A Dog’s Life – A Poem by David

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A Dog’s Life

by Midwest GROW member, David

Without borders, boundaries, manners or decency;

without permission, courtship, welcome or charm;

without reason, prejudice, compassion or apology;

an ugly, wicked evil on parade, made my way.


As if what is the dead of night,

had arrived in sneaky-silence.

As if what is a venomous snake,

attacked with fervor and malicious intent.


Devoid of all forms of happiness or inkling of light,

an unvarnished, heartless murkiness was now present.

Blindsided and brutalized, I was shell-shocked;

my body left numb, my mind rudderless.


Unbeknownst to me, my world had irrevocably changed.

A veiled menace took hold,

a sorrowful grip was instilled,

and a long-lasting shadow-less walk would ensue.


Like a merry-go-round, around and around, and around I would go.

Like a revolving door, I was constantly and consistently back to square one.

Like a one sided see-saw, there was not an iota of fairness to be had or unearthed.

And, like a clinging mugginess, a foul layer of failure followed your everywhere.


Isolation, draped as four concrete walls, delivered authoritarian rule.

Loneliness, bathed in its own misery, governed with relish.

Solitary confinement, enveloped in sheer lunacy, reveled in the sound of itself,

as a status quo held court and filthy rot set in.


It was akin to living life mired in a whirlwind of yesterdays,

each the same as the last, the last mirrored what had gone before.

A day would turn into a week,

a week to a month, a month to a year

and a year to an inglorious decade and well beyond.


Time was ploughed through.

Will was diminished to a trickle.

Hope was demoralized

and ones very being was arrogantly challenged again and again.


There was pain –

transparent, bewildering, exhausting;

stomach-churning, gut-wrenching, bone-crushing, soul-destroying;

out-cast, punch-bag, witch-hunt, grief-stricken;

flagrant vile, vicious pain.

It cared nowt.


It was a dog’s life,

one lacking meaning, mission or sense;

slop unceremoniously dished up;

jail in hell.


I was no-where; part of nothing; without relevance;

sick & tired of fighting a continual, gruesome fight.

I felt robbed and cheated, castigated and shunned,

diminished and embarrassed, shackled and be-damned.


Disillusionment summoned the recurring thought –

How is the existence of mental illness off benefit to anyone or anything?

Utter despondency begged a more profound, radical contemplation –

Is there hope of recovery, a way out?


In a unrelenting, wishful quest,

bloodied finger-tips & red-raw knuckles, scraped to the depths of a bottomless barrel,

weary legs ached from countless steps trod on path after fruitless path,

a heavy head, clogged with troubled thinking, attempted repeatedly to outwit,

dredging for an answer to a single abiding, fundamental question.


Why me? You will ask faithfully from ones inner self.

Why me? You will holler in abject rage toward black-pit Heavens.

Why me? You will enquire off deaf ears, blank stares and stony faces; counting their lucky stars.

Why me?  You will catcall, over & over & over & over,

to echo in grand canyons,

traverse rugged mountain tops,

ramble through greenest valleys,

bounce off indifferent city walls,

whistle with blatant wind,

to cross continent and ocean in a world bound callously to turn.