister, Rick! Thanks for coming by and letting me know you like what I did with this piece and you like the section Black Palette. I’ll be dropping by your blog Mine Enemy Grows Older shortly, too, to see what you’ve been up to. Again, thank you and I hope you enjoyed your visit here. Please feel welcomed to come back again some time.

  7. Wow! I love how you used the dog image over and over throughout the poem. Thank you for sharing this. I think you can call it finished.

    Thank you so much for your kind words, Pam. Also, I’m glad you think this piece worthy of being deemed ‘finished’ at last. Whew! It had been dogging me lately. heh heh Welcome to Poetmeister and I hope you enjoyed your visit. Please come back again. I’m going to stop by your blog, Amputated Moon again soon; I see some good writing there! Loved the one about Blue eyes; beautifully structured poem, Pam!

  8. I loved the sounds in this poem, the blowing, howling, whistle-play, and then the silence. I also think that one of the strongest lines in the poem for me was “my soul picked clean from womb to tomb.” That has great power. Wonderful writing.

  9. I’m glad you are considering a read through Carolina Ghost Woods. Sometimes Judy Jordan’s poetry is difficult because of the subject matter but her ability to weave the spirit world and mythos into her poetry is superb.

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