This blog's poems are from my published poetry book Star Steeds and Other Dreams: The Collected Poems (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2009) and are © Dr Karl P.N. Shuker, 2009. Except for author-credited review purposes, it is strictly forbidden to reproduce any of these poems elsewhere, either in part or in entirety, by any means, without my written permission.

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Wednesday, 14 March 2018


For some, depression is a Black Dog that pads resolutely alongside them, a hound of shadow and sorrow relentlessly stalking their steps, unable to be shaken off or shooed away. For me, it is a Lady, a Lady of Dark Despair, whose great wings enfold me unexpectedly in their terrible shadows of doom and doubt.


My Lady of Dark Despair, why have you encompassed me once more
With your black-plumed wings of grim shadow and spirit-numbing gloom,
Their enveloping, all-embracing pinions of cool ebony extinguishing all light from my life,
All wisdom from my world, all memory from my mind, all salvation from my soul?

I feel your icy tears like disconsolate, dispassionate dewfall,
Trickling ever deeper into the warm, sunlit sanctuary of my heart,
To freeze it in crystalline cemetery night-chill,
Until its very beating seem stilled and silent.

Am I as pale, as pellucid now, as your own pallid complexion and reflection,
As isolated, as insular, as the sorrowful realm in which you reign supreme,
Alone, apart, aloof from the mortals whom you torment with your denying of hopes,
Your destruction of dreams, your despoiling of memories?

Or will I find the strength within my being to dismiss your dread visage,
To discount your intrusive murmurs of doubt, to disdain your grey forebodings of doom,
And turn away from your darkness, from the sadness that your presence imbues,
And step back into the laughter and the light of the world once more,

Where the sun still shines, the moon still shimmers, the stars still sparkle,
And my soul awakens anew, renewed and restored,
Raised up once more upon the bright wings of recalled, recollected, resurrected Hope,
To greet a new day's golden dawning, with all of its wonders awaiting me there?

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