Lost to the Shadow

The moon enters, through the shallow slit in the shades

And streaks across, the cold wet floor, finding her in the corner,

Tightly tucked in, shivering, in the dead of emptiness,

She cradles her head in her already tear soaked palms,

Begging, to anyone, who would bother to listen,

To spare her, and allow the night, a restful slumber,

Only the silence, doesn’t survive, due to the howling

Disrupting the presence within, an agitation, growing louder,

Being cursed to an insomniatic state, she sits and waits,

Pondering the events, that have led her, down this rabbit hole,

A day unparalleled to past ones, being the spark, to the chaos,

After a ordinarily frustrating day, like countless ones beforehand

She blindly walked home, escaping, to her fantasizing

Of moments occupied, by incredible and thrilling events,

Only to awaken, back in the dreary, monotonous clock

With its hands, slowly dragging across, its gray face,

But just as it appeared to be, her usual worn-out path,

An invasion, inside her familiar pattern, shattered the cycle

When a crazed, disheveled man, frantically burst

Out from the black, with eyes wide and trembling red,

Running right at her, as she stood, paralyzed at the charge,

Pushing her off of the path, onto the cracked cement

Where she saw the man, pummeled by oncoming traffic,

Being shredded along the hard gravel, down to the skeletal,

An image, that she was sure, would haunt her during all hours,

Only it was much worse, and far more terrifying,

Still shook up, from the disturbing image of that mangled body

Spilling out all its organs, onto the blood soaked road,

A vivid scene, focusing in, on the sprawled out gore,

Closer in, as she felt her heart, pound, in the echo of fury,

Until she passed out, into a chilling nightmare

Of an animal, ravenously tearing apart an unsuspecting wanderer,

Razor claws slicing through, their icy flesh,

All seen, as if she, was that blood covered beast,

Thinking it was another fantasy, until she crawled back home,

Naked, and painted crimson, coming in at first light,

She feverishly washed off the blood stains on her skin

Noticing, a scratch, that she imagined was from her fall,

But the shape, reminded her of the claw marks from her dream,

She never slept, as she was that beast, slashing at her victim,

A troubling curse, given to her, in a glimpse,

The nights getting longer, slipping further into the monster

Eating at her own existence, until she dissappears into it’s shadow,

If she allows it so, as she climbed out from her corner

And onto the high ledge, to end this cycle, on her own terms,

To finally sleep, and let the world, continue the routine,

Which she desperately missed, and thought of, one last time,

Letting herself free, from the shackles, into an endless rest.

For Survival

Artwork by Stefan Koidl

This world, is no longer for the living, while I perch

Over the dead, about to send another, into the black,

But the gun tremors in my pale hand, frozen in my glance

As my mind replays memories, that have lost its vibrance,

For they, are of a distant time, an unrecognizable landscape,

Where bones, don’t crack under my wandering steps

Like twigs, that echoe, in a densely fogged forest,

A graveyard, that rattles the chaos, of my solitude

Being stalked by an army of hollow abominations,

To which I’ve been evading, fleeting, their blinding ferocity,

Hunting for life, I scoured through the muddy desert

Only to reemrge, inside the domain of the hungry horde

Salivating, at the distinct stench, of my hurried pulse

As I widely stared at the tidal wave, hastily approaching,

A flutter of a memory, flashed across, the dooming onslaught

Where I had cloaked my breathing, in a choking silence,

Only there was no more room to hide, for survival, I killed,

Forcing raging bullet, after bullet, into endless vacancy

Crushing the lingering light, entombed, into their after,

Except for one, struggling to escape the claws, of an old bear trap,

That’s how I sighted him, my trail mate, for a brief moment

Until, I hovered over him, in this caged nightmare

With the gun, still stammering, in the biting stillness,

Standing there, fighting off the flooding of memories, to no avail

As the genesis of the collapse, barged in, shackled my mind

To a muffled cognizance, as it magnified in my trance,

Shoved back, into a hysteric argument, with my kid brother

A city under arrest, witnessed from the height of our window

While the shrieking in the background, distracted our focus,

The world, was folding in on itself, as panic, fuled the turmoil,

Struggling, we continued our debate, our next move, for survival,

Which was our pledge, we drudged through, the flooding darkness

That had crept, at our heels, forcing us into the undertow,

We overcame the sinister anchor, there since our abandonment,

But what hatched from the darkest depths, was far more bleak

With the radiating sun, blaring down upon the exposed,

Transforming all those, vulnerable, to the sun’s intrusion

And dispatched, from their solemn routine

Into a crazed, ravenous shell, hunting down the impervious,

The sun’s bewildering metamorphose, punctured, our barrier,

Leaving the immune, at the mercy of these hellions

As they thrashed, at our gates, prying the metal apart,

Letting in the rush of the stampede, overtaking the realm,

Their tumbling chaoss, echoed, through the narrow emptiness

Coming up the stairwell, as everything else, was stifled,

Forced into a corner, with the funneled horror, about to breach,

By the pounding, at the barricaded splintering entryway,

Left with no option, we absconded, down the fire escape

To the alleyway, amongst an expanded turbulence,

Plagued, throughout the stripped city, a disturbing battleground,

Frightened, in the daunting midst, of a world gone insane,

We wrestled our way, dodging countless feral slaughters,

One after another, chasing, after our frantic flee,

Becoming a worse terror, when the horde forced us, to separate,

I lost him, in the howling crowd, swallowed in the distance

As I found my way, to the safety of the city’s edge,

Without sight of him, staying hopeful, for his survival,

But there it was, etched into his pale wrist, “For Survival”,

As the flooding returns, further, than I have been in awhile,

Finding myself, watching through the window, the lively neighborhood,

Then noticing myself, in the close reflection,

Young, and totally unaware, of the forthcoming dread

Despite all the chatter around us, and the subtle panic,

There was nothing, my brother and I couldn’t devour,

For survival, we defied the suppressive hands, of our foster family,

Ran away, reaching Olympus, only we didn’t belong amongst this crowd,

Two teens, in a chaotic city, hands out, for loose change and scraps,

For survival, we found odd jobs, taking us away, from the corner,

Stability, eventually embraced us, as we basked in it, surviving,

A repetitive daydream, but appreciative of our struggles,

So much so, that my brother got a permanent brand,

A small, black lettering tattoo, on his wrist, “For Survival”,

I suggested we get a drink, to celebrate, his fresh ink

As we walked to the bar, he stared through the plastic covering,

I gave him a slight nudge, and expressed

“I wouldn’t have overcome so much without you by my side. “

He smiled, nudged me back, saying, “And I without you brother.”

As we walked amongst ourselves, forgetting the rest,

Now after these eternal, winter months, that had weakened the carnage,

My search ended, towering over what was left, of my kid brother,

A monster of the sun, drowning, in the cold dim light,

Now in the darkest of moments, after endless searching,

With tears, building in my throat, I try to steady my hand

As I tightly grip my eyes, and squeeze, the heavy trigger,

Breaking the silence, followed by the squawks of scavengers,

Leaving me, to my memories, for survival.

The Vision

I tightly clasp my eyes, flicking on the switch

To the vision, floating to and from the foreground

Of my, chaotic mind, always spinning and steam pot whistling,

Until, the vision slows it down, and softly whispers,

A most welcoming inertia to the constant battling,

So vivid and apparent, gracing the turbulent shore,

Steeping in the darkness, as the seconds hesitate to tick,

An escape, that saves me from the monsters roaming

Freely throughout, disturbing, the already crumbling wall,

But the vision, helps steady the suspended wire rope

And guides me across, with warmth, on the nape of my neck,

Easy, as the commotion dwindles and hushes,

My whole world, has found solace, as the vision lays beside

And I drift, content in its cloud, forgetting it all,

A suspension of Nightmares.

Toychest

Childhood locked in a chest, stored in the dusk of the attic

And buried, amongst the years, forgetting the toychest

And it’s contents, that had been there, throughout his youth,

All that directly links, to moments, that kept him awake,

Deep scraping along his bedroom, ripping at the wallpaper,

Frightened in the dark, as the shadows play on the ceiling

Cast, by his perched toys, on his shelves that dropped to the floor,

The plastic rattling, as they slowly drag against the rug,

That even now, the white noise of his fan, drowns the memories

As he wrestles, with the chest, fighting the current,

As the chest, thumping closer and closer, shrieks,

Jarring out from this terror, in a panic, a cold sweat,

A sullen voice on the phone, conveying disheartening news

A trail, leading him home, after one, taking him into the distance,

A vacant house, of stale comfort and soulless posessions,

Nothing stirring within, touring his familiar, unrecognizable halls,

Then preparing to rest, in his childhood bed,

A distracted presence, occupying, his swimming head

Hearing that thumping outside of his usual nightmare,

Mimicking, his own heartbeat, echoing off the stripped walls,

He peers out into the dread, gasping, trying to regulate his breath

As he sees, the paint, melting away, up towards the attic door,

The beating getting louder as he nears, hypnotized

By those steady, groaning deep thumps, grabbing his attention,

Standing below its access, releasing the hatch

As he climbs, through the dense flowing dust,

Finding the thumping had ceased, not even a creak

Of the floorboards as he nears, the lowlit backend,

Finding his locked away fears, pounding at the silence,

The latch withers in his hand, letting loose, all he entombed,

In the darkness, the pounding that shook the shelves

Which knocked over his toys, and the scratching, at his walls,

Enters his chest, grips his speeding beating heart

And whispers to him, “Nevermore”.

Pleading with the Demon

Artist unknown

The rushing surge of guilt, hinders my feeble mind

As I stare, at my trembling, blood soaked hand,

I awoke from my paralysis, to find a disheartening scene

Splattered across the floor, viscious and animalistic,

Vague in my recollection, yet sufficient, to plague contriteness

As I drown, in the vivid horror of my wrongdoings,

How I tortured and mutilated, being amongst the wicked,

Vanquish my enemies, and allow me to proceed

Down, the shrouded path, far away from this stain,

An eternal echo, that calls to me, chilling my disposition,

It haunts my every move, leading me to a grave I’ve myself dug,

A corruption of my soul, within these bone walls

That I can no longer be surrounded by, its tightening grasp,

With every detail of that night, furiously engraved

Into itself, staring at me, an unforgiving surrounding,

Release these enemies from my crowded back

With more approaching my front door, weakened, by the ghost

That remembers, why I’ve fallen to my knees in this trench,

Trying to dodge paralyzing thoughts, anchored to the crown,

Living in this tangent, scratching at the complacent walls

Hoping, for a break of light to peer through the dense viscosity,

I can’t be here anymore, stranded in my own torment

Following my own deceit, deeper, tucked into the corner

Crouching, from an advancing, floating ominous veil,

Before me, the Demon materializes, fearing his words,

“I find it laughable, that you believe, your disguised penance

Will release you from your guilt, and even this cell,

For its you, who has attracted these enemies to your doorstep,

No demon was the puppeteer, during these heinous sins,

How many lives did you crumple, and stuff, into a box,

Rot in this cage, before you descend to relentlessly agony.”

The demon slowly vanished, leaving the man alone,

He looked around at the cold abyss, cradled his sorrow

And endured crushing solitary, fearing, what lies after his passing.

Below

Artist unknown

What lies beneath the murky surface, is kept hidden

For their, and our protection, as its terrifying myth

Is a warning, for the curious ones near the engulfing swamp

As the dwelling beast, grumbles, in the thick ripples it creates,

Like an enticement, to those prying, around its banks,

Hypnotized, by the sway of the shrubs,  growing off the creature

Pervading the thick moss, entangled with the moist stench,

Bringing the snooping migrant, in closer, to the stirring

In the overturning mire, that begins to slowly swell

And separates, unveiling the monster, to the petrified wanderer,

As it devours him whole, beneath the black nebulous,

A story repeated, to a young and an inquisitive soul,

A little girl, unafraid of the fable, and deeply absorbed

In its lore, that has placed her entire town, into panic,

Angry debates, deciding how vanquish the terror below

Has only created further hysteria, as they place blockades,

Shrouding, the wetlands from ever being traversed,

Until the little girl, succumbed to her heightened intrigue,

She packs her fishing rod and bait, hoping to lure

Out this supposed ferocious and rapacious beast,

She discovers a nestled path, enveloped by outstretched webbing,

Not even her fear of those arachnids, could halt her odyssey,

As she bit down, and charged through the silken blankets,

Feeling the stretch of its cling, as she pushed through,

Swinging her fishing rod, to take some of the brunt

As she kept mowing past the dense vegetation,

Finally, feeling the squish, under her blind steps,

Peeling off the collected entanglement, she found the swamp,

So serene, lavishly blanketed by the green flora,

She was amazed, and excited to ease her bewilderment,

For how can such a place, belong to such a dark tale,

She stepped onto a solid plank, and dropped her baited hook,

As the beast, puzzled, by this sudden appearance,

Cautiously reached out, pinching the worm, as it vanishes

When the girl lifts the rod, checking for any nibbles, nothing,

Plopped back in, as the beast works faster, removing the worm

And ingesting it, the easiest meal it has ever tasted,

As the little girl inspects the bare hook, and drops another feast,

Only this time, the insatiable creature, was caught

As the hook, deeply plunged into its finger,

As the massive beast erupted, out of the dusky water,

Knocking the little girl back, into a swallowing shrub,

Peering out from inside, her eyes fully widened

At the sight, of the monster, from all the stories she heard,

It was much larger than she imagined, yet still, unafraid,

She slowly crept out, and into the streaming light

Carefully disclosing herself, to the panting, angry mosnter,

They both marveled at each other, the beast of legend,

And how the little girl, was blind to the beast’s sonar,

She inched closer, as the beast held his hooked finger,

A throbbing pain, sending sharp shivers throughout,

The little girl cautiously reached out, for the injured finger

Which was snatched back, with an earthquaking roar,

Composed, she climbed the beast and removed the hook,

She jumped back down, her fishing rod in hand, waved farewell,

As the grateful beast, showed her a trail empty of web traps,

They shared one last glimpse, before she vanished,

The girl safely, without webbing, returned home,

She wasn’t eaten, nor torn to shreds by the beast’s razor claws,

Although, there were glimmers of the told fable

In the still moments, when an unexpected fear, crept,

Only to be ignored and shook off, finding a calm gentleness,

For the next day, she ventured back to the tranquil pond

Finding the beast, slightly poking its sight from its domicile,

From then on, they’d spend hours, that led into a soft twilight,

Only to return the next day, growing an unbreakable bond,

Back, in the hollow halls of her den, the light bowed

As her father, watched, her room in the maddening vacancy,

Sirens blaring in his head, anticipating the jarring knock

To inform him, of his only daughters found, mutilated body,

The horror stricken tale, encased his troubled mind,

As the girl’s father, vexed by her constant disappearance,

Followed her trail, and discovered, her glaring disobedience

By the swamp, where he urged, for her distance,

He then saw deeper, at his daughter, resting upon the monster,

His whole body started to pulsate, as he reached for his blade

Nervously, removing it from its sheath, steadying his attack,

The beast felt a surge, shoving the girl to the ground

And finding a charging man, battling out from the shrubs

Heading straight for the beast, with his blade, as his spear,

As the beast pounded the ground, causing the man to stumble

Loosing his blade, lifted, by the nightmarish claws,

The little girl pleaded with the beast, asking to let go of her father,

But the monster was out, and could not be reached

As it sunk a claw, into the man’s thumping chest,

An eerie stillness, washed over the girl, seeing her father drop,

While the perplexed beast, hid in his murky dwelling

That has been corrupted, for the little girl, falling into darkness

Perched by her faded father, finding his blade nestled in the marsh,

Concealing it, as she approached the sullen beast

Who looked to console her, feeling an awakening twinge

Coming from the girl, who suddenly plunged her father’s blade

Deep, into the sunken chest, putting the legend to sleep

As the stunned beast, bogged down, into it’s swampy grave.

Hunters in the Snow

Art by Srefan Koidl

Its been snowing, for several days now, a bitter cold

And white fleece, blankets this small secluded town,

Its a, “nothing ever happens here”, kind of outland,

Until the clouds, encapsulates the grounded and petrified,

Eerily quiet, as the entire population, lives as introverts,

Even when their neighbor, pleas for his life, in the frozen night,

Does anyone dare, intervene, in the howling of the blizzard,

No one saw them come, as nature gave them their disguise

To sneak around this wasteland, picking their prey,

They rise in the fall, blending in with the white veil,

But now, during the winter solstice, brings this whiteout

And these fiendish predators, sniffing, for their next kill

That satisfies the wintertide, and the furious storm, subsides,

Some hunts, range a fortnight, others could stretch a week

Drowning the town, in a bitter frost plastered nightmare,

Every home, chained, boarded up, and frightfully abandoned,

But it won’t stray these persistent hunters from their prey

That have absconded, for with the pull of the snow, they’ve returned

To their home, unprepared for the horror lurking inside,

Some stay, armed to battle those, who blend into the shroud,

Closing in, on this year’s chase, the hunters are prepared to feast

On an old man, sitting, peering at the door, with a fire roaring

Behind him, casting a tall silhouette upon the still barrier,

Upon his lap, lies his rifle, recalling his grueling training

A young soldier in a cloud of smoke, snaking out from the barrel,

But it wasn’t until, the cloud expanded, in the devastation,

Growing within that fog, was a shadow of his former,

Lost to the avalanche, within him, carrying pieces of innocence

Off the battlefield, that he himself, had mercilessly fractured,

A stream of hatred, poured out, through the rifle, his extension,

The chaos inside, reflected, by his misguided assassinations,

Tearing down lives, that had no haze, no distortion,

A sudden thud, upon his roof, shoving him back into his armchair,

His grip, tight around the rifle, and his heart hammering his chest,

He gets up, peeks through the crack in the rattl boards,

Without touching the door, it unlocks, and slowly creeks open

Letting in an enraged gust, letting in true fear, for the first time,

His hands never wavered, he never heard, his rifle tremor,

He slowly steps out onto his stoop, gazes into the subtle drape,

The hunters, with sleek maneuver, encircled their quarry,

Before he could react, they towered over the fearful

And all the old soldier could do, was drop to his feeble knees,

Asked for forgiveness, for the lives he ripped apart,

He bowed his head to the snow, felt a tear stream down his cheek

And saw the drop, and the contrast of red amongst the white,

He shut his eyes, and balance, was violently restored.

Death’s Keep

Art by John Kenn Mortensen

She reached upwards, for safety, with her peach skinned hand,

While reflected in the murky, engulfing sea, was death

As it grabbed her ankle, with its snake skinned hand,

Pulling her away, towards the abyssinian inferno,

Her soft, full of life hand, was eroding into nothing

As her savior, had no means of liberating her from doom,

Tying the dock anchor around himself, he dove into the abyss,

Without sight to guide him, he felt for her, but touched emptiness

Instead of the cascade of her embrace, as he was enveloped by distance,

So he slowly climbed back, onto the petrified dock

Where he could stare out, into dark and violent waters,

With waves, crashing ferociously, against the trembling banks,

No longer, could he hear her, submerged into death’s clutches,

But who could, over the constant crash, on the boundless battlefield,

Where soldiers, lose their nerve, standing at the crest

Being baited, by those lurking beneath the hollow surface,

And like those soldiers, he stood frozen in the unknown

That grasped at life, and dragged it through affliction,

Beyond his fear, there was his purpose, sinking rapidly,

And to resurrect her, he’d have to venture, into the deep.

~II~

He climbed into a beaten lifeboat, paddled, against the waves

Which grew in its brutality, but couldn’t restrain his persistence,

Onward, further from the platform, into the open grave,

Crucial exchanges of blows, paddle to water, overlapping

Onto the frail boat, as the waves, growling in their approach,

Fight to consume the traveler, in the sound of watery fury,

As he paddled, frantically, he kept sight on the horizon

Past the plunging valley, intertwined with waves,

Narrowly escaping, the clutches of the crushing drowning,

He found himself, in the abounding open, on calmer tides,

For it was, eerily quiet, no birds squawking overhead

Or the wrestle, of the current against the side of the boat,

Nor the paddle, breaking thought the surface of the water,

There was no sound here, as he yelled out to the Devil,

“Come back and fight me, for she is not yours to take!”

He couldn’t be certain, if those words, even projected,

Surrounded by the choppy water, beside him, sits his terror,

As a faint sound, flows, along the tops of the water,

A siren guide, appears, with no desire to be his aid,

“Hello, silly traveler, who has foolishly ventured too deep

For you do not belong amongst these riffs, reverse your path.”

“I cannot, I’ve come to retrieve a life, taken in error.”

The spirit chuckles lightly, pauses briefly, and echoes in response,

“Death makes no mistakes, precise, for it’s by great design.”

“She doesn’t belong beyond the black, for she is of great importance,

Your design is gravely flawed, and she must be revived”

She chuckles again, and comes in closer to the still boat,

“You believe, you are currently speaking with death,

That I am the one, who can revive life, to be amongst the animate,

You, silly traveler, are the one who is gravely flawed,

To death’s sunken dwelling, is no simple tiptoe trail,

Your vigor will be tested, before accessing the devil’s domain,

But I am curious, I’d like to see the outcome of this encounter.”

She floats her finger, pointing further, into the cold hush,

And told him to continue, towards the bleak eternal,

Then vanishes, with a nudge of wind, forcing the sail.

~III~

Alone, in the dusk, with the boat lamp highlighting solitude,

Silence reemerges, drowning the traveler in the ominous,

A faint howling silence, that seizes the boat’s motion

While the stillness, gets louder, and slightly more discernable

Each time a wave, subtly splashes along, the boat’s feeble side,

A voice, calling out from beyond the darkness, his focus

Searching for him, below the crumbling shed of light,

No, it wasn’t her, a voice that sends biting pricking needles

All throughout his being, shaking him down to his knees,

He now recognizes, his voice, that keeps repeating an utterance,

It continues to circle, like a pack of vultures, about to strike,

Suddenly, in a cold snap of a second’s tic, “You cannot save her!”

A monstrous echo, that sent a daunting chill, into his chest

At which he grabbed, and gasped for empty breaths,

Refusing to sink into the crushing deep, back against the wind,

The traveler stood up, grabbed the paddles and took charge,

As he noticed a slither, hastily warping the water,

Streaming like a torpedo, aiming straight, at the feeble boat,

With growing raging waves, so fierce, following closely,

Nearing the boat, with tremors from the speeding approach,

With the winds on his side, he evaded wave, after wave,

Until, he steered too far in, and was struck, by a forceful current,

The boat, reduced to splintered pieces, now floating, aimlessly,

As the traveler, tumbles along the stirring undercurrent.

~IV~

Waking up, after an uncertain, amount of time,

The traveler finds himself, on the shore, of a brittle island,

A voice, snatches his attention, spins him to face death’s throne

By suddenly booming, the very first audible sound

He has heard, since the first steps down this rabbit hole,

“Are you the bringer, of this, supposed force majeure

That believes, he can sway and overturn my mind,

No one, who is snatched into my web, ever gets released.”

Shaken down to the ground, with fear and anger battling,

The traveler, with only his eyes, looked up at the abductor,

“She belongs unchained, far from your dominion,

She isn’t finished, there’s more for her to accomplish

And removing her from existence, stunted her growth.”

“And why should I be concerned, her meaning, is minimal. “

“To you, she’s a faceless object, occupying space that’s irrelevant,

Except to me, those grounds she graces, are the purest,

This is my end, not hers, for it was my fault we crashed,

I hesitated, froze, at the barrelling trailer, stampeding,

And colliding with our vehicle, sending us towards the edge,

But a sudden collision, with the sturdy dock barrier

Kept me inside, while my little girl, had been taken,

As if I had willingly, given her up, to the black hooded cloak.”

“Your daughter, vacated existence, onto the carving of my scythe,

Could the devastation, really be boiled down to your failure,

Your weight to carry, as you suffer from the doom of the crash,

Yes, for it’ll plague your days, an exemplary hell, on earth.”

“Unless you take me, let me sink in the void forever

While my daughter continues, and lives out her days.”

A grumbling silence, as death slowly descends,

Coming, to face the traveler, standing on the fragile shore,

Still towering over him, death peers down to deliver a response,

“Two beings, swim in limbo, and I’d gladly swallow both,

But by design, only one is required, to fulfill destiny,

Which has brought you to me, pleading for her innocence,

To which I accept, for even death can be bargained upon,

Your journey was true, and not at all a simple task,

Look, for you have proven yourself, despite your crushing doubt.”

Death points at the rising light, as a shadow, alongside

Gradually appears, walking through, to the other side,

The traveler stares, as his travels conclude, and is finally at peace,

Death floats over to him, and softly whispers… we must go.

~V~

Her peach skinned hand, feeling the gentle cool breeze

Brushing by, and up to her shoulder, to perch,

She gazes out, into the swaying crowd of the ocean valley,

A whisper in gratitude, and a tear, for the one who sacrificed.

The Leech

Within the finest hair of time, I was discovered,

Although I was never actively trying, to conceal my path,

There was something, searching, for my incoherent scent,

While I, unaware of its stalk, proceeded towards uncertainty,

And because of one simple thought, there was blood in the water,

For I unknowingly, and loudly announced, where I was hiding

From the monster, that was hastily approaching,

And the closer it got, that simple thought, became complex

As it expanded, grew tentacles that wrapped around my brain

To suffocate the brilliance out, and inject a fierce infestation,

Each day, carried with it, another ominous drop that echoed

Once plunged, into the vass sonar, that was so brightly lit,

I presented the light to follow, all because I couldn’t hush, doubt,

And from that, it leeched onto me, and wouldn’t release,

It’s how I became to know this creature, as the leech.

~Living With the Leech~

Art by John Kenn Mortensen

Its constant breath, upon the back of my neck, makes climbing

To my deeply hollow home, so hauntingly daunting,

And even when inside, I still feel, its towering presence

Growing heavier, and colder over me, clutching tighter,

As I shudder in its grip, as it drinks from my weakened state,

I recall, revelling in the absence, of this slithering gloom,

A time that seems, indiscernible, as if that person is a stranger

Living freely in the abounding presence of light,

Now, my world has overturned, a gray and barren devastation,

I cannot see the leech, for it has never materialized,

But I have found drawings, others, that have suffered

From its latching, and its exactly the hovering presence

That has sunken me, into some sort of a paralysis,

Shades drawn, as it thrives, bleeding out my senses

But I feel its vampiric fangs, all throughout me, infused,

Where we have become, one, in this chilling dwelling,

~My Final Moments With the Leech~

Drowning in a sea, of the empty bottle’s breath

And a deep cut to my wrist, emptying out the leech,

Finally, it appears, wide eyes reflecting fright and fury,

Being constricted to me, it won’t survive, without the carrier,

Sometimes, you have to sacrifice yourself to save others

From the demon, hurting them, through you.

Crash Landed

Crashed down, onto a planet that does not exist,

A scorching dry terrain, engulfing, the fallen ship,

As the traveler, surviving the destructive landing, emerges,

Into a world not his own, as his eyes tremble, trying to focus,

Searching, for any sign of audible life, while trekking

Through the baren lands, of this unfamiliar expanse,

Where the sky above, even looks different, feels further,

With stars, aligned differently, sends the traveler into a frenzy,

Drowning in his hysteria, which grows in the padded cage

That shrinks, the more he finds himself utterly, stranded,

Lost, with no means of communicating, outside this deathtrap,

He’s frightened of the icy, slinky crawling hand of death

That could be around his throat, within moments,

As the howling winds spear, through the dense hopelessness

With the day fading, behind the unfamiliar horizon,

Just as the night’s crawling shadow, were at his heels,

He discovers shelter, an eerie cave, alone, staring into the black,

Painstakingly, slowly he moves further in, to hide for the night,

Sliding one foot forward, then the trailing one

Until he was fully immersed, the dark unseen,

Hugged himself within a crevice, of the coldly silent cave,

Thinking, he’d finally be able to take breath, without dense hesitation,

But a new fear began, one so crippling, he was even more lost,

While sitting, surrounded by the ferociously enveloping darkness,

A small spot of light, appears, dances along the ill of light,

The reflective shine, bounces off the longing, for light,

He was able to empathize with the light, the way it yearned

And feverishly sought out, for the openness, of the familiar,

Until the traveler drowned, in his own misunderstood, madness.