Omens

October 21, 2017

The dead bird, colour of a bruise,
and smaller than an eye
swollen shut,
is king among omens.
Who can blame the ants for feasting?
Let him cast the first crumb.
#
We once tended the oracles.
Now we rely on a photograph
a fingerprint
a hand we never saw
coming.
#
A man draws a chalk outline
first in his mind
around nothing
then around the body
of another man.
He does this without thinking.
#
What can I do about the white room I left
behind? What can I do about the great stones
I walk among now? What can I do
but sing.
Even a small cut can sing all day.
#
There are entire nights
I would take back.
Nostalgia is a thin moon,
disappearing
into a sky like cold,
unfeeling iron.
#
I dreamed
you were a drowned man, crown
of phosphorescent, seaweed in your hair,
water in your shoes. I woke up desperate
for air.
#
In another dream, I was a field
and you combed through me
searching for something
you only thought you had lost.
#
What have we left at the altar of sorrow?
What blessed thing will we leave tomorrow?

Cecilia Llompart

Vampire

October 19, 2017

Your lips bleed
like the scarlet syrup of a
dark passion fondue;
two curly lines of red
peeking from behind
your hallowed veil,
and you,
you lay them upon
my neck,
my very body you hail
as your own.
This then, is like
a red petal falling on
alabaster
or a rose stained in blood
as I pull you closer to me
and together,
we drown in a pool of
crimson wine
you anoint
my lips with.
The taste of you
is like the tip of a sword
dipped in sparkling liquorice;
and our bondage becomes
the hypnotism
my tongue
slickly wrap around,
or perhaps,
the voyeur of this
eyeless world.
We’re just like
diamonds sleeping on their
velvet cushions,
or illuminating puppets
showing the way.
Love, may you claim me,
till death do us part.

Annabell Swift

spirit lights

It was difficult to settle down in England. My mother missed the warmth of the Irish people, the rough country scenes, and the soft Irish rain. She became ill, and one day just before my seventh birthday, Sarah (the young woman’s governess) took us all into the room to say goodbye. Although it was a winter evening, the room was strangely light. A soft radiance flooded my mother’s face and enveloped the tiny face , which was all we could see, of the baby lying in the crook of her arm. We (the six children) waited in silence beside Sarah. My mother beckoned, and Sarah went forward and lifted the baby from her arms. She murmured, ‘Goodbye,’ then held out her hands to my father, who clasped them in his own until my mother’s smile faded and she was at rest. At that moment, fifty or more fairy people, holding a shimmering blue cover, came instantly forward and drew the wonderful gauze over the bed and the still figure. The light faded and the room felt cold. Then from the corner came the clear notes of my mother’s harp.

Marjorie T. Johnson
Seeing Fairies: From the lost archives of the Fairy Investigation Society, authentic reports of Fairies in modern times

tell me of night

October 10, 2017

In the evening, when everything is tired and quiet, I sit with Walt Whitman by the rose beds and listen to what that lonely and beautiful spirit has to tell me of night, sleep, death, and the stars. This dusky, silent hour is his; and this is the time when I can best hear the beatings of that most tender and generous heart.

Elizabeth von Arnim
The Solitary Summer

Ferdinand Knab

I should not have ventured out that night; for the taint of thunder was in the clouds, and hellish phosphorescence rose from the rank swamp at the bottom of the hollow. The call of the dead, too, was different. Instead of the hillside tomb, it was the charred cellar on the crest of the slope whose presiding daemon beckoned to me with unseen fingers. As I emerged from an intervening grove upon the plain before the ruin, I beheld in the misty moonlight a thing I had always vaguely expected. The mansion, gone for a century, once more reared its stately height to the raptured vision; every window ablaze with the splendor of many candles. Up the long drive rolled the coaches of the Boston gentry, whilst on foot came a numerous assemblage of powdered exquisites from the neighbouring mansions. With this throng I mingled, though I knew I belonged with the hosts rather than the guests. Inside the hall were music, laughter, and wine on every hand. Several faces I recognised; though I should have known them better had they been shriveled or eaten away by death and decomposition. Amidst a wild and reckless throng I was the wildest and most abandoned. Gay blasphemy poured in torrents from my lips, and in my shocking sallies I heeded no law of God, Man, or Nature. Suddenly a peal of thunder, resonant even above the din of the swinish revelry, clave the very roof and laid a hush of fear upon the boisterous company. Red tongues of flame and searing gusts of heat engulfed the house; and the roysterers, struck with terror at the descent of a calamity which seemed to transcend the bounds of unguided Nature, fled shrieking into the night. I alone remained, riveted to my seat by a groveling fear which I had never felt before. And then a second horror took possession of my soul. Burnt alive to ashes, my body dispersed by the four winds, I might never lie in the tomb of Hydes! Was not my coffin prepared for me? Had I not a right to rest till eternity amongst the descendants of Sir Geoffrey Hyde? Aye! I would claim my heritage of death, even though my soul go seeking through the ages for another corporeal tenement to represent it on that vacant slab in the alcove of the vault. Jervas Hyde should never share the sad fate of Palinurus!

H P Lovecraft
The Tomb

A child is so strong. A child is the strongest creature on earth. A child is integrated, is its own. A child needs no loved one to share the experiencing of beauty, yet has always the underlying certainty that sharing would be easily achieved if need arose: that there is, in fact, no involuntary aloneness.

For some people, growing-up is largely a matter of the death of this certainty. A sudden death, perhaps, or perhaps a very lingering affair.

Frances Bellerby
The Little Lamps

suitable last words

August 20, 2017

The Laurias came to Hammersing heath in the very bleakest of springs, and Mrs. Lauria, her urban spirit altogether failing at the sight of the place, went upstairs a few days after the removal with the suitable last words, “I am going to rest,” and lay down and died.

Phyllis Paul
We are Spoiled

The Old Man of Winter

August 18, 2017

At the withering of the year
There stands a tree in black silhouette
On a background of snowy white

Bent-backed, twisted and knotted
Like a man of great age
Wizened by the passing of time

Joints swollen
Limbs ending in gnarled fingers
Grasping icy teardrops come the dawn

Breath wheezing through
The leafless bough
Rasping and laboured

Can you hear him?

Whispering words of
Death and the darkness

Can you hear him?

Sammi Cox

Killing the Love

July 25, 2017

I am the love killer,
I am murdering the music we thought so special,
that blazed between us, over and over.
I am murdering me, where I kneeled at your kiss.
I am pushing knives through the hands
that created two into one.
Our hands do not bleed at this,
they lie still in their dishonor.
I am taking the boats of our beds
and swamping them, letting them cough on the sea
and choke on it and go down into nothing.
I am stuffing your mouth with your
promises and watching
you vomit them out upon my face.
The Camp we directed?
I have gassed the campers.

Now I am alone with the dead,
flying off bridges,
hurling myself like a beer can into the wastebasket.
I am flying like a single red rose,
leaving a jet stream
of solitude
and yet I feel nothing,
though I fly and hurl,
my insides are empty
and my face is as blank as a wall.

Shall I call the funeral director?
He could put our two bodies into one pink casket,
those bodies from before,
and someone might send flowers,
and someone might come to mourn
and it would be in the obits,
and people would know that something died,
is no more, speaks no more, won’t even
drive a car again and all of that.

When a life is over,
the one you were living for,
where do you go?

I’ll work nights.
I’ll dance in the city.
I’ll wear red for a burning.
I’ll look at the Charles very carefully,
wearing its long legs of neon.
And the cars will go by.
The cars will go by.
And there’ll be no scream
from the lady in the red dress
dancing on her own Ellis Island,
who turns in circles,
dancing alone
as the cars go by.

Anne Sexton

Taking the risk

July 22, 2017