Nightmare V: Scorned

Follow me down the unforeseen, as you strain

For my hand, hoping that can settle the constant wavering,

Currents push and pull your sight, as the pressure

In your unstable mind, turns it to a vast emptiness,

You start to choke, on the words you’ve tried to sink,

Hoping they’d be lost, never to crawl back up your gullet,

Didn’t realize, the girth, as your fluttering eyes swell,

A drink, placed before you, to help ease the decent,

As I move a chair for which you occupy, it becomes a casket,

Buried, in the forgotten icy depths, emerges my relief,

I chain the gates of insanity shut, turn towards the horizon

To walk away, as your voice comes through, chills

My painful exhale, seeing the fog roll out from my lips,

It grabs hold, tight grip around my entire being

And I can’t help my tremors, running all through my nerves,

Crashing me back down, to that polar ocean chasm,

You’re latched on, disallowing my persistent disconnect

So you can continue to taunt, living inside the stormcloud,

I get up, sprint ahead, as my lungs tighten and burn,

Yet I haven’t gone anywhere, I’m running inside the plot

That has grown stagnant, yet I believe the reel spins,

Alone, in a small dark theater, buried in hypnosis,

Aware, yet unable to escape, a grasp, itself unaware

Of its overbearing tenacity, huddled tightly to a broken clock,

I slowly creep, towards the silence, as she turns

In consternation, of my present approach,

“Death is vengeance, eradicating measure to which we cling to.”

A boom! Hurdling me back in, to the suffocation,

Floating in the open congestion, blind to every direction.

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Ever Running

How often, does that moment repeat,

Like a jagged puzzle, it gets pieced together

Right in front of you, just the same it gets dismantled,

It plays out, every second, in every direction,

Looking into the twisted crystal ball that you can’t let go,

Your mind is overtaken, they all flood the gates

A million voices, stampeding and screaming

For their part to be heard, pushing over one another,

Trying to squeeze through to the front

Just to tear you down a bit more, until you’ve vanished,

Gone into the void, still with those barking thoughts

That seem to be racing around, chasing after itself

As if its trying to catch the villain, not realizing

Their the one with the glowing red eyes,

As they continue emphatically bouncing

Off every echoing wall, and crashing back down

Shaking the stillness within, as you wrestle alone,

Hearing their chatter, louder as they jump

Off ledges, landing beside and all around you,

And all you want, is to sleep.

The Runnaway and Her Guide

Her heart, bears down in her caved in chest, like an anchor,

Too heavy, are her steps that make deep impressions

In the soft snow, leaving her trail as she tries to vanish

From a villainous, overbearing shadow, closely following

As she sluggishly drags herself, wounded by a distraction,

A path, that sat so clouded, she couldn’t see the descent,

Fallen, so far down the rabbit hole, with the weight forcing

Her down further, nothing to ease her into liberation,

The shadow, ingests any inkling of light, trying to squeeze

Through a swell of darkness, only to have her crash

Back into the clinging holds of the shadow’s depression,

She claws at the abyss, escapes and carries her sorrow,

On the run again, she’s found, but by a carrier of light,

An albino raven, hoping to carry her heart, in aid

So that she can fade, past sight of the stalking shadow,

So the raven takes hold, of her weighted torment

As she starts to walk, a little easier, leaving no trace

For the eager and engrossing shadow to plague,

Yet it rolls forward, sniffing for her distinction,

Closing in, the raven urges, for the runaway to hasten

As the raven feels her slipping, back into extinction,

He then spreads his wings, eclipsing the rolling black,

Hoping to cloak her, with her languid fractured heart,

The raven does not abandon her side, as she collapses,

But now, a shallow drop, for she has her loyal guide

To carry her out of the fog, and when she slips again,

He’ll pick her back up, filling in the shadow’s nest,

To one day, sustain the crushing pendulum of her anguish.

Out of Sight

The station is swarmed, with rushing waves of robotic steps,

No one acknowledging the other, unobservant

Of the evil, amongst them, for they’re completely focused

On their own, selfobsorbed, face buried into their screen

That is constantly running, as they pass the chameleon

That doesn’t have to try too hard, observing the detached,

Why would the stampede, halt at his feet, or even acknowledge

His passive presence, that barely flutters the butterfly,

A tattered vision, tucked into the deep crowd,

He displays, their hideous nature, for them to peer

And gawk at, disgusted by his horrid stench that pervades

Their carefully crafted bubble, ignorant to the reality,

He revels in the convoluted entanglement, seemingly orchestrated

By the devil in his skin, but no one notices his enjoyment,

Although distinct, it hides under the world’s congested noses,

Out of sight, but deep in their minds, is the mass puppeteer.

Lost Out of Light

Art by Andy Kehoe

I shed myself, shaking in the hull of darkness,

I try not to make a sound, searching for the entrance

That will lead me, to the land of light, where it’s safe,

As for right now, I feel there are a million hungry eyes

Fixated on me, as I trail through the sinking land of shadows,

They know, I don’t belong, walking amongst the dwellers

That hide behind draped curtains, not from terror,

But to track my steps, waiting, for me to loosen

My grip, upon the sheathed dagger, battered and worn

It holds light, etched into it’s edges, a useful deterrent,

But how long will it protect me, as I’m surrounded

While I’m stranded, feeling out the blind emptiness,

The growling gets deeper, closing in on my wandering

Around the dark howls, seeking the distant gateway,

I’m lost, out of the light, mislead by the masquerade

That is parading in the treetops, gaining my full attention,

No matter where I find myself, I’m running parallel

To where I want to be, yet I’m spun in the dreary landscape,

Clutching tighter, onto the dagger, as my pulse narrows

And it gets difficult, to collect my breath, struggling

In the absence of clarity, settling in to the glooming clouds,

Hoping they can’t collar me, to tie me to the abstract,

Holding me just out of reach of light, with its glow

Nearly gracing my toes, a torture set by these dwellers,

They thrive, on the misery of light, and I’ve walked in too deep,

My legs, can barely carry me further, as the dagger slips,

Into the abyss, I stand upon, for anything that lands

Onto the same ground I’m lost on, also goes missing,

I’ve strayed, past the protracted, unsure, if I’ll ever locate

My way back, to the blended doorway, that I’ve traveled

Through on many accounts, but stayed close to the border,

This time though, I took a long tumble, down this hill,

Treacherous and unyielding, darkness, will always break

Those who harness light, upon their fragile chests,

So here I’m stranded, shattering, under the suppressing anchor,

Piece by piece, I’m losing myself, absorbed by isolation,

I wasn’t dragged here, I wasn’t pushed or bullied,

I slipped, crashed and lost direction, and now, I’m a dweller.

Ornaments

Art by Lisa Steinberg

You’ve been carried off, a distance unrecognizable,

Smells putrid, as it enters, your fragile senses,

A damp, almost transparent cloth, snuggly fastened

Around you, rendering you blind, to the horror

Before you, so you strain sight, constructing the scene,

But all that appears, are blurry shapes, dancing

Like apparitions, and the more you stare, more appear,

With an even larger object, in the center, wooden

Compared to the floating blurs, yet it’s presence

Slithers down your spine, icy tremors, from within

Intensely pounds upon your chest, as darkness takesover,

You abruptly awake, with the sudden burst, of your heartbeat,

The blindfold, gone, and you slowly fix focus,

Upon the center subject, who, from stolen gasping moments,

Is slowly constructing ornaments, the same ones, dangling

In your crowded view, its clear, except for the intent,

Of the individual, with a pale sack hiding it’s identity,

You feel cold inside, as sight has choked your speech,

It completes the ornament in its possession, and suspends

It above both of you, gently flicks it as it swings,

Lifeless, only gaining momentum from your own scream,

How do you suppress the howling terrors that emanate

From your trembling cage, locked in by your own doubt,

Starring at you as you shiver, the black hollow outlets

Are consuming you, taking away your stability

As you slip further, past the gates of inescapable sanity,

The more you stare, the more you see, the center subject

Is actually you, slowly deconstructing your fortified self.

The Hypnotist

Art by Magda Proski

You see, what you want to see, trapped in a narrow tunnel,

You hear, what you want to hear, trying to forget

As the echo in your chamber, seems to be infinite,

So loud, with nowhere to turn for peaceful salvation,

Louder, it seems to grow and vibrate the hollow box,

The walls begin to crawl upwards, on itself, stretching

Back down, towards the familiar self-deprecating pit,

You feel better, in the loneliness that closely surrounds

And presses against you, slowly cutting you, to leech

Out your prolonged existence, to seclude you further

Away from the surface, but this goes unnoticed

Because you still see what you want, as reality

Storms the castle, laughing at the crumbling defences,

But you’ve come to me, sunken into the comforts

Of the enveloping couch, and put your trust in my skills,

You might be aware of all that has eluded your consciousness

For so long, but they’ll stay behind the heavy curtain

With my influence, so you can see and hear, what isn’t there,

And when it begins to resurface, you’ll return

With new demons amongst the ones picking at your scars.

Knots Tied by Devil Hands

A whisper, stalkingly crawls into an unsuspecting ear,

And once inside, it becomes the sole audible sound

In its suffocating world, drawing in nothing but white noise

Surrounding that once distant echo, able to slither through,

The room, begins to feel more cryptic, as that hissing voice

Creeps louder, buzzing in the canal of a tortured soul

Who closes his eyes, and hangs by a steel noose,

The outside, falls silent while drowning in their own hands,

A sea reflecting the pitch night, swallowing vibrance

While it searches for its next drifter, floating along the tide,

And it does, like a sonar, as a tear crashes on its body,

The devil in the depths, tying firm knots for clouded minds,

The high water is at the brim, about to overflow

From all those, who have drowned, seeking sanctuary,

At their hollow gasp, he hands them what they seek,

A bound rope, eager to send them to the engulfing gallows,

A chill, rushes over them, as their sight struggles,

The sea, has claimed another, washing away from existence,

Leaving all behind, finding no answer, only guilt

For more of an open hand, diving into to their darkness

Kept unseen on the surface, kept to be, their own demise.

Nightmare IV: Living in the End

Time, has been cruel, looking out into the dust

From the tightly compressed box, devoid of any object,

Beside myself, an aging dog, my only visible friend

Next to all the ones I’ve conjured up, in my twisted mind,

All I can do, is look out into the howling nothingness

That has enslaved me to these walls, as I scratch

At them as each day passes, dragging my fingers

Deep into the visceral, coming out sick and dented,

I fear that when I fall into a deep sleep, and dream

That when I awake, I’m still in that dream, caged

In a worse hell than this, an everlasting nightmare,

An entrapment of my own mind, therefore my design

Seeded in the unventured crushing depths of my ocean,

Eyes getting heavy, as I fight to stay away from slipping

Further into the tunnel, where the end is the darkest edge,

It starts to hurt, to keep my eyes aware of my current state,

The room starts to slowly vanish, as the shadows swallow

It whole, then I awake, in a different nightmare,

A cave, with a glowing red lights, nestled in the blind

Corner, that was further away, than just a second ago,

Closer and closer, it nears, but never reaches,

When can I fall asleep now?

The Protected Are We

Art by Denis Zhbankov

Deep, in the recesses of a town, hidden from the open eye,

Lurks beasts, protected by the frightened inhabitants,

As if released, from Pandora’s mysterious keep

Now amongst the curious, and the hurried defenses,

But the town shadows the secret that dwells in the forest

Just outside the reach of light, under the canopy

Of lush trees, while it devours anything alien,

But eventually, all hidden truths reveal themselves.

~Unprotected~

A stormy day, blurs the contrast just beyond the last tree,

The hibernating land, lies vacant of its projected gate

From letting wanderers into the forest, but most importantly,

Letting those beasts venture out, into the open gully,

A slight chill rushes in, as a foreigner, eager to capture

Beauty of the forest submerged between mountains,

As so many do, who visit the protected landscape,

Exactly what is being protected, is misunderstood

By so many, as a man breeches through, the town warnings,

Astounded by how perfectly nestled, is the serene lowland,

He immediately removes his camera, taking instant stills

Of it all – the towering trees between the ears of mountains,

And the open plain, running into the wave of mountains,

Clicking the shutter with ferocity, grabbing every image,

Not noticing, the dark, mysterious moving mountains

Inching up to the hairline of the trees, peeking,

Seeing this strange figure, near its protected domain,

The man spins around to the trees, and there

Just beyond the last shadow cast by the forest,

A beast with it’s beastlings, and a man with his camera,

They stand there, trying to make sense of each other,

As he tries to steal a still, but the shutter is jammed,

He keeps fiddling with it, setting off the bright flash,

His breathing, starts to quicken, with his eyes widening

At the sight of the three beasts, nearing closer,

Panic, fully sets in, but before he could plant his next step,

He is already face down, being torn and pummeled,

As the shutter, releases and captures a still of horror,

And that slight chill, picks up, lifts that frightening image

Up out of the valley, and into the already fearful town,

It didn’t take too long, before the picture was discovered,

All the townspeople collected, and rifles fully loaded,

To go and hunt down these beasts that they protected,

The stream of torches following down into the heart

Of the hidden forest, where they all gathered

To find a full nest, three sleeping beasts with full bellies,

All of them, who had protected these helpless creatures,

Circled them, raised and aimed their heavy weapons,

And at the drop of a torch, an eruption of thunder,

To end their protection.