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.

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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.

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.

Hiding Out

A man stands, dazed in the center of a room, staring

At a ceiling fan, watching the blades orbit his vacancy,

No comprehension, of the chaos, right outside his window,

The rushing sound, of whirling wind, surrounds

His absence, as the heightened tension rumbles

Just below the condensation covered filter of the mayhem,

Reaching, for his incognizance in hopes to distress,

The disorder beneath the cloud of ignorance starts it’s climb,

Slithering up the rattled building, as the distance

Closes in, unbeknownst to the severely diluted brain,

For it only took moments, before the havoc scaled

To the top, appeared and swarmed the depressed space,

All while the man stayed in the bliss, of being unaware.

Her Little Eyes

She sits, and spies out her window, into the lives of strangers,

Absorbing their day, their routine, becomes her obsession,

Enhaling all that she sees, and files it away, deep, in her mind,

She rummages through, picking apart all the lives

That are absorbed by her little eyes,

Their dark intimacy, hers to rewind and play

To her desires, outlining all these private events

As they unfold before her, never blinking, or flinching away,

Fully vested, as her neighbors proceed, with their reserves,

Unsuspecting of her eyes, as she blends, into the shadow,

Her only ally, the only thing, aware of her isolated existence,

Cloaking her, in it’s safe embrace, as she pushes

Further into it’s depths, losing herself to the shadow,

Nothing is left behind the curtain, as her eyes pierce through,

Studying, a couple separated by a wall, but in the same domain,

No longer their moments, as her eyes invaded

The space between them, which feels so cold, held

In her vision, surveying their constricted movements,

A man and a woman, sharing a story with her little eyes

Without even realizing, how their secrets, are displayed,

The man, sunken into the couch, while the woman slaves,

Leering at the man, her shrill voice piercing his serenity,

Minute after minute, she breaks the silence, and his fist gets tighter,

Gripping onto his anger as best he can, following the drips

Of sanity, that echo out, while those little eyes sparkle,

Gleefully watching the cracks spine up the narrow alley

Of their reality, they rushed into their unstable fusion,

Those eyes watching the man struggle, his temper climbing,

His own eyes begin to stammer, not realizing the knife,

His rage blinded him, he ignored her to the point her own rage

Took control, showed her where her serenity lives,

Took the blade she used for all those frustrated meals,

Ended them, by ending him,

Never have those little eyes, stared so immensely,

Haunted, by her own spying, she’s kept frozen,

Unsure if she should act, afraid for her hobby,

To the world, this all would be an aberration,

Not in her eyes, she never hurt anyone living in others,

But how much, can she trust the shadow, keeping her hidden,

Stuck in the moment, that shattered the harmless,

She draws the shades, pulls the shadow closer,

And finds herself empty, next to the woman still holding the knife,

Her little eyes grows weak, taking with her, all the stories

She’s stolen, while losing her own shadow to her own greed.

The Room Without Design

She was encapsulated in the reverie, engraved

In each subtle stich, belonging to the beauty

Of this forgotten room, at the end of a hollow hall,

She has been here, keeping these walls in an elegance

Which has never been seen before, yet, it exists,

Far beyond the utterance, alone and deprived,

Holds its wallpaper, hugged tight, a full room

Within an overpopulated house, so many visitors

But non, have wandered, down to this room,

A small loose thread, suddenly appears to her,

Far in the high corner, a thick web has grown

Corrupting the room, as tears in the wallpaper

Start to emerge, as she knocks on the walls

Begging for anyone, to notice, to find her deserted,

As the room continues to loose its vibrance, it sheds

All that she designed, the tears getting deeper,

Until she becomes empty, lost in a dirty empty room,

No longer, does the room have a desire to hold,

No longer, does it keep up appearances,

The decor, decays to dust, leaving the barren walls,

The design was perfect, although, she was fragile,

Being shoved, further into away from being seen,

She fell into a drowning existence,

Only to escape from the room, on her own again,

One day, she’ll have another room to design.

Conversation With Death

There, untouched by the setting fire,

Gliding, above the trembling lake was this, overbearing

Shadow, approaching me, sitting under

This sickly tree, in the midst of a rolling fog,

As the shadow came closer, it formed a shape

And then, before me, darkness appeared,

But I was not afraid, I welcomed its bleak emptiness,

Yet an enigmatic stillness grasped hold,

Chained me down to the soil, I followed it’s approach,

Until death, rose over, pleased to be in it’s presence,

Huddling softly to its cloak, eager for the finale,

“Waste away, you’re not yet joining the forever tortured.”

It spoke, but it wasn’t audible, I heard death in my head,

Which felt like a blast of jagged chill,

Eating away my insides, as I stared into the hollowness

Peering through me, why has death emerged,

“Why count the falling leaves, and dismiss

The sunset, which begs for your attention,

Instead you loiter at my door, sinking into a stale image,

You’ve allowed an infestation, in through your picket fence,

Followed by attacks upon your house, fallen

Into this swamp, slowly succumbing to it’s drag.”

“It was the only way to move on, to bury her memory,

I rather not have, loved and lost,

Only to walk lost, pretending it was the better

Side of this world’s spectrum,

I believe that it would have been easier, never exhaling

From taking in her sweet scent,

And shattering every broken piece of bone,

My senses taste her sweet vanilla, that drifts

Into my haunted consciousness. ”

“Those shackles, tightly clasped, are of your own design,

Destroy them, and move in through the brume

Out into the perched orchard, as you crane your eyes

To the sullen shores, as the water kisses the warmth

And sizzles, yet you distance yourself.”

“You judge me, thinking I haven’t lived,

Well I did, with her laugh, echoing in my evacuated mind,

And I rather transpire, than search for her unique likeness.”

“One person isn’t a life, when the world is comprised

Of a slew of differences, which is left behind the blinds

That you seem to be lost behind, scratching

At the grave, you’ve unearthed.”

“You stole her away from my heart, and dragged her down,

So yes, I sat here marinating in this melancholic setting,

Waiting, for you,

To display your weakness.”

Within the moment, my hidden blade,

Tucked into my sleeve, reflected death’s fright,

I slashed at death’s open light, killing the darkness

So that I, can assume the mantle,

If you don’t evolve, then you die.

Gate Beyond Return

The sting from it’s breath, encapsulates me, shivers

Of daylight, highlights the mangled gate,

Displaying it’s villainy, slender arms outstretched,

Letting out, what I’ve fought to keep trapped

In the icy depths, only growing stronger, as I forget,

Wrapping its tentacles, squeezing around my throat,

Forcing my eyes, wide birthed, reflecting the monster

Before me, taking me inside it’s domain,

Past insanitys’ far gate, which no mind returns,

Every muscle numbed, as I’m dragged into the void

With my nightmare in the corner, perched,

Swinging it’s stinger like a pendulum,

Casting a shadow, as it passes, through the light,

Slithering closer, and then, emptiness,

The gate shuts, locked, with me behind it.

Amongst the Living

She slips into the veil, picking out her outfit

Carefully, peering out from behind her mask

Taking in sight of her facade, her entrapment,

To lure the already damned, into the dismay,

The devil, finding the crooked outstretched hand

Searching for a glimpse of light in the stormy alley,

But only she bears shelter for them, inviting

Them out from the oppressive rain, and into the orchestra,

All the lost souls, sitting with their errors as the score,

The hum of the emptiness spotlights over their heads,

The devil peeks out, standing amongst the living,

Tapped the batton, for attention, and forced their scream,

Salivating, at the release of their fear, into the air,

She feeds on those floating orbs, absorbing

Their strength, sucking them all dry to ash,

Wisked away, with a gust of her whisper…

“You’ve been emptied”

And all those, who once were, shattered apart

Sprinkling through the depths of a continued fear,

While she, the devil, continues amongst the living,

Soaking, in the middle of the soon to be lost

On the ballroom dance floor, in front of the full orchestra.