“Moon” by Michael Creese (2015)
Here’s a humble wee poem I wrote about finding peace in the simple embrace of nature. Written on the 25th March 2017.
In the dying embers of a summer’s day,
I float a while out on the bay.
With solstice’s shimmer upon the waves,
It turns to diamonds before it fades.
And when light dips below that distant line,
Beyond the horizon, and into the brine,
I am at one, in this sea of sanctuary,
My dissolving woes becoming fragmentary.
Emerging from wounds in Heaven scarred,
I behold the beauty of stoic stars.
Lone swimmer adrift, my thoughts dissipate,
Freed of their burden, and of their weight.
Emancipated from love, liberated from hate,
Freed of the worry and constrictions of fate.
A simple zen washes me, it’s innocent and pure,
Cool waters of twilight, they feel so secure.
In the neutrality of contentment and peace,
Within the beauty of stars I find my release.
We weep no tears of honest elation,
Only smile and embrace and share adoration.
As I drift through solitude, it begins to rain,
To the harmonious downpour’s sweet refrain,
I reflect on nothing, only tranquillity exists,
And I float wherever these currents insist.
Now amongst those ghosts of that summer’s day,
I floated in the sanctuary of the darkened bay.
And when solstice’s glitter had sunk far below,
I turned to diamond, in that watery meadow.
“Grave Digger” by Viktor Vasnetsov (1871)
The following is a poem about body snatching, the dark and nefarious practice of stealing corpses from their graves. Written on the 28th January 2017.
Silence, shadows and secrets grim,
Sneaking, creeping in bleakness dim.
Disinterring from rest those blessed six feet deep,
The sleepers so peaceful in their oblong keeps.
Stealing fresh bones as granite angels weep,
From consecrated ground a spade does reap.
Liberating from yards and sleepy burial sites,
Harvesting corpses on overcast nights.
Exhuming from plots beneath cover so black,
Shovelling grime till yielding coffin lids crack.
Prowling dank pits in cloak and cowl,
Excavating the grit with lantern and trowel.
Heeding no howl from owl or growl of ghoul,
Liberating from splinters their decaying jewel.
No moonbeam protection, no justice this night,
No stopping the resurrection; his devilish delight.
With a crack of thunder, and downpour sustained,
A funereal dress removed to the haunting refrain,
Of a thousand bemused demons, icy droplets of rain.
Dissection, grim study, lectures, display,
Sold as a product, on a table to lay.
And the people will cry when the morn does rise,
And her family discovers there she no longer lies.
Her bosom of earth, upturned and vandalised,
She is but a possession now taken,
The resurrection man’s prize.
“The Nightmare” by Henry Fuseli (1781)
It’s the season of darkness, Halloween. That means the nights coming alive with haunting tales of horror and darkness, fables of fear and stories to send tingles racing up and down your spine. The following is a poem about the fear of the unknown, the black corners of our own homes and the powerful hold the unfamiliar can have over us. Originally written on the 16th May 2016.
They come in the night
When the clock does strike,
Its deathly dozen
Incantations of fright.
From infinite shadows
They slink and they crawl,
As I cower beneath covers
Resisting their thrall.
Of the night they are born
In the blackest of corners,
When darkness calls forth
Its faceless foreigners.
Though veiled from sight
I feel their blight,
Leering from nooks
Teasing the strike.
But they do not move
Only linger and stare,
It’s enough to make me beg
For the sun’s morning glare.
They watch and they wait
Guarding my prison of fate,
These nocturnal jailers
Tormenting their inmate.
How long must I hold?
And when will they leave?
I pray for a swift end
To the nightmare-conceived.
As the sand slowly trickles
And my nerves are racked,
Threatening blackness engulfs me
My consciousness is sacked.
And when I awaken at daybreak
Gone are the sinister,
The faceless phantoms are slain
And I’m no longer their prisoner.
“Allghoi Khorkhoiby” by Pieter Dirkx
This is a short poem I wrote about a giant helminth (parasitic worm) and its attack on a small community. Originally written on the 9th September 2016.
Late one day in the merry month of May,
The great helminth crawled out of the clay.
It screamed and it roared,
Striking a hellish chord,
‘Till the men gathered and assembled the horde.
With swords in their hands,
They stormed the sands,
Striking wildly as clay flew and scattered the lands.
And when all was said and done,
And the battle was won,
The beast sank beneath the waves, with the setting sun.
“Haunted Forest” by Slava Gerj
The bogle is something which has fascinated me my entire life. A ghost or elemental being from Scottish folklore, it has featured in many of the stories I read growing up. And so, this poem is my own take on the ominous entity. Originally written on the 17th June 2016.
Moss-clad byways, ancient haunts of man,
The bogle stalks ancestral lands.
That’s what it does, as it always has,
Hunting the lost, with outstretched hands.
Country roads, isolated and forlorn,
A dying forest, through moonlight torn.
Dwelling in fractures, wandering alone,
Gathering strength with the coming gloam.
Waiting is nothing, nor is there end,
To the haunting of that which never transcends.
It never lived nor died, it is something else,
As old as man and as real as self.
Up and down those forgotten lanes,
The hedgerows, forests and quiet plains.
Over hills and shores and restless borders,
Meandering without end the desolate corners.
Transcending legend, traversing yore,
The silent concierge of death’s grim door.
A silent stalking phantom, seldom seen,
Yet sometimes felt in light’s dying gleam.
Sullen hearts of ice, lonely and afraid,
Out of the gloom emerges the shade.
Glacial fingers delivering death’s touch,
Casting victims into the clutch.
And in the distance, an old kirk bell chimes,
And the bogle resumes its wandering,
The avenues of time.
“Vanitas Still Life” by Michael Conrad Hirt (1630)
A poem about mortality, art and legacy. Written on the 2nd July 2016.
“Spark in Time”
These numb fingers and this rusting brain.
This yellowing parchment and raptor’s mane.
Words of power, wisdom and change.
On tablet immortal by window pane.
Lines unending, scrawled in time.
Moments captured, verse and rhyme.
And when fingers and brain no longer tick.
When candle on sill is reduced to wick.
The words remain, poignant and strong.
Immortal on paper, when author’s gone.
“Death in Time” by Beatrix Rolan (2011)
The following is a poem I wrote about death (always a favourite subject of mine). Written on the 24th June 2016.
Who is this dead man standing at my gate?
Of they who roam in the gloam,
And nightmares make.
Why is this visage grim and soulless husk,
A lingering sentinel in gathering dusk?
And of mine, chosen threshold,
Does he silently busk.
Where lies thy grave, where dwelt thou prior?
Who saved your bones from funeral pyre?
On path to mine, thou cannot tread,
No invite here, icon of dread.
Away with yourself, cold loitering thing,
Into the night with the chill you bring.
Who was that dead man standing at my gate?
He who shuns the sun,
And nightmares make.
“Elm, Leather and Iron Bound Chest” by Period Oak Antiques (c. 1500)
Originally written on the 26th May 2016, this poem was an entry for a 50 word fiction competition.
“The Old Sea Chest”
Crumbling sea chest, time is thine enemy.
Where once clung a trusted latch,
Now peel rusted bones.
When the brittle roof falls
And the cabin sighs its last,
An old container spills its secret.
A life long extinguished,
Liberated but for a moment.
Before being imprisoned forever,
Beneath collapsing timber.
A short poem I wrote about old age, its inevitability and those affected by it. Written on the 27th May 2016.
Her veins are cerulean,
She’s growing cold.
Her hands are shaking,
They’re getting old.
Her smile is withering,
Her years unfold.
I say my goodbyes,
To this hand I hold.
“Moonlit Landscape with Ruined Castle” by Bartolomeo Pedon (1700-32)
Originally written on the 12th October 2014, this poem was an entry for a 50 word fiction competition.
The howling tempest defiles ancient walls.
Luminescence floods the chamber.
Night’s fearsome claws have ensnared me.
I am as corpse in gibbet.
Stygian whispers beckon from the cold beyond.
Thoughts traverse desolate plains, cryptic forests.
Lost in ethereal ruination…
Unshackled, I flee.
Escaping the ruin’s tyrant.