Reading Tomes by Candlelight

Researching tomes by candlelight,

the old library smells

of tea and flowers, parchments,

and Indian ink wells.

Along here with the candlelight,

a fire crackles low,

and in the shadows of the shelves

dark laughter echoes so.

The dark and dusty shelves are full

of dark and dusty lore,

and spells to summon love sublime

or terror at its core.

The hairs and hackles of my hide

now stiffen in the air.

Of malevolent presences

I’m suddenly aware.

“What is it that you want?” I called,

but only silence came

in answer to my query

and the quelling of the flame.

Now sitting in the utter darkness

terror binds me still,

and all the will within me

chooses ‘cower’ over ‘kill.’

I know not when these things will slay,

they play with me the while,

and snarl and snap the air nearby

with fanged and feral smile.

They close the distance daily,

incrementally it seems,

So reading tomes by candlelight

yields nightmares and mad dreams.

I’ll leave the book and note for them

to find here in the day.

I don’t know if my corpse will be

devoured or on display.

Explore the tomes at your own risk,

perhaps your luck will hold.

Just know capricious spirits

have no use for human gold.

And maybe friend, just maybe,

they will bind you to the fold.

Do You Not Hear the Bells?

Do you not hear the bells, my daughter,

tolling in the hills?

That is Death’s herald, daughter.

Feel how the night wind chills!

Do you not mark the sweet knells, daughter,

carried by the wind?

Death rides his gory horse to us,

your contract to rescind.

I stand above the place you lay. My tears will see me drowned,

for you have sold your soul to be once more above the ground.

And even now the vermin flee your coffin in surprise,

the earth beneath me churns and breaks and bubbles at your rise.

Now flesh and sinew cover bones once yellowed, moldy, black,

Your lovely hand breaks free and now there is no turning back.

And Death now swings his spectral scythe, and I must take your place,

but not before you kiss me once more on my ancient face.

The lack of rotting carrion no longer scents your sighs.

And Death himself has fallen for the beauty in your eyes.

The bells now tell of Death’s new bride. Be happy, and be well!

Now let my warming soul descend, your substitute in hell.

Bells in the Mist

In the moments

where there are

breaks

in the mist,

you can still see them swinging

in the belfry with childish abandon,

and in our better days

knelled their notes like such, with innocent glee.

But now, in the

ever-darkening mist,

like abandoned children,

they were brought to silence,

and in the shrouded darkness,

they will also grow still.

No music,

not even muffled by the cursed vapors,

to continue their dance of song.

And all our joyless tears

float from our eyes to mingle

in the shadowed mist,

giving the lie

to happiness.

THE FEATHERED WAND

The hatchlings’ tiny, shiny feathers

gild and grace the handle of the pipes,

and all the peace in the world

that was never attained,

broken by the strife and suffering

of humanity’s merciless

love of power

over other forms of dust,

is healed in the smoke,

blessed by

colorful fledgling feathers

that will never

feel the sun and wind and rain,

and

master the sky.

SPELLS IN THE SAND

All those ages past.

All these ancient gods.

All of these organs, bodies, and bones

tossed into all these fires.

All these prayers and offerings

of flesh, gold, and precious stones.

And the scent of all these flowers

and perfumes to hide

the stench of rot.

All these signs and sigils,

symbols, runes, and ruins.

All these spirits of light and dark,

summoned by all these tongues

speaking spells of power.

All silent now.

All dead forever.

All covered

in soil and sand

for

all time.

The untold

The tales grow brittle,

left untold,

The incantations, dry.

The knight, the dragon,

and the maid forgotten,

left to die.

The warrior and the quarry

cease their endless chasing game,

and all the wild in all the world

is culled, and dulled, and tame.

The story-laden stars go dark.

The magic creatures cry.

The lantern flowers give no light,

and fae no longer fly.

Beware the rift of magic

separated from the earth.

No hero comes to save the day.

There is no death or birth.

The stories lay forgotten now

on dusty, splintered shelves.

Thus we abandon to the void

the better of ourselves.

Tamed Voices

I’ve been made to understand

you’ve tamed the voices in your head,

and slaughtered to silence those

around your heart.

It’s no small thing you’ve accomplished.

You must yell ever louder,

and cut yourself until they bleed too.

Twist them slow and painfully,

like a rusty top forcefully pried

off the warped rim of a broken jar.

Grind them until their screams stop.

Take, then, the piece of you that survived the

furnace and the crucible,

and withstood the elements

of scientific arrogance

eroding the world,

and escape to

the quiet of your soul.

Watch the chaos of life leak,

streaking down the windows,

streaking down your face,

in the silent wailing

of the tamed voices,

and name yourself their

Master.

The Candles in the Hall

How are there candles burning

in these shadowed, drafty halls?

How is it that I gaze upon

the bones within the walls?

There are no parties held here now,

no balls or grand affairs,

so why do I see people laugh and drink

and talk in pairs?

The voices started softly, gently,

calling out my name.

And by the end I yelled and cried,

but no one ever came.

The halls are bright and festive now,

and full of fever dreams.

The voices and the laughter drown

the terror in my screams.

And still the candles burn here,

ever melting, never gone.

I guess I am the lighter then,

so I’ll be moving on…