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.

Wanderer in the Storm

Art by Stefan Koidl

In the heavy shade of a room, a boy, stares at the rain

Streaming down the pane of his window, as the world continues

To revolve, steady, along the constant corrosive monotonous course,

As the boy, holding on tightly, to tangible memories

That have no place here anymore, wisp away, into darkness,

But he fights the disintegration, to no avail, lost in his barren mind,

Only gusting winds, through the channels of now empty memories,

Unfortunately, the brief years, hasn’t given the boy it’s dexterity,

Suddenly, a sharp chill, enters the room, disturbing the black

And there, between the drops of rain, encrusted on the glass

Is a reflection, a dark figure in the puddle, beyond the reach of his home,

Only, the boy cannot find the source of this ominous reflection,

No one there, standing, on the soaked and empty walkway,

But the tall and slim dark figure, manifested in the puddle,

The boy couldn’t trust his own eyes, it was beyond the bounds of reality,

Yet there it was, no eyes, but can feel the figure was starring

And the boy, couldn’t remove his sight, for the figure, felt familiar,

Which was why the boy, was led out from his sorrows

And standing, only inches, from this cold haunting appearance,

As the figure gently greets the boy, telling him not to be afraid,

While all the boy could do, was gaze, into the collected water,

It tells the boy, that it is not death, nor life, but a nomad,

A wanderer, that has been torn away, from being palpable

And then finding itself, residing within a hurdling chaos,

Then the boy, with overbearing hesitation, stuttering

Through, asks, whether the figure was a vengeful ghost,

The dark figure softly replies, that it wasn’t certain,

For it is not its purpose, there was anguish it wished to settle

Peeking through this storm, following its dismantled will,

It needed the boy, to ease the rumble, rattling the cage,

And all it wanted, was for the boy, to be its witness

As it laid out, its hand, asking the boy for his trust,

Looking into the shallow reflection, the boy complied

And gripped the air, finding a solid object in the absence,

They trailed across the gray, to a still and silent bridge,

They get to the middle, as the figure releases the boys hand

And suddenly materializes, while standing, on the edge,

“Here we are, this is where we accept our final bow.”

A stinging chill, swells, in the boys pounding chest,

“I needed you to know, where the flood rushed over,

I stood here, peering, into my own reflection in the deep

Until I rushed down, trapped in the murky speculum,

It’s where we end, our decent, and you’re the beginning,

I told you before, of our torment, it festers and paralyzed

Our hopeful existence, to this end, and now I drift in regret,

For how can we, walk upon the petals in a dreamscape

When blinding sorrow and affliction, hang like heavy drapes,

I’m trapped here, surrounded by the misery of the broken,

So why not try to help, so that the grim wind, settles,

Even just for a glimpse, of the sun, peaking through the fog,

There was light worth basking in, I ignored its brilliance

As I suffocated, in the dreary cave, until it was lost,

We can’t allow our demise, to repeat, when hope rises.

It is up to you, in this time, to break past what drags us down,

Trust me once more, it’ll make the shackles, weigh less

So that we can carry ourselves, further off away from the ledge.”

He walks over to the boy, places a hand on his shoulder

As the sun breaks through, causing the boy to shield his eyes,

And after a moment passes, the sun still shines, his vision returns

Finding he’s back in his room, in front of his window, of dried up rain,

No figure in the puddle,

No clouds hiding the sun,

And the boy, finds same those fading memories, intact,

And slowly, a smile, stretches across his face, melting sorrow,

Looking ahead, to hope

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, thats 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 point 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.

Rising

Art by Joshua Hoffine

Simple pleasures, so often, get overlooked by the diamond glare,

But she continues her stroll, through her lavish halls

Of pricelessness, crowding the walls casting long shadows,

As a solemn hush, occupies the burgundy canvas, of this mausoleum

Articulately crafted and engineered, to show off her devine prosperity,

Yet, she wonders alone, barely gazing, at any of her collectables,

Strolling by, her worldly posessions of statues and paintings

Frivolously acquired, filling blank spaces in her oversized mansion,

Standing separately, removed, from oppressive dwellings

To flourish, in a hollow plot, so she can be the polished,

Marinating in grand halls, surrounded by the squander

Thickly dressing, the outstretched corridors, of her maze,

Silence creaks, then echoes down, throughout lifelessness

As she fans herself, perched atop her swanky peak,

Untouched by the erosion, flooding lives, beyond her gates,

Cries, barely reaches the lock, snug and tightly clamped

So that she can revel, in the abounding untouchables,

But there, in the still, erie absence of sound, the softest whisper

Huddled up next to her, and gave a deep fright

That resonated through her entire being, and caused her, to collapse,

She immediately sprang up, hysterically searched

For the voice, that put her wellness into paralysis

As she tried to shake away, the voice’s prolonged echo,

Waiting, for it to settle, along with her rapid thumping,

And just as some alleviation dawned, a furious clanking

At her gates, had once again, awoken her paranoia,

Running to the window, another quiver down her spine

As the voice, grabs, her attention from her hall of valuables,

Following the reverberating taunt, that led her to an unknown room,

One she never stepped in, yet tucked into the far corner,

Cautiously walked, into an orange haze and simple gallery,

Nothing but walls and two pieces of modest furniture,

So uninviting, she thought as she sat, almost instinctively,

The clanking and rattling at her weakening gates, intensified,

Startling her, sinking further into the chair, finding it difficult to breathe,

The voice, again spoke, shattering her sacred hush,

“We rise, as you fall” continued to be the repeating provocation,

And the voice, as abruptly as it appeared, it vanished,

To the sudden thud, coming from beneath, the surface,

Her gaze froze, upon that very thudding spot

And slowly getting to her feet, moving closer to the knock,

Growing louder, stronger, cracking the stone tile

With pieces chipping away, almost as if, it was pulsating,

And finally breaking open, with a stampede of filthy, grubby hands

Reaching for her, grasping, and pulling her into the void,

She was gone, letting the entire mansion, rapidly tarnish,

All that’s left, is the wind, wrestling within the cold, of this dwelling.

The Grim

I only started to die, when I met you,

Buried myself in the avalanche that I’ve conjured

From the panic, you’ve projected, out of my darkest depths

And into cognizance, which rattled around my haunted corridors,

So I knew, I had to protect myself

From you -a person I was supposed to trust, blindly,

But the realization stayed dormant,

For how long, has stayed in a heavily shrouded mystery,

But I’ve emerged, out, from my walking coma

And into a frenzy, to build walls, that you broke into rubble,

Resurrected instinctively, several times, only to be dismantled,

Leaving me, to defend myself, against a ravenous ambush

In the floating debris, of my shattered bunker,

How can I shield myself, against a friendly enemy,

So devious and cunning, for you knew my thoughts

Even before, they were desperately forged,

You must have engorged yourself in my habits

And now, I find myself battling my own tendencies,

There was no measure, for how much time had vanished,

Just the shock, of the icy cold water, swallowing me hastily,

Where was I, between the swirling consciousness

And the moment, your silken voice, echoed within my canal,

A blank space, that stretches further than any exploration,

Instead of fighting, against the toppling devour,

I tried to drown myself, with you hooked, into my deterioration,

But you helped me swim, as the waves crash against the frailty,

Dragging me against, and towards, an unforeseen end.

A Recipe for Survival

Art by Dave Lebow

A delicious meal, being made, by a ferociously starved giant,

A pinch of salt, to bring out the bitter sweetness

In the young tender meat, marinating in a cage of fear

As the broth stirs into a simmer, begging, for the ingredient

That’s making the giant salivate, at the trembling pot,

The giant, glances over to the far end of the counter,

Finding two shivering, overtly malnourished children,

The beastly giant licks her lips, collecting the excess saliva,

And all the children can do, is stare, as they drown in distress,

Trying to ignore the storm brewing, in the giant’s empty gut

That exudes a thunderous rumble, calling out, to those meat sacks

Who were scanning the oversized kitchen, for deliverance,

But to no avail, they were still caged, in a living nightmare,

Wondering, if they’d survive, the bleakest of moments,

They couldn’t even recall, how many moon cycles have passed

Since they were abducted, picked right off their backyard tree

Where they had spent days, staring up at the stationary cloud,

Legend of its gray presence, pervade the town’s sense of security,

Curiosity, distracted the two children, who lived in discomfort,

Struggling with the abundancy of their impoverishment,

They perched upon the top branch, trying to distance themselves

From the swarming straits, affecting their cold home,

At the same time, climbing closer to the gray fixation,

Is it possible, that the giants in the cloud, are without melancholy,

A shared daydream, that haunted the children’s cognizance,

Now, aware and locked, in the their own caged disquiet

They find the giant, approaching with their stringy fingers

Clawing it’s way, through the impermeable gray,

Straight, towards the earthquake rattle, of the cage,

The giant lifted the steel entrapment, to face it’s delicacy,

The children scurry, as far away, from the giants face,

Which is pressed up to the tiny bars, squeezing

Its nose in, and inhaling, their sweet delicious aroma,

“Not to worry, your torment ends, as soon as you hit the broth,

Boiling, calling out for you, and yes, even the broth is excited,

How lucky I was, to have sniffed out, your perfume.”

Indeed the giant was lucky to have tumbled and stumbled

Out of the cloud after, what seemed like a purgatorium search,

She scored for the last ingredient, which became a rarity,

For the land has grown scarce, of this highly sought after delicacy,

The most hunted, for it is the tastiest and most tender meat,

Wondering, with her sight hazy, and rapidly diminishing

She followed a scent, her nose kept calling her onward

As she failed to notice, the edge, of her depleting world,

Sending her crashing down, to the wanderlust children,

She caused a colossal commotion, sending onlookers

To their windows and doors, spying at the settling dust,

Awaiting for the cause, to be unveiled from beyond the curtain,

With the aid of an oncoming storm, its gusting winds

Pushed aside the veil, and there she was, the monstrous giant,

But to the children, she was salvation, the answer to their query,

As the townspeople gathered arms, the children softly approached

And recognized, the trembling, in the giants wide stare

That was following the chaos, that started to swarm

The unknown, an empty land, except for tasty treats,

It was hard to breathe, to inhale the air’s thickness,

Her hunger, was ferociously tearing herself up inside

But her attention, was now on the lack of breath

And how quickly, the town readied their defences,

The townspeople anticipated this moment, knew of its existence,

So when she fell, the atomic tremor, had awoken the riot,

And yet, the children’s curiosity, pulled them forward,

The town behind them, filling the night with a raging fire

They called out to her, as she still layed in her self made canyon,

“Giant! We are tired of this world and want to see where you reside.”

She gave a soft nod, and layed her hand for them to climb

Which had outraged the town ever further into fury,

She had the children in her hand and towered,

Saw the onslaught of the town quickly advancing,

Looked around, and saw a mountain, with its peak in the clouds,

That’s where she can get back to her own familiarity,

Her stride, had a much farther reach, that she pulled ahead

And lost the town within moments, as she neared her stairway,

She needed her hands, so she shoved the children into her pocket

The mountain was before her, and it was a simple ascension,

Eager and excited as she easily made her way back home,

Easier to breathe, as her hunger was now again, her focus,

Which brings us here, to her bouquet of aromas

That is taking over her entire home, a delicious allure,

She seasoned the broth with spices and homegrown vegetables

As the children wanted so much, to engulf the contents,

Only, they were to be the last addition to the waiting concoction,

They damned their own lust for something different

As the giant reached for the children, prying them off the bars,

And now all they had to hold onto, was each other,

Dangling above the steaming pot, they could swear they saw a face

In the overturning broth, with splattering lava

Jumping out from the quaking pot, almost burning their bare feet,

The boy looked at his sister, hugged her tighter

And just as they were let go, to plunge into the volcanic pot,

He shoved her, just outside its reach, as he plummeted,

She heard his terror filled cries, as she hid behind tall food scraps,

The giant, blind from hunger, didn’t even notice,

But before long, the giant had a full stomach and a wide smile,

And when a giant is that full, it desperately needs to sleep,

Leaving the kitchen a mess, and the girl to her lonesome

It’s a perfect opportunity, for the now angry girl, still in hiding,

Just like climbing up and down her tree, just outside her window,

She climbed, to the giants throat, and avenged her brother

With a chipped off piece of a knife, left out on the counter

That she had acquired, from the rage that filled her heart,

She ran the fragment across the blubbered gully

As the giant bled out, dying whith a belly full of deliciousness,

And the girl, never left, she stayed in the clouds.

Doomsday’s Arrival

Art by Mark Bryan

The winds, starts to rattle the grey shudders violently

As it smacks feverishly, against the rattling windows,

Lightning so fierce, it streaks across an angry sky,

Then grumbles louder than the thunder that preceded,

A man rushes down the stairs, knocking over a lamp

And pushing aside a chair on his way to the shelving unit,

Resting on one of the shelves, is a framed snapshot of the family,

He grabbs it, punches the glass, takes the photo,

Then finds the car keys, resting on the table in the shallow light,

Cast by the over casting doom, fear overtakes him

As he yells out to his family, to hurry their task,

For the impending future, stampedes toward them,

He yells again, as he heads towards the window

And finds the two rolling horsemen of the world’s demise

On the approach, and their only chance of survival,

Was beyond their home, to which he yelled one last time

Before the entire family rushes out, together, all at once,

They pack the car, with all they could shoulder,

Kicking the dirt up, they sped away from the rampage,

A little easier to breathe, until the home they loved,

Where they built their family, was so easily picked apart,

All they could do, was trek ahead, hoping to survive,

The road was silent, as they passed through abandonment,

Even inside the car, not even the white noise of silent air waves,

He started to relive fond moments, it was where he fell in love

Many times, over and over again, with his wife

And their two kids, engraved, into those homey walls,

That no longer echoes the past, those intimate moments

Is shipwrecked, by the tidal wave of this apocalyptic end,

He looks over at his wife, struggling to find his voice,

“Do you think, we will ever rediscover ourselves,

Here, in the mist of what was, hiding from annihilation,

Will we ever rest, the fear gripping us, and lay upon soft grounds,

Or does it even matter, as long as we can huddle together.”

She speaks, within them, while looking back at the children,

“There was a promise, we made after our protracted conversation,

But you haven’t held up your end, not yet, there’s still time.”

He looks back towards her, then back to the emptiness,

“I don’t know if I can, what happens afterwards,

The unknown road, that will lead us to the next phase of life,

I want to remember all of us, you, in your bathing suit

Running around after the kids, as I play the announcer,

And after catching them in your arms, we all pose.”

“The same bathing suit, I’m oddly wearing at this moment.”

Suddenly he notices it, the same outfits in the still,

A winter chill, grew inside, as he let those words vibrate,

Why is she wearing the same exact suit from the picture,

He pulls over suddenly, swerving, stopping yards away

From a new set, of this impending conclusion,

“You did it, you went through with what we discussed.”

“There’s nowhere we can run, that’s why we decided to die together,

In our own way, beyond what was trying to keep us apart,

I understand your fear, after seeing our deaths,

But you can still find us, after you jump into the void.”

He pulls the photo from his pocket, they’re living in that moment,

And that’s where he should be, once he shuts his eyes,

He sees the engulfing black swirl of doom approaching

As he stares into the eyes, of the one with tattered wings,

A wad of tears, choking his words, he whispers to her ghost,

Looks calmly down at the passenger seat, backseat

And behind his, smiles, a tear held in the arch of his curved lip,

Takes a deep breath, in the knowing, they are simply, not there.

Dorian Poe 2019

Nightmare VI

I’m spun around, and around, a phantom, toying with me,

Hiding, in the stretched out darkness

That im forced to trail, with my hand in front

Guiding, me further in, but with caution,

A sinking anchor inside the hall that seems to be collapsing

All over me, and through to lay on the ground

As I step, and crack the pieces, splintering in the echo,

Lost in the canyon of a hollow structure, I plant myself,

A doomed convection of light, seen, but ignored

As its brought me to this point, this horror

That seems to be my constant downfall,

Alone in the corridor, still feeling out blindness

With a broken cane, and an unwillingness, to surrender,

A wanderer who has to proceed along the daunting route

Only to find, that there is no wall,

Not on the side, in front or behind,

Wide rim, yet I follow the forward path

As if it calls to me, a siren aware of my torment,

Stolen threads, pulled on to unravel secrets,

A blank spot now, as they vanish,

Now I remember, what I’ve been blindly chasing,

Is it too late?