issue 14: knighted
MAN O' WAR
- c.s. (bio)
Crown lifted to the air
resting on a bed,
a bed of shifting mercury,
this is only a plume.
Delicate, and Ornate.
Bellow you'll find those bundles,
bundles of pasque flowers,
wet hair, tentacles, chains,
Love notes, and my father’s razor.
Creatures who rested here
tangled, and starved.
riddled with venom
that rifted skin.
Stronger ones made homes
among the vines,
but recently neon shines
to find old tenants...
So, it goes,
I'll remain tidal.
Murder's Last Chance
- j.h. (bio)
And Lo! The crow's call I did heed.
I flailed about as it feasted upon the carrion of my foul deed!
Upon the sky a shadow loomed.
The harbingers of death seeking the doomed.
A panic raked my mind and my sanity fell away.
From my hand slipped the blade I could not stay.
For envy's wrath and vengeance sake,
I had sought the life I vowed to take.
The deed completed, the task fulfilled,
It was not only he that I had killed.
Ever closer the darkness comes.
The reaper tallies his final sums.
And on his slate I see my name,
Alongside the one with which I came.
So to the heavens I heartily cried.
In hopes of mercy I might find.
No answer came unto my ears.
And through my shame I felt the tears.
I scrambled away on tattered knees,
From the doom that I had sealed for me.
A voice penetrated my mangled mind.
Commanding and clear, yet also kind.
For pity's sake one chance I give.
That ever after in peace you'll live.
Raise nevermore weapon or voice,
Against another, by chance or choice.
Remain true to this for all your life.
Or you will meet the Reaper's scythe.
A Homophonous Poem
- j.h. (bio)
A homophone is a word,
That sounds the same when it's heard.
So listen to this silly tale,
Of the dragon and her tail.
There was once a noble bard,
Who from the castle had been barred.
He entertained with jolly chants,
Until the day he saw his chance.
While singing at the local fare,
He heard the tale of maiden fair.
Daughter of a local baron,
Her rescue's hopes all but barren.
Now it was time to move his feet,
And undertake this daring feat.
He pushed away his blackened plaice,
And vowed to take his rightful place.
And just one friend he chose to rouse,
To help with all the certain rows.
At dawn they left among the mist,
Before their presence would be missed.
At the dragon's lair they heard a mewl,
It was coming from their stalwart mule.
And though their nerves were made of metal,
They couldn't help but lose their mettle.
They quivered at the dragon paws,
That quested out and gave them pause.
Then from within came mournful pleas,
The dragon's way of saying please.
They entered and took in the scene,
And would not forget what they had seen.
The victim of a dreadful tide,
In moss the dragon's tale was tied.
With water rising to their waist,
They knew they had no time to waste.
Against the moss they hacked and wrested,
Though they were very far from rested.
Though still the dragon's tail was trussed,
their efforts gained the creature's trust.
It saw the progress they had made,
And handed back the stolen maid.
- terrence bull (bio)
Gast-a-lion from Montpellier,
A talented baker extraordinaire,
Maker of buns one can’t compare,
Like Sauvignon and Burnt Eclair,
Angel cakes as light as air,
Tarts so rich we all despair,
The added pounds on our derrière.
The Old Stump
- terrence bull (bio)
An old gnarled stump sits alone in darkness remembering its youth, drowning in self-
Hope left him alone eons ago and was quickly replaced with a gnawing hatred. “It’s
all their fault!”, churns around in his mind over and over again. “I did all I could.”, is the
lie that feeds his deception. The hole where Love should live has slowly filled with anger
Addictions of lust swim endlessly around his mind - tormenting and demanding
constant attention. Each time he gives in, he is relieved and yet filled to the brim with
self-hatred. Your knowing torments him. He needs you and yet wants you gone so your
recriminations will no longer taint his lust with the knowledge of sin.
The seedlings moved on an eternity ago. Yet their cries are still fresh in his ears. He
closes his eyes and craves the darkness of the deep forest, but reminders crash in on
his solitude when they are least expected. Just as his conscience is falling asleep, it is
jarred awake by the sorrowful moans of the inflicted. Hurts are pounded home by
demands of justice.
Each attack just strengthens his unforgiving bark. The scars have coalesced to form
an impenetrable armour. The slings and arrows of righteousness simply skip away
unhindered in their dance. The itch of wounded souls has all but ceased.
Yet his anger flares when a barb breaks into his dead lies. Penetrating and drawing
tears of sap from the last reserves that have all but turned to dust. The fury is a cloak
worn to scare those who would waken his remorse and explode deeply buried charges
of guilt. The ancient stump then raises his powerful branches and fails about in rage. A
dark wind rushes over the rotting earth beneath his feet and kicks up all manner of dead
remnants of life and growth. He stamps his feet seeking to crush out the life that has
dared to intrude on his death watch.
But soon your voice is there to smooth the way again with lies and comforting
deceptions. To stroke away the awakening. To bring back the comfort of darkness and
a deep solitude. “It’s you against the world, my love.”, you croon softly. Your words are
a velvety fragrant oil that covers over the vile muck: soothing the old stump back to
sleep and to dreams of a quiet guiltless death. For what more can we hope for?
Hatred is a comfort, a balm that cries, “No one understands!” It keeps away the
touches of light that would expose you. It pours out the oil of sleep. Yet there is no rest,
just all-consuming harried hatred.
Sit alone my old stump and fade to death surrounded by the rot of hollow lies and
insincere promises. What more could you hope for?
rags to riches
end of issue 14. go back to issues page.