Noisome Love

The darkness is an old friend and familiar lover.

Evil slips me on like a knife’s sheath,

and the demons of dead things walk in my wake.

They whisper love as evil,

and cut to drink from feeding veins

like children with straws bent and circled

back on themselves, watching

the dizzy, helpless liquid

unable to resist the pull

of its destiny.

The darkness smiles at me,

releasing a hint of lavender to

bring me through the

noisome rot of old, toppled stones

and trees that have seen too many

secret trysts of betrayal.

It is all one to me,

a final wanton plunge into

forbidden pleasures of torture eternal,

and I am forbidden to ever return.

The Fiendish Things

For I am old and lonely, child.

My time is growing short.

The fiendish things inside this place

now hunt us for their sport.

 

For I am tired and weary, child,

of things that chase and bite.

The fiendish things within these walls

pursue us through the night.

 

Well I am sick of running, child.

I think that I will stay

to fight the fiendish at our backs,

so make your getaway.

 

I only ask, remember me

as you live out your days,

and never use your magic gift

for learning fiendish ways.

 

I hear them growing closer, child.

My violent end is nigh.

To die in crimson polyglot’s

a soldier’s way to die.

 

Now run! Make haste! Go quickly, child.

But first, a kiss farewell.

And don’t look back to see the swarm

of fiendish things from hell.

 

Alone within the shadowed crypt,

I face the demon horde.

And make my peace with holy gods,

and draw my heathen sword.

 

 

Land of Lingering

I walk among preserves,

not people.

A world-weary wanderer

weary of his travels,

but restless in his soul.

 

These stone and ivy ruins,

these empty, rain-slicked city streets,

these brown, bare, and dying forests,

these deserts, almost empty of their sands

as if the old gods turned a

cosmic hourglass

all turn to ash beneath a

merciless sun.

 

I see them, these presences.

They hail me in greeting, waving as I pass,

weep in their newly refreshed grief,

and chase and curse me

in their superstitions.

 

Their children run up to me,

and sing to me,

tugging at my clothes and hair,

encircling me in their games

that light up their young, ancient faces,

their silent laughter fully formed in echoes of time.

 

They all linger just outside the senses

like lights flickering on the sea,

instantaneous glimpses

of what was,

and what will be again.

 

“Wait for us,” they say. “We will return.”

 

I long to sit, and eat, and rest,

but over it all,

the emptiness and solitude

goad me ever onward,

my own essence

lingering still among them.

 

I hope it brings them comfort.

 

The Bardic Gates

They bring the dead musicians here

inside the Bardic Gates.

There’s always music playing when

another grave awaits.

Another bard to fill it,

or perhaps a troubadour…

It doesn’t really matter.

If you’re resting here, you’re poor.

Beware of passing late at night.

The music pulls you in,

and once inside there’s no escape.

You can’t outrun your skin.

The music slowly changes you

to something that you’re not.

And spirits wander restlessly

as bodies slowly rot.

The spectral dancers waltz across

the brittle, frozen grass.

But here, there’s no nobility,

nor wretched underclass.

For music is a thread of life

that stitches trouble’s tolls,

so ever will eternal Death

fill earth with Bardic souls.

 

The Echoes of Ruins

Inside the old ruins

with vermin filled walls,

their boisterous voices still

ring through the halls.

 

How dazzling the jewelry,

the elegant gowns,

the best of the people from

best of the towns.

 

The thrill of the invite,

the calling by name

of every arrival

with fortune or fame.

 

The dark spirit no one saw

enter the space

was spreading his presence

all over the place.

 

The party grew louder,

and lewder, and crude.

The nobles were commoners,

servants were rude.

 

The atmosphere shifted

from festive to hate.

The dark spirit, watching,

decided to wait.

 

The sounds of the bacchanal

split the night air.

The dark spirit giggled

and fired a flare.

 

His cohorts arrived

and the violence began,

the fights and the sex

and the red sins of man.

 

The fires raged free

and the screaming was shrill,

the stones rained like hail

over castle and hill.

 

The dark, evil spirit’s

residing there still.

Don’t stop there. Don’t go there.

Your soul he will kill.

 

Where Did the Magic Creatures Go?

Where did the magic creatures go?

Perhaps they’re sealed inside the wall:

the fairies, elves, and goblin kings

are waiting for the children’s’ call.

 

Where did the magic creatures go?

Perhaps they’re drowning in the sea.

I hear them in the quiet night.

They’re coming from inside of me.

 

Where did the magic creatures go?

They walk above in skies of blue

The trip and fall into the mind.

And now they come from inside you.

 

Fate’s Laughter

We mourned him as the rain poured down

and mingled with our tears.

We watched him shrink in on himself

through dark and lonely years,

a bitter man whose bitter soul

was conquered by his fears.

He faces an eternal judge,

no jury of his peers.

No counselors or comfort now,

no riotous crowds with jeers.

He’d seen death coming for us,

but his cries fell on deaf ears.

He begged and begged us for their lives,

but still we killed the seers.

So now we wait here for the end,

surrounded by our biers.

And through the silent, empty hall

we hear the demon voices call.

We run, and run and fall, and fall.

Fate’s laughter washes over all.

We killed the heralds of our hell,

and did not hear the killing knell,

the minor notes of broken bell.

And me, the one who’s left to tell,

was once a man, but now a shell.

 

Blood Writes

The spells ignite.

The runes writhe and undulate to

make strong the binding spells that

keep me here among

the ivory skulls

and black candles.

The innocent blood

in the ink jar

smells like copper roses.

A scarlet droplet

poised on a silver nib

shines in the firelight,

an unholy star

chained to hell.

It desires to spread

and seep into the vellum,

recording for all time

the gibbering words and thoughts

of madmen,

and the noble speeches of

martyrs andĀ kings.

More often than not,

blood writes them

the very same.