In the warm October e’en, the young man sits

And dreams of her he set his heart upon.

By the fading light of the fire pits,

In the gentle wind, all low and wan–

He fancies she is here with him

As his companion and his lover.

And though the light grows ever dim,

And the blue and gloomy clouds roll over–

For a moment, it’s as if they are together

Cuddling close beside the pulsing embers;

Braving all the world’s forbidding weather.

But then–alas! The lad remembers–

Remembers ev’rything that went before.

And dwells upon what he regretteth most.

And then he is alone again once more;

And she is gone, like a fleeting Autumn ghost.

Upon the verdant fields, the summer sun shines bright and warm.

And from behind the hill, the sound of cheerful chatter rises.

Yet, ‘neath the tranquil mask, there hides a heart all black and filthy

Pumping out the wretched blood that this facade disguises.

Upon these lovely fields, the very souls are sacrificed

To those damned Gods who dwell in other horrid spheres.

Behind the people’s laughter is a growl, inhuman and unholy,

Of something in the shadows that grows hungry as it hears

The poor unthinking wretches who frolic in its thrall.

Beneath the chiming bells, the passer-by may see its soul:

The ossified remains of carnivores and monsters

A-dragged up from some old and stinking wormy hole.


The pretty city brims with personalities so witty,
Who, recalling naught of times gone past,
Celebrate the future, knowing it can never come,
And optimism is the only thing to last.

But off the shore there lies the glinting lizard eyes
Awaiting as the predator the fateful opportunity.
For howsoever far civilizations come
There remain those lacking in remorse or pity.

Guided by the cosmic laws, by no ideas or cause,
There loom the claws of obsolescence.
From somewhere across the bay seems to come
A fearful, frightful wail of demoniac essence.

But neither God nor Devil could long becalm the revel,
But perhaps they did not want or need to.
For all these things must end, howe’er that end must come;
It cometh no matter what the revelers do.

In spite of their political biases, newsmagazines
Often have some excellent photographs.
I once saw a picture of the seaside that
Might have been an impressionist painting.
The truth of course is much more ugly.

Even the sea lies.


“All forks in the road are as knives in the flesh”,
Said the Commander to his men.
The Enemy approaches, binding us with blood,
Yet I know my loyalty must be to my love.
But faced with the choice of my love or
my hunger, which to choose?
And so I am a courier, a runner,
And I’m back in the ancient tomb,
And the ruin’d palace, and the museum,
And the casino, and the farmlands,
And my choice is the same as it ever was;
Between power and love. Yet!—
Perhaps it is no choice at all. I may
Have both, or neither. Such is the
Nature of things that choices appear
As if they were not. And I still see
Her hair, and her eyes and her body
And her shoes.
The clock is digital, so there is no ticking,
Only the sound of the battery.
I shudder as I gaze into the simmering
Void that mocks my existence,
And I fear death, not because I wish to live,
But because I cannot lose my thoughts of her.
I steady myself. The minds of Gods and Goddesses
Dead or Never Living seem to reach me.
Left or Right or otherwise
Make the move.

The statue spoke with a voice that echoed for centuries
As we stood in that dread cosmic citadel.
Surrounded by the dying celestial bodies,
It pronounced its sentence upon me.

Was it all predetermined? said I,

And was answered only by silence.
I gazed again into the eerie twilight of infinity.
For minutes verging on eons, we drifted
Into the quiet certainty of decay.

I spoke again, knowing the question at last:

Could I have changed it?

A bell chimed in the blackness.
The Statue Spoke,
and all that remained of Creation spoke with it:

Would you?

I looked at the darkness without
That was as Sol itself compared
To the darkness within.
I had known what it all meant
When I made my decisions.
I may have hoped otherwise–
But I had known.

No, I said finally.

All at once, the Fortress began to collapse,
And my Stony companion and I
Were left to the pitiless void.
And before the Universe and I felt each other snuffed out
That awful voice said to me:

Then it was you who predetermined it.

In this forest, each night seemeth haunted and dark;
The cold Autumn landscape relentlessly stark;
While the beasts of the night snarl and bark–
As in legends of Devils and Ghosts.

I can hear the melancholy wind as it moans,
Swirling around the trees and the stones,
Making the branches to rattle like bones,
As night birds cry out from their posts.

In the dying orange light of the fire
The shadows a-dancing begin to inspire
Shimmering shapes all dreadful and dire
Surrounding me here in my room.

I glance at the door, to be sure of the lock,
Another wind gust makes the cabin walls rock.
And I fancy I hear an inhuman voice talk
And whisper of pain and of doom.

Symbols, shapes, and puzzle pieces–
Queer and ancient Formulae–
All appear upon the crumbled desert wall.
Obscured with sands from Eastern breezes,
Here are signs, but none can see
What things they signified before the fall.

The All-Seeing Eye, the Winged God;
A haunting vigil they are holding here,
Exuding pow’r where’er their shapes recur.
This is the ground that prophets trod–
And fled as well, perhaps in fear,
As many a fallen Idol will aver.

At the base, a bony memory
Holds forth the remnant of a hand,
Bleached white from innumerable days.
Whether he is cautioning, or he
Is beckoning–who can understand
The meaning of that vacant gaze?

 Like this poem? Then maybe you’d enjoy my book of similar short stories and poetry.