Broken Bells

Hear the toll of broken bells

Over hillsides

Down the dells

Angels sing in seven hells

Dead things crawl up out of wells

Demons crack their human shells

Ringing din at midnight swells

Night air’s rife with graveyard smells

Devils laugh discordant knells

At the sound of broken bells

 

Cara-Cell

 

As autumn dies,

the bitter night wind

seeps into the stone walls

of what has become my

new home.

Hope of leaving

abandoned me.

She peers into the defeat

replete within my gaze,

and smiles

with

pleased and mocking scorn.

Dressed in midnight,

she comes,

a cream-skinned shadow

in silvered fog,

and tells me her name

is

Cara,

as if I cared,

as if defeat had somehow

changed to affection.

A Murder follows her,

and obeys her every gesture.

Her lacquered black nails point,

and soft eyes are

plucked like jewels from bone settings,

the screams

drowned by the eldritch music

of their raucous cries.

Why do you stay? she whispers in my mind.

Do you not see there are no stones to bar your path?

No chains, no locks, no guards to block your way?

Blind,

I stumble past

the warring scents

of lavender and carrion,

to roam

the shrouded night.

Exhausted,

helpless,

and alone,

by dawn

I find myself

returning

once again,

to where she freed me.

And barefoot, shivering,

crying ice-laced tears,

I walk the frigid riverbed

back to my

Cara-cell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

These Vaunted Halls

The history

of the world

decays within

these vaunted halls.

 

Bones of men

whose legacies

have long passed into dust,

now scattered,

or drifted into drains

to swirl and sink

amid the sewage

 

These vaunted halls

of vainglorious scholars

and savage soldiers,

 

This labyrinthine lair

of painted women

and holy mothers,

running children

and feral dogs

 

This ornate gauntlet of

open secrets and

private trysts,

 

This once- proud venue,

where learned men

hammered out their thoughts and beliefs,

vociferous in their ferocity,

gesticulating like tribal dancers

 

This enviable marketplace,

with its bright colors, shady deals,

and the rush of winning a well-wrought

haggling session,

 

Is now the place I skulk,

and stalk, and catch the rats

that bite me in my sleep,

and take the bodies and coin

of unwary travelers.

 

My kingdom,

a silenced ruin of

damp and crumbling marble,

dim sunlight,

and solitude.

 

These vaunted halls

will return to their glory,

stone by stone, page by page,

man by man.

 

But for now,

I feast.

 

 

 

Haunting Melody

You haunt the lake now

Melody?

What are you searching for?

 

You cry aloud so mournfully!

It pierces to the core…

 

I see translucent tears aglow!

How can a spirit cry?

 

It’s me you look for,

Melody?

I didn’t want to die.

 

I ask forgiveness,

Melody,

for holding you below

 

The dark and murky

water where

you didn’t want to go.

 

Do not approach me,

Melody,

with eyes of fire and hate

 

You said you loved,

but I did not,

and now it is too late.

 

So I insisted,

Melody,

that we could both be free;

 

I didn’t know the

end of you

would be the

end of me.

You Are Most Welcome Here

Approach in reverence,

my friend.

You are most welcome here.

The fires will light your way

to me

and calm your doubt and fear.

Long years have we been waiting for

your soul

to bring its light.

And patience is its own reward.

Now welcome

to the night.

For when the doors are opened

friend,

there will be no return.

And hidden from

celestial sight

you’ll burn

and burn

and

burn.

 

No Glory Here

There is no glory here for me

The victory flame is quenched

No more the striving, driving fight,

in perspiration drenched

No more the laurel crown

that wreathes the winner’s fevered brow

The tender flesh of virgin maids

press not against me now

No more the cheering of the crowds

resounding in my head

No smiles or chants or accolades

No rivals full of dread

In this arena here I stand

though weary, sad and worn

But not til death’s hand pulps my heart

this sword from hand be torn

No, My Love

No, my love

you will

not

speak of things

done in darkness,

of

things that strip you

of your clothing,

then your innocence,

and maybe,

if you’re really, really good…

 

your life

 

No, my love

you will

not

speak of the pain

in your heart

and long showers that

never

purify

your tainted soul

 

 

No, my love

you will

not

speak of my cruelty,

my cursing,

my fists,

my feet.

 

No, my love

you will

smile,

and the mask of

our dead love

will harden

like a cocoon.

 

And then,

 

let only

fantasy butterflies

alight from your tongue.