by Mike Boyle

No new worlds left
The streetlights roar by and
the cars just stutter
while I try to remember
terminal velocity
120 feet per second?

I look at the postcards
my ex-wife sent me from
and Mexico
as the concierge nods

Someone is passing a pipe
around the backseat
I can smell it
The driver and I pass on it
200 miles to go
Driver’s knuckles are white
around the wheel
as he grinds his teeth

We’re not passing as many
body mounds today
as the past few days
and the gunfire has died down
200 miles to the ammo dump
and we’re
running short

There’s still
some hide-outs
in Mexico
she says
And I think
Maybe in the spring
If I make it

She still signs
her cards

You have left your hat but I do not trust it

You have left your hat, but I do not trust it.

Maybe the sky should be stormier, its color the color
of my hair. There is a door. There is a doorbell. You
don’t ring it. I could not lock the door against you
but I have let you hold a key. Perhaps there could be shaking
at the foundations. Perhaps some plaster could fall.
The windows are stuck but I have not locked them.
I pulled the shades down but they are broken and torn. I have
cut the phone wires to your house now. I saw you push
them back through the wall. I have turned to sleep
but I hear you pounding. There is lightning. It was thunder.
That is all.

The Cold Canticle

by Joseph Armstead

The Alpha and the Omega,
unto ash they are made,
craven shadows, shattered
obedient hounds of despair,
huntsman gone a’haunting,
broken souls,
and they weep
acid rain.

The music plays…

1) Nergal’s Nightwalk

Across the barren plain, it echoes

Infinity, the naked impermanence of the species
gathers a thousand prayers into one hollow voice
and drops it just below the pitch of
Heaven’s ears,
unheard, unrewarded, lonely,
one fragile cry
from the orphaned hopeful

Sitting on a Rock of Ages, the Pilgrim
plays a ghostly tune
on a flute of carved bone,
a serenade for nightmares
played for angels with
deaf ears,
one gossamer-thin cry
from the cosmic traveler

Abandonment sings an aria, it echoes…

2) The Winter of Ahriman

Dreams of forever fall from darkened skies,
Autumn fades from memory,
the Season of Ice
turns the air to thin glass

The Reaver strides before the King,
a weary downbeaten monarch of tombs,
and announces with great pride
and a sneer,
“Slaughter-Everlasting is upon us,
and the armies of night
need a hero, a mighty master,
to inspire them in bloodletting,
canst thou mayhaps
pretend to be furious and fierce?
The furnace of war needs its fuel…”

The hollow King smiles like a
happy idiot, seeking to please,
afraid of truth, fearing his duty,
needing The Reaver to override
his command
and says,
“I am the wolf of war and I set loose
the pack upon all the prey of this world”.

The Reaver sighs and bows deeply,
hiding his disgust,
dreaming of assassination.

Over the many battlefields
scattered ‘cross the globe,
all the warriors feel a chill as
the Season of Ice
turns the air to thin glass

The Reaver hums a childhood
lullaby as he gleefully taps at
the fragile membrane
with a spiked iron hammer,
making ever-larger
spider’s webs…

3) Tiamat’s Thirst

She is a singing dragon
haunting the deep of night,
swimming in an ocean
of charnelhouse castoffs,
red meaty wine, hot coppery
ocean, cemetary vintage,
her song echoing across
the midnight vastness
with poisonous unhuman beauty.

She sings of an endless
brought to those who fall
before the rapacious raging
of the Devil’s Undead offspring.
The dragon sings to ensnare
the ever-curious and unwise,
and to attract The Pilgrim
as he wanders along
the beach of Time,
seeing all and part of none,
playing from a bone-flute
for the dead generations.

This is the Alpha,
this is the Omega,
craven shadows, shattered
unto ash they are made.

The music fades…

— fini —

Listed at Duotrope
Listed with Poets & Writers
CLMP Member
List with Art Deadline
Follow us on MagCloud