Two Macabre Poems

These will probably be the last two poems of the year unless I write some more. They’re a bit macabre and likely would fall into the category of dark fantasy.

A-Hunting She Will Go…

She sleeps the day away in peaceful slumber,
her breath a nonexistent wisp, her skin
so cold you’d swear that she was dead. But when
nightfall comes, her eyelids flutter, come
to life. She rises slowly, like a damsel
kissed. Her yawn could stretch for miles; thin
arms crinkle like old parchment dried by wind
enchanted by the gods and long-entombed.
The night is hers—this night is hers—and she
embraces it with relish. She becomes
the night, becomes the nightmare, the scream….
She floats atop the stone floor like a dream
that never ends. But soon the dawn will come….
Her time is short, and she must hurry, hurry….

© 2014, all rights reserved.


The full moon lingers,
as unseeing as Polyphemus’
half-shuttered eye.

A howl—belated, mournful,
through the fetid hills.

A crisp dawn drenched
in sweat simmering up from
the bog-infested lowlands.

The chill air whispers
knowing secrets across
bare, hairless skin.

I shiver, goose flesh
subsiding with the rising
of the naked sun.

© 2014, all rights reserved.

Some Poetry

I’ve been neglecting my poetry. I haven’t written any in quite some time, and I haven’t posting very many poems over the past couple of months. I did get one accepted for the 2015 edition of The Martian Wave (“A Star-Struck Night”) along with a short story (“I’m a Little Teapot”), so I haven’t been completely idle with poetry, and one of my upcoming tasks is to compile a collection of poems for the ones I’ve written in 2014. I’ll be including the ones I’ve published in my blog as well several dozen others. If I write enough poems next year, I may make it a yearly occurrence. In the meantime, here are a couple of macabre poems that I wrote this year:


A long night awkwardly bent
over an easel set too low, brush
dripping incandescent streaks of
memory, figments of fantasy,
a reality consumed by dreams.

She is there.

A wisp of sweeping girlish
laughter; delightful, dimpled
smile; hopeful sea-green eyes.
A single cloud—gray, heavy
with rain—intrudes upon the
coastline, casts a shadow
over the weather-worn stones.

A tear falls, mingles
with the paint—a soft
tear, gentle tear, a tear
of remembrance and
longing, longing….

He knows the name
of the painting before
he’s finished, knew it
before he began.

He dips his brush in blue,
mixes in the white, the gloss,
and bleeds the name into
the hem of her diaphanous

© 2014, all rights reserved.

The Clue

A single speck of dried
blood ground into the foot-
print of a shoe with worn
soles and angry tread.

It holds within it the DNA
of the killer who otherwise
left no trace, no hint of his
mysterious identity.

Officer Grady kneels on
one knee, next to the victim,
and checks for a pulse, for
the soft intake of breath,
for life.

When he stands, mud clings
to his knee, concealing the tiny
drop of blood that would have
caught the killer, that would
have caught him….

© 2014, all rights reserved.

A Few Haiku

Although I don’t do haiku quite right, here are a few pretending to be them:


distance between us
is no longer than the last
forgotten insult.

© 2014, all rights reserved.

2:00 A.M.

You sit there, calmly
wearing a smile like it’s
an accusation.

© 2014, all rights reserved.


Ten thousand pardons
are not enough for what you’ve
done with him, to me….

© 2014, all rights reserved.

Three Poems

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted a poem, so here are three of them:

To Catch a Butterfly

Wisdom is as fragile as
a newborn butterfly
squeezing out from its
chrysalis with its wings
crumpled, their wondrous
beauty yet to unfold.

A wise man cherishes
the caterpillar and holds
it close to the heart; he
nurtures it, feeds it, and
stands guard over the
chrysalis while it sleeps.

A fool carries a butterfly
net and rushes around,
trying to catch the rarest,
most beautiful specimens
to pin to his wall as
fragmented aphorisms.

While on his impatient
quest for the butterfly,
the fool steps on the
caterpillar and crushes
the chrysalis between
his clumsy fingertips….

© 2014, all rights reserved.

She Read Dickinson … I Think

A soft-spoken, heavenly,
heavily-accented reading
of love—lost—found—mixed
with sadness—consumed by
joy—amid the loneliness
of a poem whose words
I could not understand.

© 2014, all rights reserved.

Scrap Heap

Bad poetry never dies.
It breeds in fecund
cesspools, and its offspring?
Little balls of crap that
congregate together to
form a mountain of
crumpled papers….

© 2014, all rights reserved.

Sonnets to Shiver By

I’m a bit overdue for posting a poem, but I’ve been too busy with midterms and my novel to worry about it. “Sonnets to Shiver By” is another poem I submitted to the Lyrical Iowa Contest, but since I won the humorous division, it couldn’t be published by them. (They only accept one poem from each poet.) However, there was a note on it that suggested one of the judges for the contest liked it, so here it is:

Sonnets to Shiver By

Sonnets to Shiver By? Chilling and sweet,
written in rhythms of iambic feet;
Searching out poems that reach out and snatch,
clamoring sideways on feet that don’t match.
Sonnets to Shiver By? what do they mean?
Wonderment failing, I live for a dream;
Reading in riddles that claim not to care,
the poems of merit rhyme everywhere;

Breathing through nostrils that flare in delight,
hunching down deeper to read through the night,
cramming in mouthfuls of imbalanced rhyme,
porous, like sponges, my mind fills with grime
and sifts through the morsels more precious than gold:
Sonnets to Shiver By? Treasures to hold!

© 2014, all rights reserved.

Lyrical Iowa Competition

I was recently informed that I received FIRST PLACE for the Humorous Verse category of the 2014 Lyrical  Iowa Competition. I was quite surprised by it, since the poems I had available at the time I entered the contest were the ones that were left over after I finished compiling my collections, and I had included the winning poem (“Louie’s Petard”) as an afterthought. I really didn’t even have much confidence that one of them would even be accepted for publication, let alone winning…. It should appear on their website soon (once I return the letter giving them permission to do it) and will be in the 2014 edition of Lyrical Iowa.

As for The Golden Key (Book 3 of the Angus the Mage series), the second section is taking longer than I expected, mainly because it is longer than I thought it would be. I’m close, though; I only need to write the first draft of one or two scenes before I can do the technical revision that it needs. Overall, the initial draft of the novel is coming along much better than I had expected it to be at this time. It’s already about 62,000 words long, and by the time I’m finished with it, it will likely be longer than either of the first two novels in the series. It is shaping up nicely, and I’m looking forward to working on it over the weekend. My new goal for completing the first draft is Thanksgiving, but it will be a challenge to achieve it, especially since premiere week for the Fall television programs has been almost as intrusive as teaching has been….