Got Milk?

Pushed to the edge of despair

this rocky place offers no hope

fear lapping ankles around

against empty waters we grope


silent, though nothing is still

fear pounds loudly our hearts

no where have we left to hide

cold surrounds each, every part


though I stand here in a crowd

ice-cube tray we all huddle

so alone am I in this moment

shivering my blood froths til

it bubbles


the predator, dark he has come

my bones weaken and shudder

they know but their glance faints away

no consolation have we left to utter


past this place my eyes strain to gaze

beyond, bare feet rub raw

our ancestors’ bones all the same

torn clean, foul consuming claw


child’s distant cry distills thoughts

though sanguine I have become

what courage there once was

I offer myself that you might run


slowly the creature now circles

selection part of its way

it has broken much in its jaws

I offer to be its next prey


Large “It” opens like a cave

stalactite are its teeth that rake

dripping with frosty blood

putrid tunnel offers no escape


will memory mine be but a creature belch

bravery had run out its course

screaming meets my ears

 my own that have now been scorched


I am but an appetizer

“flee” last words from my lips

“before you become the main meal”

metered crunching I hear as it rips


how quiet are the skulls

resting as stones a score

laying once living and free

no more on this cavernous floor

~ Leslie Moon

© Copyright 2014 Leslie Moon. All Rights Reserved

Medusa Burns

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”
Aristotle Onassis

Cars stream past the service station. From his seat at the window, Richard has a clear view of the car park and the road beyond. It is not much of a view but it is still preferable to the sight that greets him on his plate: a limp, Full English fry-up swimming in ketchup and grease. He is not an enthusiastic diner, unless he counts his evening cigarette as some sort of nourishment, but he can’t remember when he last ate, so he forces the food down. There is coffee, at least. Black, without sugar. Mopping up some of the ketchup with a slice of toast he returns his attention to the road.

Dusk burns in the distance, illuminating every smear on the restaurant window. Staring through the dust into the horizon, he entertains the thought of stepping into its fire and being consumed; a blazing end to an unremarkable life.

He has not always felt this way. For years the portraits in his studio kept him sane; friends, family, company in the night when it grew dark and he had no one to talk to, or dream of, except those whom he had brought to life with watercolour. Fondly he remembers Friedrich and his expecting wife, little Felix who dreamed of one day flying with the birds, old Joseph, who gazed back at him so openly from his canvas. When he smiled, he fancied the portraits smiled back at him. If he joked, they laughed, their faces swimming like disturbed water. Looking into their eyes, he felt they knew him, or at least understood who he was.

His heart pounds as he relives the moment that he realised they were flawed. He had loved his portraits desperately, but that love had blinded him to their dishonesty. He had only to walk down the street, to sit on a bench and watch the people passing by, to see that his paintings were nothing like those people. It was a love affair with art, with life; the greatest there could be. Then the affair was over and he was alone; the kind of aloneness that came with being surrounded by faces he no longer knew or loved. With his new perspective he had painted other things. Pictures that better reflected the world as he saw it. Wives became wolves, their female snouts shining wet in the moonlight. Schoolboys grew beaks, black marble eyes and feathered wings. Joseph transformed; smudged mouth screaming silently while cavernous holes where eyes should have been watched him from under their brow. Skeletal things crawled through thin alleys drowned in darkness. Sometimes stars filled the sky; tiny lights like bullet holes bleeding in the night.

He stays sitting by the restaurant window until the sun dies. When it hovers on the horizon, he slides from his seat. Service-station chatter fills his ears, then the automatic doors sweep apart to let him pass and he is outside, with nothing but the roar of traffic and the cool breeze against his face. He swallows the lump that is settling in his throat. Bitter grinds linger in his mouth.

It is not a real horizon. Just a road filled with cars capturing the last of the day’s light in their windscreens and on their metallic hulls. He can’t remember the last time he saw a horizon that was not a tower block, a building roof, a stretch of road just like this one. Like the amphitheatres of old, the ancient myths, the worldly heritage he had studied as a young man, those horizons are lost now. Like the paintings in his studio, they mean nothing.

At the roadside he feels the rush of speeding cars against his face. He might be standing at a precipice; an abyss made of shining metal, glass and stinking rubber beyond which lies nothing except the empty sky. He has but to step forward and it will all end.

He thinks about several things, in that moment. He remembers what it means to love the world, and to hate it. He remembers sitting on a bench, the day everything changed, and watching as a homeless man and his dog begged for food. More than anything else, he remembers his last painting.

In the painting, beige skies stretched above dark soil scattered with sketchy ruins; the remains of a nameless city reduced to matchsticks. There were shapes in the ruins, which might have been toppled columns, or the black charcoal bones of a world burned. A number of thin figures picked their way through the gutters. Dozens more lay like rag-dolls in the ruins and underneath them. Their faces were grinning bovine skulls.

A single figure stood in the foreground. It was pale, the watery shadow of a classical statue, except for the dark mass of serpents on its head. Slender limbs stretched into the sky, entangled in the blur of black snakes so that the figure seemed to be falling. Its mouth was a silent circle sunk into its face above which two eyes stared without seeing into the sky.

When the painting was finished, he slept. On waking, he drank; vodka over some ice. Then he set fire to the studio. The flames took to the artwork quickly. He remained watching for as long as possible, petrified, while the firelight gave life, movement, light to the darkness he had captured in watercolour. In those last seconds, the painted city had really burned. Medusa herself moved in death, swaying but never falling as the canvas around her crinkled, became black. He can still hear her roar with the voice of fire. Then he had left and driven here.

He has waited all day at the service station for dusk, and a glimpse of the abyss beyond. He would have waited a lifetime, if he had to. He walks over to the easel, set up in the car park when he arrived this morning.

The world is dark and full of fear. A thousand times a thousand people live and breathe pain each day. This is their legacy; this is what it means to be alive now, the ugly truth revealed in a dozen watercolours. But as his studio burned, he had watched that pain burn away, and as it burned, it sang. It shone. It danced with life, even as the canvasses on which it was shown shrivelled and died. Ugliness had been made into ash, but before it was ash he saw beauty, and from those ashes he will see beauty again, the world resurrected in the exact moment it dies each day; dusk blazing in windscreens and on car bonnets.

He begins to paint.

~ Thomas Brown

© Copyright 2014 Thomas Brown. All Rights Reserved.

Reaping the Harvest

There was beauty here they’d say
the remains are black charred crows
because of that horrific day
nothing green dares to grow


corn stood tall and harvest ready
livestock munched on fresh-cut hay
our crops productive and steady
“each year better” the old folks’d say


 the earth moved alarming, concussed
no explanation for the disturbing din
rational farmers we never fussed
mouths and eyes wide agape, open


the air split with blood curdled screams
each second clicked death’s hand
no where to go, no place to flee
darkness moved over fertile land


pitch forks were all that we had
as blood flowed beneath our feet
we intended to make one last stand
“what Hell’s bane need we defeat?”


The threat rolled steadily forth
we bustled women, children and granny
futily we barred the door
hid love in nooks and crannies


Then something sucked out the air
we left with nothing to breathe
look at our foe we didn’t dare
our souls in mortified unbelief


coming, coming was all we knew
inexpressible feelings it caused
on knees “let this terror be through”
“Keep steady lad” I heard pa


Courage I gathered at the last
I stared down its fire filled eyes
bravely my legs would not let it pass
from its foul mouth flew about flies


It stripped me of my straw hat
mumbled words spoke in my head
“I’ll stop now I’m feeling quite fat
you’ll find hundreds are missing, more dead”


“Someone to clean up my mess
you boy are the one for the job
Go, you have passed today’s test”
bloody stench rose, his head bobbed


“I should be too,” I thought as I scoured
my world flipped inside, upside down
all that breathed had been devoured
friends colored prints in the ground


the green place that I’d known
had been watered red and died
nothing was left to atone
the sun on that day must have cried


There was beauty there they’d say
all I see are black charred rows
it was our harvest’s price dearly paid
nothing green dares to grow

~ Leslie Moon

© Copyright 2013 Leslie Moon. All Rights Reserved.

Devil Dolls

Shadows on the wall so eerie, made the little girl grow teary,

Watching shapes of hideous evils casting their disturbing gloom.

As she shuddered , nearly crying, all at once she heard a prying,

Much like someone trying, trying to get in the room.

“T’was some evil thing,” she figured, prying to get in her room.

“More than this, it’s bringing doom.”


Oh, so clearly she remembered, all was safe when first she slumbered,

Yet ‘twas every scary trembler brought it’s fear into the room.

Thus it went she longed for freedom, away from all the bad to come,

In her spread, patchwork of welcome, welcome for the coming doom.

But the scared and ominous youngster felt the wrath from evil’s womb.

Much noise now within the room.


Thus the sunken fears around her, tearing at the edge of horror

Scared her, brought her awful angst that ‘round her head did loom.

So she took to calm the pounding in her chest; she tried retreating

From the gruesome evil sounds, gaining entry to the room.

Yes, the gruesome evil sounds, gaining entry to the room.

This it was, and so much doom.


Who is there, or what, she wondered, wanting now to enter room.

But the fact was, she was frightened, feelings of her fears so heightened,

That her heart was oh so tightened, tightened deep within her room.

So deep inside her frightened mind, she tried to run from the doom.

Deep angst there, inside the room.


List’ning to the scary prying, as she shuddered, thinking, crying,

Fretting, fearing fears no children ever had to face in room.

But the horrors were so eerie, and the darkness made her teary,

And the only thing she wanted was a happy place, ‘nought doom.

This she wanted, and her mind repeated of a place, ‘nought doom.

Merely this, inside her room.


She returned to blankets hiding, all the fears inside her chiding,

But this time the sound was grating, closer , closer to her room.

“I’m scared,” said she, “I’m scared about the things that lurk inside this place,

What could there be the fear to chase, and so much more ‘tis gloom?”

Why could her soul be yet so torn, and drawn to fears of doom?

‘Tis the angst, inside the room.


And no more fear could she handle, her heart aflame just like a candle.

Inside the room a scream so loud, brought her mother to the room,

And when the lights were turned on full, Demonic Dolls did on her pull.

With the force of dolls so awful, so many now inside the room,

Sat upon a floor so shiny, in the middle of the room.

Sat and sat, in room of doom.


Twins on toybox top were sitting, evil faces, twisted smiling,

Blond haired boy with knife so handy welcomed Mom into the room.

His bright white eyes were rimmed in black, and stared at her, all set to hack.

Her body not would he let back, for now this room would be her tomb.

And so the boy advanced to her, and blood tipped knife t’was spelling doom.

Said the child, “This is your tomb.”


She tried to run but was stopped short, for other dolls came to abort

Her effort now turned to failing, dolls swept o’er her like a broom.

Dolls with her were not agreeing with her plan of capture fleeing

And now from her was much weeping as she faced her final doom.

Many dolls did come to anchor her to floor of daughter’s room.

Anchor her in her new tomb.


And so the boy did end her life, no more for her to feel its strife.

With one move, he finished her, and no more would she feel the boom

Of all hardships she had suffered, and no more pain need be buffered,

For all the dolls ‘round her muttered, “No more will you feel the gloom,

Your life upon the floor will stay, incumbent not on the gloom.

Welcome now in to your tomb.”


And so more dolls from toybox came, involved for now in their new game.

Former playmate now did hover close to entry of her room.

Trapped by those now giddy dollies, intent upon newfound follies,

Licking lips ahead of jollies, thinking of the young girl’s doom.

Time it was, for her gloom.


Thus the dollies’ lips were smiling, inside their minds so beguiling,

Set upon the girl so fragile, blocking her from leaving room.

And before her eyes were blinking, the dolls had all started thinking,

Others on the floor were drinking, her mother’s blood inside the room.

All this now, unholy, ghastly, scant and horrible place of doom.

‘Twas the horror in the room.


As they came intent on stopping all the effort from her leaving,

Knowing now their thoughts had changed concerning changes in the room.

So now they planned on her having, a life in here everlasting,

As their playmate, keen on staying, lightened mood inside the room,

Yes their playmate, keen on staying, lightened mood inside the room.

Change from doom, though still a tomb.


They dragged her next to teddy bears, upon the floor they had no cares,

Though their innards had been torn by knife of evil boy in room.

Twin girl did jump from off her perch, on top of toybox did

She lurch. Horror—horror and regret from the girl t’was trapped in gloom.

Damn, oh damn this harsh regret, still within this horrid room.

Place of gloom, and still a tomb.


Twin girl in white upon the child, did force her face down mean and wild,

Into the blood of her dead mom, the evil girl with blood did groom.

And twin’s white dress, once so flaunted, dripped with blood, now undaunted.

In this place of horror haunted, much was kept within this room.

Nothing—nothing more of horror —kept here —kept here in this room.

Place of gloom, and still a tomb.


“A part of us you now will be, and never more will you be free.

Demonic Dolls surround you now, and all of us will share this room.

Become a part of what we are, and never will we wander far.

And so embrace what now you are, forget about impending doom.

For you will never go too far, forget about impending doom,”

Place of gloom, and still a tomb.


“Heed you now our words of greeting, friend or foe can be so fleeting.

So stay with us and be our friend, and we will have fun in this room.

And those against us who will come, will feel our wrath much more than some.

And all who rail that we are one, shall feel the strength within the room.

Together we shall conquer all, and ’round the rest our hate will bloom.”

Place of gloom, and still a tomb.


And so the girl, now is sitting, still is sitting, still is sitting,

On the shiny floor of horror, deep inside the room of gloom.

And her eyes have all the knowing of the dolls around her showing,

And the knowledge still is growing deep within this eerie room.

And her mind becomes as eerie as the others in the room.

No place of gloom, or a tomb.

~ Blaze McRob

© Copyright 2012 Blaze McRob. All Rights Reserved.

Unrelenting Desires

To lie awake among the foul stench of his putrid liquid offerings leaves me but half the creature I may have been before his hand touched upon mine. In my own hazed world, I see only through the blood he has spread upon me, marking me as his own – this beast that will not be tamed, this beast that does not rest; this beast that shall never release me from my eternal damnation of bondage.  He has taken what he will and that much more; caring nothing of the husk he leaves behind until the next moment in which he wishes to taste his satisfaction. His fangs, they tear at me; his claws, they rend me from creamy flesh to a shuddering mass of broken bone and torn exposed sinew.  How, you may wonder, does a creature like me, one so full of grace and charm find herself ensnared in the wolfs clutch? He asked of me and I gave… now I shall forever give under his watchful gaze as my body, the body granted that of a goddess, heals time and again only to serve as a meal for his rabid snout and its unrelenting desires.

~ Nina D’Arcangela

© Copyright 2012 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.