Poetry

Marks of Cain

Seven twisted souls lay with me in the night
Caress my lonely thoughts, whisper sweet delights
Dosing off as their seductive poison slowly spreads
Try to run, but weighed down by the liquid lead
Hopelessly scratch at the demons in my veins
On my arms and feet, I wear the marks of Cain
Seeing darkness as the poppy begins to flower
Creeping over and enclosing my mind in a bower

 

Continuing the drug related theme of ‘A New Reality’ but with my more familiar bleak and dark tones. Thought it would be interesting to have the two contrasting poems about the same subject.

© 2018
Photo via Pixabay CC0

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Poetry

A New Reality

Mind untethered and eyes truly open
To the freezing sun and lush crimson grass oceans
Fuzzy air to the touch and tasting unfamiliar emotions
Lost and found in the new reality I’ve intricately woven

 

A short psychedelic piece of poetry that deviates from my usual bleakness (don’t worry my next poem is familiarly bleak). The main reason I wrote this though was to break up the general darkness of the poems I write and try something different.

© 2018
Photo via Pixabay CC0

Poetry

To dust, you will return

Standing in a world where man has returned to dust,
Is this our reckoning for sins of wrath, greed and lust?
No flood for the wicked, no ark for the meek,
The cruel have flourished, no room for the weak.
Some still try to find comfort in grace,
Not even screams are heard as the hungry devour their face.
No morsels left, only thy neighbour.
Carving the meat proves to be hard labour.
Wandering the barren earth with no one listening to the pleas.
Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and sea.

 

‘To dust, you will return’ is set in a post-apocalyptic earth with a starving human population that has turned to cannibalism to survive. I employ a fair amount of religious imagery throughout the poem. The poem took me surprisingly little time to write after struggling to write anything for a while. And ‘To dust, you will return’ continues the dark and violent themes that seem to recur in all my poems.

© 2018
Photo via Pixabay CC0

Prose

Castle Wendago

The unrelenting snow consumes the valley. Nothing but a pure white sheet in every direction. I trudge on, through the knee-high snow with my shoulders hunched high, almost level with the scalp of my head. I fear that the slightest exposure of skin will be the last thing that piece of me ever does before succumbing to the cruel cold. Still I carry on, hoping, praying to every god I know, even the ones that couldn’t help, that I find something that’ll help bring the warmth back to my bones.

A shrill whistle travels through the air, though I cannot tell where it is from. Taking my best guess as to its origin I pursue the harrowng howl for what feels like a lifetime. The horrid screech gets louder and louder taking over all my senses, making me feel as though my ears are bleeding, my eyes bulging and my brain burning. Demanding to be heard, demanding to be felt, the piercing wail causes me to stumble to the ground. I fall against something tall and thin. I grab hold of it and pull myself back to my feet and see a sign covered with snow directing me to go somewhere. Agonizingly, I raise my hand and wipe the snow away to reveal that ‘Castle Wendago’ is where the sign points. Surely this is a great stroke of luck, I remember the northerners speaking of the great hospitality of the Wendago people when I first arrived at this icy nation. Though war has plagued this land long before I arrived and it’s entirely possible that during my time in the Frozen Plains that the war may have finally made it to Castle Wendago’s gates. Surely a siege couldn’t last in this weather? I only hope the hospitable Wendago’s are still alive to greet me. The keening howl pounds my ears as I stagger through the blizzard, across the pale white plains, every possible feature and landmark of my surroundings buried within the snow. I realise I’ve entered a village having been completely unaware of that fact until I found myself leant up against a building. A ghost town, with every building I pass being more rubble than an actual building and none offering shelter from the snow. With the array of ruins seeming to be the cause of the jarring screech. War, it seems has made it to the Wendago’s after all. Soon I suppose, I shall see how they fared. Slowly, but with conviction I follow the smooth stone markers engraved with the Wendago sigil that lead away from the town. The deafening music of the ruins dying a plodding leaden death as I go. Along the path I begin to ponder the thought of how many bodies may lay hidden beneath the snow I walk over and how many met their end through the grisly bite of the callous cold rather than the merciful cut of steel? The thought of not being one of them, is what keeps me moving through the blizzard, until finally making it to what feels like a vey big door. BANG! Bang! bang! And then, my body no longer able to fight the cold, I fall to the pale white nothingness into the darkness and the silence.

A burning warmth flows through my veins and an orange light beams through my closed eyes as consciousness is slowly regained. I am seated in a ginormous and ornately carved wooden bed with nearly a dozen furs covering me. There is a fire roaring in a large fire place that could easily keep me and twenty other people warm. Outside the blizzard has subsided but there is a thick layer of white as far as the eye can see. It seems that the castle which I presently reside within is an ancient one, as there are three towers plain within my view all in varying states of decay, though their current state isn’t entirely down to their age. A great deal of new scars have been burrowed into the surface of the towers. The same can be said of the curtain wall shielding this place from the worst of the blizzard. This castle’s walls look to have stood through their fair share of war and I can only guess how it looks from the outside. I wonder how many of the castle’s scars are from the siege that just past and what effect the siege had on this castle and its inhabitants. I fret that the Wendago’s may not still be here and even if they are, war might have changed them, hardened their hospitable nature. But this fear soon evaporates away when I look around. They easily could have left me in the servant’s quarters, or in a cell or in the snow. Whoever found me, whether it be the Wendago’s or their conquerors’, they have shown me great hospitality.

A clang that resembles cutlery on plates can be heard ringing in the distance. I turn to the door and leave the grand room. The hallway is long and wide, and faintly lighted by candles in between every other door. Uneased by the dark looming hall I tentatively make my way down the hallway towards the magnificent staircase with an ornately carved dark wood bannister, much like that of the absurdly ginormous bed, and a crimson red carpet laid down upon the stairs, that seems to have become slightly worn and frayed from decades of use. Slowly and making sure of every step, I make on my way down the stairs. I can see light shining through the bottom of two doors a small distance away and make my way to it. Pressing myself against the door I can feel the warmth of the room and hear the murmur of a feast and good conversation. Taking a long and deep breath in and out, my hand moved towards the door and opened it.

 

A draft of the opening scene of ‘Castle Wendago’  a planned novel and another piece that is set in the medieval fantasy world I’m attempting to build. ‘Castle Wendago’ carries on the themes of the north, cold and snow that were seen in my poem ‘Southern Invaders’.

© 2018
Photo via Pixabay CC0

Play

Three Sinners

PALE MAN: Sickly pale man with a commanding presence.
DRUNK: A scrawny, dishevelled woman, early-twenties.
THIEF: A troubled and fidgety boy, mid-twenties.
PRIEST: An old, plump, callous and ornately dressed man.
                                                                      ACT I.
SCENE: Four church pews are aligned one behind the other, all facing an altar on the stage left. The alter has a cross on its front and an unlit candle on top of it. The THIEF sits on the front Pew with prayer beads in hand and head bowed. The DRUNK sits in the third pew by the faint candlelight wearing many layers of ragged clothes. The PRIEST sits behind the pews at his small desk counting a pile of silver coins. The stage is dark, the only light being from the faint candlelight by which the THIEF is seated.
The PALE MAN enters from stage right, he is barefoot and wearing old, dirtied white robes, with notable bloodstains running down his back. He walks slowly past the pews, leaving bloodied footprints behind him, up towards the altar. He stands at the altar, first facing those in the pews, he lights the candle on the altar, then faces the audience.
PALE MAN: In this House of God three sinners sit. Three sinners from three walks of life, and with God as solemn witness, I accuse them all alike. (Spot light shines on the THIEF) I accuse the man in the front with prayer beads in hand and gun in coat, praying for a clear path ahead. (Spot light on THIEF turns off. Spot light shines on the DRUNK) I accuse the drunk sitting by the warming candlelight, with no thoughts for whose house she’s in. (Spot light on the DRUNK turns off. Spot light shines on PRIEST). I accuse the priest who sits in the dark, hiding from the one he serves. Counting his greed coin by coin, and befriending my seven seeds. (Spot lights for the DRUNK and the THIEF turn on) In this House of God three sinners sit. Three sinners from three walks of life, and with God as solemn witness, I accuse them all alike. (All three spot lights turn off at once. The PALE MAN walks away from the altar and sits in one of the empty pews. Silence. Stage lights turn on brightening the entire stage)
(The DRUNK gets up from the pew and walks up to the PRIEST.)
DRUNK: I…I was wondering father…if I could possibly rest here for the night…it’s absolutely baltic out there.
PRIEST: (still looking down and counting his coins) Dear child, I would be more than happy to offer you the warmth of the church. If you are willing to pay your penance. (The PRIEST looks up from his coins) I would say…Mortification of the flesh, would be the required penance…privately, of course.
DRUNK: (hesitant, understanding his meaning completely) Father…I…you. (The DRUNK takes a long deep swig from the bottle she’d been hiding in her coat, the THIEF glances towards the Priest but upon seeing the Drunk looks away. The DRUNK stands with a look of resignation upon her face and gently nods her head.)
PRIEST: (The PRIEST gives a faint smile and then returns his gaze to his coins.) Very good child, very good. You may go back to the pews and wait.
(The DRUNK walks back to the pews and the THIEF eager to see the Priest, is at the desk almost immediately after the Drunk has walked away. The THIEF stands over the Priest in silence. Just staring.)
PRIEST: (looking up at the Thief and sighs) Is there anything you wish to confess?
THIEF: (Pause.) Yes.
PRIEST: And what is it then you wish to confess?
THIEF: I’m going to rob you Father, as you robbed me. (The PRIEST looks at the Thief for the first time with any degree of interest.) The indulgences you received, robbed me and my family of our security. The indulgences you continued to demand, but we were unable to pay, robbed my son of a place in heaven. For supposed sins of lust, which I’m beginning to understand you had more part in than merely hearing his confession. I’m going to rob you, and I’m quite possibly going to kill you. Those are my sins to confess, do you wish to confess yours?

 

A work in progress, a snippet from the beginning scene of what will hopefully one day be a finished play. Any thoughts on how I can improve this opening scene? Also apologies for taking so long to post, I was on holiday and the wi-fi was terrible and it took longer than expected for me to get this scene to a standard that I was happy to post.

© 2018
Photo via Pixabay CC0

Poetry

Southern Invaders

 

The Great Northern Lords, whose people we thought fit for plunder.
In our fine fur cloaks, sailed far north to split their mountains asunder.
We thought their loyalty would thaw with the snow,
But winter got colder and their loyalty did grow.

Valiantly they laid down their lives for the land of ice and stone,
While our men lay weeping, frozen to the bone.
Hastened across the violent red snow that stretched from sea to sea,
Across the makeshift graves that number more than the trees.
Clambering for our marred ships to take us to safety,
In our haste, men fell to the ice and discovered their frailty.

Upon our shores we thought ourselves safe,
Though in time they will make my daughter a waif.
They set their sails and followed us to the lands of Summer,
To make us realise our fatal blunder.
In their great bear cloaks they set out to ravage and reave,
With a vengeful fury that only the dead would believe.

Sat in my hold as they make the ground quiver,
Knocking on my gates with their vengeance to deliver.
As vermilion rivers split the ashen earth,
Northerners slaughter my men with gay mirth,
Few fallen foes, and my fumbling finest, feed the maggots and soil,
As I stare at the door, waiting for an end to this fruitless toil.
What a sorrowful choice we lords of summer did make,
From our bloodied makeshift graves, we shall never wake.

 

‘Southern Invaders’ is a medieval fantasy poem set in a fantasy world I’m attempting to build for a planned novel. The poem is supposed to be from the perspective of a southern Lord detailing the disastrous results of his invasion of the Northern territories.

© 2018

Photo via Pixabay CC0

Poetry

On Valentine’s

On Valentine’s, seven men stand along a brick wall.
Albert Kachellek, stands firm and tall.
Blood boiling beneath a stoic face,
The right hand determined to die with grace.

On Valentine’s, seven men stand along a brick wall.
John May, can do nothing but bawl.
Just the mechanic with a wife is his plea,
They reply with a laugh, that drips with horrid glee.

On Valentine’s, seven men stand along a brick wall.
Reinhardt Schwimmer, who the races had enthralled.
An optician with debt up to his eyes,
Accepts that he was destined for a bloody demise.

On Valentine’s, seven men stand along a brick wall.
Peter Gusenberg, whose sins could no longer be numbed by the alcohol.
Men, Women, Children. Had all felt his wrath,
Now a tired man shall pay for his odious path.

On Valentine’s, seven men stand along a brick wall.
Albert Weinshank, whose choice of coat and hat, prevented Moran’s downfall.
Capone’s hit thwarted by a similar taste in clothes,
So now Mrs Weinshank shall receive a rose.

On Valentine’s, seven men stand along a brick wall.
Adam Heyer, counts the bricks, waiting for whate’er befalls.
The bookkeeper who was happy to look the other way,
But on this day, he has been made the prey.

On Valentine’s, seven men stand along a brick wall.
Frank Gusenberg, outlasted them all.
Fourteen bullets and yet without a second thought,
When asked by police, he proclaimed he hadn’t been shot.

 

A poem about the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. I realise that its nowhere near Valentine’s Day but I couldn’t be bothered to wait until then to post this. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.

© 2018
Photo via Pixabay CC0