It begins with the unwritten.
The white of the page erases
the land you once imagined.
Now only this freeway, unreeling
out of the fog. Highway stripes
flicker and stretch, disappear.
Now the red and white
glow of cars ahead,
the asphalt hum of tires,
lull until a black dog
appears in mid-stride, running.
Called by some alarm
pitched beyond your hearing,
the dog rushes into the traffic,
clears the inside lane, but
gets caught straddling the stripe.
The car ahead clips it with a thud,
sends it spinning,
now no longer a dog, now only
a sprawling alphabet, letters
losing their language.
Now the grin of a hieroglyph.
Eyes, frozen in wide
question as you pass, but
you have no answers, no time to reflect:
you recognize only the still,
only the black,
ruffling in your wake, already
blurring in the fog,
leaving in the rearview mirror
Later, twilight erodes the day,
slows to a flicker
the white blur of possibility,
uncovers the hollow
dark between the frames of life.
This is the color of absence.
This is the place where words go
after you speak them.
This is Woman Hollering Creek.
echoes in the dark. Wind moves blind
through the grope of trees.
Water reaches for ground
suddenly fallen away.
Here La Llorona
cries for the lost,
cries for the children of betrayal.
Here the banshee
wails her warning,
wails of death, how it stalks us,
how it lurks, somewhere out of sight.
Here you lie awake, your light on
to hold the dark away.
Here you try to hope, try to believe.
Here you tell yourself
you are not alone.
Beyond this pool of light
there’s something more than dark.
A black dog comes running.
—Published previously in Fire and Shadows (Legal Studies Forum, 2008),
a chapbook by Gary S. Rosin, and appears here with his permission.
poetry and haiga have appeared, or are forthcoming, in various literary and poetry
magazines such as Concho River Review, Eastern Structures, Failed Haiku, Harbinger
Asylum, KYSO Flash, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Poetry24, The Legal Studies Forum, The
Lift, The Wild Word, and Visions International; as well as in several
anthologies, including contemporary haibun (Volume 17, Red Moon Press, 2022),
Faery Footprints (Fae Corp Publishing), Lifting the Sky: Southwestern
Haiku & Haiga (Dos Gatos Press), Texas Poetry Calendar (Kallisto Gaia
Press), Untameable City: Poems on the Nature of Houston (Mutabilis Press), and
His poem “Viewing the Dead” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Two of his
poems appear in
Silent Waters, photographs by George Digalakis (Athens, 2017).
He is the author of two chapbooks, Standing Inside the Web (Bear House
Publishing, 1990) and Fire and Shadows (Legal Studies Forum, 2008)
Selections of Gary’s poetry and photography can be found at his website,
4P Creations: http://4pcreations.com
Out of the Haze, collaborative haiga by photographer
George Digalakis and poet Gary S. Rosin, which was nominated by MacQ for the Red Moon
Anthologies, and selected for publication in
Contemporary Haibun 17 (Red Moon Press, 2022).
Crossing Kansas by Gary S. Rosin in The Wild Word
(7 February 2020); includes audio of the poet reading his poem
Two Readings: “Apparition” and “Black Dogs”
by Gary S. Rosin for Texas Poetry Calendar 2015 at the Blue Willow Bookshop in
Houston, Texas (20 September 2014)