The Nightmare by Henry Fuseli
We often lay awake, amongst our thoughts
Drifting betwixt worlds of death and silence.
How can we be sure there is even a shred of reality around,
If all that envelops us is blackness and cool air?
Fiends imperceptibly clawing at our foreheads, our minds,
Doubts about our past and fears about the imminent,
How much like dying this is,
The nightmarish insomnia and psychosis that oppresses.
So we rub our eyes and stretch our limbs,
In a futile effort to relax as we tentatively hang over the Oblivion precipice,
Waiting for the long tumble into the other realm,
Where all has reign and none maintain their identity for long.
A jolt of agony at the sight,
Immobilized on my back,
I cannot even blink my crimson eyes.
Blood drips and pools from the wound,
Through blurred tears of pain, I can see her.
Her ice-like torso melts into smoke and shadow,
The man winces and calls out,
A fetid hole in the ground opens and swallows me.
Is she dead to me?
The smell is unbearable here, just as before,
She’s here again as well, standing silently,
I have to stop the event.
The obsidian shadow assails her again and again,
The sick green light reflects off my wet face.
My soul crushed against the walls of my rib cage,
incarnadine pools mix on the stone,
Please not again, not another sinkhole.
My feet slip under the ground into thick black tar,
I fall to my knee in a field of jade and white.
The terror wakes her again, and misery is born anew.
Punishment for my sins, a soul-rending hell.
Ebony claws, molars, spines and fangs all devour.
Linked to her scene of bereavement, I gaze on,
If this is not a dream: I’m surely damned.
Forced to suffer her extinguishment eternally.
Image credit: franks-toybox.blogspot.com
The Gem Cave
Cave by Zoriy
Wonder and fear, bewilderment and pain,
Dread and joy: all these I braved.
To reach the center of some lonely barrow amid mossy forest.
Set out to collect some wood for the cottage,
Some other’s will gripped me with the impaling force of the universe,
I was bound to follow through the endless seas of fields and trees.
For hours I barreled forward dumbfounded by my wanderlust,
I was thus swept by some interstellar wind to his cave mouth hewn into the old mound.
Entrance eroded into a gaping maw of jagged ugliness,
Lit lantern in tow,
I conceded to the cool damp wind within.
Footfalls cushioned by thick moss and compost,
Squeaking and clicking imps fluttered overhead,
Dripping of water echoed incessantly making the mind doze.
Cold and sore, my legs worked onward with no encouragement.
Incline downward traveled to depths of the world.
I had been leaving red stains on the hand holds,
Wading across a great expanse of condensing fog and liquid,
Pallid, eyeless serpents danced.
Heaps of leather left behind marked my corroded boots,
Cloth from trouser and tunic hung among stone spears,
Lantern dimmed and died with a low hiss.
Stumbling onward in numbness and ear-splitting silence,
A faint glow bathed me.
Swimming in pools of warm murkiness I found them,
They had called me here some time ago,
Millions of glittering lights playing in my eyeballs.
Casting shadows of thought on the cavern and within me,
I was powerless with awesome greed; slave to their pull.
Cold pools lapping at my face and then,
I blinked away the darkness and pain in the back of my brain,
I dabbed at the blood matted in my hair and sat up.
Staring into the glint of the behemoth cobalt quartz above me;
My shattered timepiece read eleven hours since I had fallen.
I winced, stood and began my ascent to the Light.
written December 8th, 2008