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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A Friend Talking You Down

How grim, is tonight’s tale?

As you stand on the ledge, looking down at the world,

How many daggers, have you removed?

And how many, are sunken in, too deep to locate the handle

Yet they flutter and sting, with a single breath,

It’s time to go, leave the same way you came here,

Release your grasp on the aspiration, of finding her,

You hope, you spot her by her scent, drifting to the high roof

So that you won’t be seen, not just by her, but everyone,

But why put yourself through torture again?

Is it worth it, when expecting the crushing blow?

Are you able to withstand, more artillery?

Disappear, let yourself heal, while distractions

Flood over you, as you slowly start to see the distance,

Step back, adore the sunrise, coming over the rooftops,

And wait, for those daggers, to disintegrate.

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.

Haunted by the Inner Demon

I believed I did, but then the demon inside my head

Reached out, put itself in control, and ropped

Off that person, became an aged faded portrait,

One I admired, absorbed it’s brilliance and vivid emotion,

Then the demon, that stalks in plain open consciousness,

Rattled my head, shifted the entire frame into dust,

I’m trapped, inside my own, in the entangling web

That laps over and over, burying my gated clarity,

The more I struggle, the louder it becomes, deafening

Where I just give in, fold down, within it’s cold grasp

That has eclipsed, the beauty of truth, now lying in mud,

All because, I validated the demon’s spun filth

That slithers through my canal, injecting deceit

Into my malleable mind, I never stood a chance

Against my demon, who has become apart of my persona,

So much so, I can’t distinguish the difference between us,

I might have found my home, but they’ve vanished

Into the furthest lot, while I struggle with the lock,

They’re still there, before me, reaching for the compass,

Following the illusion before them, while I lay buried

In the forgotten sands, pushed further down,

Suffocating the inkling of hope, where is that home

That can calm the storm with her touch, upon the nape

Of my feeble stance, for her scent, softly lingers,

As I look for the silver lining, hoping she’s there, smiling.

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.

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.

A Tale of Designed Fate

He stands, at the muted green door at the end of a long

Flickering hallway, as the pulsation grows louder,

Stretching the corridor out from the diseased shadow

That awaits, for it’s fragile knock to be answered,

A twinging pitch floods his ears, crashing him to the cold tile,

His cheek fused to the bleak slab of ice, squeezing

Tighter, the more he struggles, as heavy thuds approach

Opening the aperture cover, but he’s below it’s view,

As the slice from the swinging cover bounces

In the crowded echo, slowly dissipating, abandoning

This crippled being, as he pleads with the inner infestation

To stop, while it eats away at him, slowly tearing

Up his insides, a violent intruder gorging themselves

On his meat, as he hunches into himself, agonizingly,

His cries, shatters stone within, yet it’s hardly audible

To the rat with one eye, peeking out from the crack,

Studying this tiny feeble twig of a man, even to the rat

He was of equal size, still a savory meal for the starving

Salivating rat, surveying the man as it moves in,

Out from the latent space, into the open twitching hall,

The man on his side, his translucent back to the vermin

Slithering closer, unhinging its jaw, to sink its diseased fangs

As the man, with his fleeting energy, gets on his wobbling

Brittle knees, at that moment, finds the charging fester

Gnawing at his arm, and immediately swipes

But the rat, does not detach, finding nirvana

In the flavor of decay, until the poison reaches

The rat’s tongue, recognizes the sensation and aroma,

Lets go, and slowly climbs down while wiping the blood

From its sinister grin, as the man, out of breath rhetorically asks,

“How does a disgusting creature seem even more crude?”

“You should really be viewing your own reflection

Before referring to anything else as you so politely said.”

Surprised that the rat responded, the man scurried

Back against the spinney wall, staring intensely

At the one eyed speaking rat, moving closer whilst saying,

“Now, you must be thinking you’re feverish and delusional,

An outburst from your paroxysm, festering in your brain,

Still unsure if you truly hear me, am I truly coherent?”

Shutting out all his surroundings, he tried to regain control,

“No, it can’t talk, this disease has invaded my sanity.”

“Sanity! Such a lucid concept, where you don’t question

What is laid out right before you, like a talking rat.”

“I just need to speak with the designer of my doomed fate.”

“The demon, behind that door, barters for your life,

But what are you willing, to throw down at it’s feet?”

Silenced by the rat’s inquiry, the man searches his haze

As he bares emptiness, for all he possesses is villainy

Anchored, to his eroding ravaged wasteland of a corpse

Dragging itself through the internal seething, trembling

In the bleak, falling without making any sound,

Grinding bones upon the stone irony, of his own existence,

A painfully blank expression, stretched across his face,

As the rat stares at the stunted crippled husk

Before it, who could be taken and stripped of value,

And the rat, could not let the opportunity slip past

Without getting it’s share, and there was one item it desired,

“Don’t worry, I’ll prime you for your interaction

With the beastly puppeteer, for a specific trade of course,

I want your left eye, so that I will be whole again.”

The man pondered, contemplating his daily routine

With one eye, then contemplated killing the rat

After he got what he needed from the it, and agreed,

Still hesitantly, how can trust be granted to this vermin,

Yet, he leapt and acknowledged their temporary bond,

Then the one eyed rat, sprang into action, vanished in through

The crack, between the bottom of the fortified door

And concrete floor, then the man heard scratching

Along the portal from the other side, scurrying to each lock,

All along the entire length, clicks and clanks echoing in the hall,

Creaking slowly was the door, as man quickly hid,

“Rat! Those locks disturbed silence, has the designer awoken?”

“You worry too much, we mustn’t delay your sacrifice.”

And as soon as the last syllable was uttered, the rat was gone,

Down the gullet, of the designer, towering over the man,

Panning up to his wide, glowing, red eyes starring back,

A hideous collection of acquired eyes, frozen in decay,

Trapped, in the thick web, of the designers face,

“What for do you occupy the space in front of my door?”

“Sir, Designer, a bargain for you, I’ve come to ask for my life,

In exchange, I present to you something of mine you desire.”

Saliva dripping from the designer’s mouth, a runny faucet,

“How do you know, what I desire, are my lustings generic?”

“Not in the slightest, the rat you ate possessed

This information, from being a dweller, inside your walls.”

“Now inside my stomach lining, an appetizer,

I’m hungry for my entree, entrance has been granted.”

The designer moves aside, and waves in the weak link,

A still hush, inside of this bland cavern, on the 17th floor

As the designer, leads his new guest into the drawing room,

Filled with occupied parchment, lives all sketched out

To every plausible end, as well ones as far fetched,

The designer dove back into his sinkable couch

And looked up at the scared, shaking, bag of frail bones,

“Lets see if this rat was true, present your offering.”

“The wretch you devoured, explained your cravings,

So I offer you, my heightened sense of touch.”

The designer sat up, never removing sight, not a single eye,

From the shrinking man, as the designer got up close

With a dastardly grin, sniffing for truth in his words,

“No one, has ever offered their own fragile touch,

Do you know what would be escaping, from your senses?”

“Yes, I lived with endless scratching on the sensory walls

As crimson, pours out and builds up, over my gulping breath,

I’m ready, to lose the razor shards streaking my insides.”

“Pain, is a touch that gets louder, the more you ignore,

What of the sun beaming warmth, while a cool breeze

Rushes by, pushing you closer to the sweet scent

Coming from her flowing hair, and you sink in deep,

You might dissolve pain, but you’ll regret the hollow void.”

The man looked down at his hands, arms and feet

Thinking how he won’t have any feeling, he couldn’t,

Just as he was about to rescind, the man awoke in his bed,

Looking for the designer, but he was alone,

No tall gruesome foreseer stalking in the corner

Sucking on his blood soaked fingers from eating a rat,

But then he noticed, he couldn’t feel his warm covers

Tucked under his chin, or the bed he laid upon,

He tried to brush his hand along his arm, felt nothing,

No pain, or even the water beads from his morning shower,

It was done, deal made, regret had crashed down,

“I wish, there was a way to know, you’re in the good ol’ days

Before you’ve actually left them, because somehow

In the darkness, you know exactly when you’re there,

Those moments stay with you, attach themselves

To every unstable vessel, crushed in the avalanche.”