Ice Storm

A friend’s betrayal. The first crack in the heart. A child’s heart. Swallowing a sob, a gurgle hard against the throat. A nudiustertian heartbeat ago. The storm settles.


That friendship went the way of trains into the sunset, trains with Hercules propellers in a steampunk show, and a suddenly shrunken figure, lean with knowing, stiffening its back against the world.

The heart armored, now slow to trust, still easily betrayed, always anticipates the moment of departure, inexorable in its movement like the ticking of a clock, yet attuned to distant trumpets ushering in the dawn.

Frost-browned blooms
Knew caskets of ice
Await life.

After the Storm (for Cee’s FOTD)

Continue reading “Ice Storm”

Nightmare Ballad

Today’s prompt on dVerse Poetics, “You Want It Darker,” is courtesy of Lucy who asks us to “write a poem about the transient notion of life to death, or topics germane to the theme. With a twist.” The twist is to write a ballad that “will/can include dark, gothic themes and imagery . . . . It’s October and we’re looking for some dark poetry, publies.”

I’ve taken as inspiration a painting by Polish artist Zdzisław Beksiński who once said, “What matters is what appears in your soul, not what your eyes see and what you can name.”

Zdzisław Beksiński (1929-2005)

Nightmare Ballad

between October’s mists
my ring on your finger
your fingers in her hair
my heart consumes fire

wonders casual causality
between your white-rowed teeth
her crimson, wet-bladed lips
crimes hallowed like wine

when the moon fell from the sky
on a common day of sepia-tints
the ground bled red
nightmares rode split tree trunks

into a necropolis of fears
where decayed hope
breeds madness
the food of the gods

where desires feign love
where mirrors that were eyes
open silently
bend inward
and scream

till I wake

For more on Zdzisław Beksiński's paintings, click here.
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