Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Flying Dutchman Redivivus


What whisper summons me?
Is it the wind
in drying leaves?

Come to me…

Whispers of doom,
or hoot of owls
or howls of wolves?

I am coming, yes…
The whispers grow,
and whirl, and growl…
In their cold embrace,
I glide
on the dark shore,
in noctambulous walk.
The sea - a beast of tar -
sends rumbling surf,
torn veils
of phantom brides,
onto the sand.

Come to me…

From far, from near,
a song of death
and love
I am here…
I see the ghostly ship,
its masts, and spars, and sails
bleak statues of decay,
no living soul on it
yet full of empty souls.
My home,
to make of thee?
A stir in me…
Run, I could
still run away!
Too late,
the boat slides

My bride… Come…

ply the oars.
And at its bow
I see your eyes of fire
bear down on me
with sweet
Like in a dream,
I step into the waves.


I’m coming…
My robes are heavy
chains held by Okeanos.
Unearthly arms of fog
extend to help me.
How proud you are,
tall at the prow,
your gaze of embers
lights your
handsome face -
a beacon
in my night.

Come quicker… Hurry…

But what is this?
I falter,
my eyes still
in your hypnotic grasp.
Shouts, vile barks,
thunder of guns
awaken me, while
torches light the sand.
The sea’s aflame.
The spectral boat
is fading,
multitudes close in.
A step
and then another,
The sea embraces me.


I almost touch your hand.
Strong voices call my name,
voices alive,
not... dead…
My struggle’s vain
I’m dragged away
pulled from your ghostly grip
by warm, live arms of men.
I know, my darling,
all is lost,
until next time…
And, as I close my eyes
against the burning night,
carried afar,
your waning whisper echoes
on my face,

Next time…

This is my entry for Haunting October Blogfest. This poem has appeared on this blog exactly six years ago, as part of my first Halloween in the blogosphere... The painting of the ship belongs to Marco Hassman at Last Travel Art. Comments are, as always, most welcome. Happy Scares!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Treat Yourself for Halloween – Step into Charles Gramlich’s Harmland

... that is, if you dare...

From the menacing title, through the eerie cover, into the eclectic world of nine tales that take you from a grave in the swamplands to the undergrounds of the Miskatonic University, this is a truly scary trip that stayed with me long after I finished it.

After all, I had the finest guide... through and through, he kept me on the edge of my seat, with his mix of unrelenting action, dark humor, and very creepy hauntings, while still allowing a few moments when I could simply admire his beautiful writing.

As always, “About the Stories” gives fascinating insight into the creation of the stories, just as interesting to read as the stories themselves.

And, Charles, really? Are almost all the details except the “toad” itself and what it turns out to be absolutely true? :-) Then, yes, we should be very afraid...

Monday, October 21, 2013

I Wish

I wish they were true
these things
I’ve been telling you
to soften your worries

that there are only the trees
whipping the roof
with their fleshless arms

only the wind’s fingers
strumming old shutters
to forlorn melodies

only aged floorboards
-nothing else, what else-
moaning slowly
under the bitter
October air

(not the house
not this house
coming to life)

(you are such a nice boy
-a luminous soul-
so trusting)

I wish you hadn’t lost
your way
in these woods
I wish you hadn’t seen
in my eyes
the shelter you were seeking
instead of
the nightmares

(and the wine
the sweet wine of abandon-
I wish you hadn’t been that thirsty)

if only I could tell you
to run away
as I am going out
-I left the door unlocked this time-
and you’re falling asleep
and the house gets ready
to feast

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Lucifer’s Orphan by Roland Yeomans

Ah… October… Finally, the month to indulge in all things creepy. Deliciously creepy… The dark arrives early and seems more reluctant to depart, dead leaves rustle… or is it more than leaves? And what is the white vapour floating above the grass, at the edge of the woods? Morning fog or a breath of something from beyond?...

Yes! I love it!!! Can you tell? :-)

Well, this is a good time to head over to Writing in the Crosshairs, Roland Yeomans’s blog, who is holding his first blog fest this month, in celebration of Halloween and of his serial novel “Lucifer’s Orphan.”

I don’t even remember what I was searching for on the web when I discovered Roland’s blog. Once there, I saw the cover of “The Legend of Victor Standish” and I fell in love with the amazing art of Leonora Roy. The cover alone tells a fantastic story. As do the covers of all of Roland’s novels. (I really wish they were available in paperback too…) Then, I read the outrageous blurb of the book, read the first few pages of it, and was totally hooked… But, Victor Standish is for another post…

Now, I have just finished reading “Lucifer’s Orphan.” Let me tell you a little about it…

This is the story of an orphan who has known no solace in his short, sad life except for the Book that has once belonged to the mother he has never known and the hope in The Father watching over him. When he is adopted by a rich stranger and shipped to New Zealand, it appears that things get a turn for the worse, if that’s even possible, or are they?...

The narrator is Blake himself, the 13 year-old orphan. He is an old young soul with a distinct voice, a mixture of perpetual self-irony, compassion, and the encyclopaedic erudition of someone who’s had mostly books as friends (although his adverbs are mysteriously absent…) I found him instantly likable, felt for him for his tragic past, and rooted for him as he gradually discovered friendship, meaning, truth, and more challenges than one could imagine…

In a way, the monsters in the story are too farfetched to be truly scary on the immediate level, but they are indeed very frightening on a deeper level, the one we glimpse when we are forced to search inside our souls. For this is, I find, much more than a simple adventure/fantasy.

The prose is effervescent and with a care for detail that brings surprises literally on every page. The author’s choice of names, for instance, is particularly intriguing, from Assyrian to Lovecraftian references and beyond. In short, a delight to read. Also, and very importantly, not just once I found myself laughing aloud while reading. But perhaps humour is one of the best ways to diffuse darkness. And there is a lot of darkness in Blake’s life…

I highly recommend this volume and I’m very much looking forward to reading the next one.

Yes, so why not visit Writing in the Crosshairs and have a look for yourselves? Be a part of the Halloween blog fest