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For more of my poetry, download my latest FREE ebook, Thirteen Black Roses!
A cry in the darkness
A howl of despite
A wolf’s lone starkness
In the pale moon’s light
Piercing the black
With an ancient might
Like a thundercrack
In the lap of the night
TROLL STEW, my Kindle book of original dark fairy tales & poems.
Also available in multiple formats from Smashwords including Epub (iPad, iBooks, Sony Reader, Kobo, etc) and PDF.
So wherever you are, I hope you’re happy,
I really do.
I hope the stars are kissing your cheeks tonight.
I hope you finally found a way to quit smoking.
I hope your lungs are open and breathing your life.
I hope there’s a kite in your hand
that’s flying all the way up to Orion
and you still got a thousand yards of string to let out.
I hope you’re smiling
like god is pulling at the corners of your mouth.
‘Cause I might be naked and lonely,
shaking branches for bones,
but I’m still time zones away
from who I was the day before we met.
You were the first mile
where my heart broke a sweat.
And I wish you were here
I wish you’d never left.
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I built a fortress formed of words:
Four walls reached endless up and down.
Hell yawned at its base and heaven formed its crown…
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By Christopher Courtley
Old Father Time will tell this tale again
And yet again in his senility:
Brave knights and princes ever rise and fall.
But in my dreams the story changes when
I hold you in my arms triumphantly
Beyond the high enchanted briar-wall
That spells eternal winter on your lair
With claws that catch your champions and rend
Your would-be conquerors, and hold them fast,
Like bone-white twigs entangled in your hair.
Against such charms, what armour can defend?
I strip myself, and naked of the past
Advance upon your bower without fear
For I am one with every fool who keeps
His faith in dreams, whose passing no one mourns
Because he walks alone, year after year
Into the wild wood where Beauty sleeps,
To die a hundred times upon her thorns.
Copyright 2011 by Christopher Courtley. All Rights Reserved.
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Me reading aloud my poem “Troll Stew” from my Kindle book TROLL STEW: A STRANGE BREW OF DARK FAIRY TALES & POEMS FOR ADULTS
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By Christopher Courtley
The groaning of the oaken doors
Announce my swift-approaching death
On feet that pound these hallowed floors
I cling to with abated breath.
I’ll find no sanctuary here
From this unholy war they wage.
I try to calm my growing fear
As I endure their shouts of rage.
The angry mob is led by one
Whose daughter lately did succumb
To fever, and by one whose son
By means unknown was stricken dumb.
They will not hear my arguments—
The preacher looks on with a sneer
As I protest my innocence;
He says my guilt is all too clear.
The mob now having found their witch
Beseech of him a remedy;
He tells them they must smear with pitch
My body and put flame to me.
They seize me then, with irons bind
My wrists, and then my dress they tear
And chaining fast my hands behind
My back, proceed to strip me bare.
Men force me down between the pews
And each in turn does what he will.
They yank my hair, my breasts they bruise,
Till every one has had his fill.
Then gagged that I may cast no spell,
With prayers that their Lord may save
My soul from all the pains of hell,
They send me to my fiery grave.
But now on Hallows Eve a sign
Against the waning gibbous moon,
A scudding shadow shaped like mine
Foretells my bloody vengeance soon
To fall on those who did me wrong!
The preacher leads his flock into
The chapel, thinking himself strong
In Christ—as if I cannot do
What I have come to do within
That desecrated church where he
Stood o’er me with a leering grin
While twelve men had their way with me—
Yet now the groaning oaken doors
Swing open, letting in the night
As shadows sweep across the floors
Within the fading candlelight.
The flames burn blue and then go out—
The faithful huddle close in fear—
For now they see the ghost of doubt
Upon the preacher’s face appear!
But loudly he begins to pray
To God and all His angels, as
If they will intervene to stay
My righteous hand, which never has
In life or death committed sins
So black as his. But still unbound,
My shadow in the darkness spins
A cloak of fallen leaves around
Its pitch-soaked form—and now they run—
The guilty twelve beg God to save
Their lives as I hunt down each one
And send him swiftly to his grave.
The preacher’s wily prey, and fast
But I am wilier and faster—
Yet ne’er should I have left for last
This thirteenth morsel for the Master!
My vengeful spate must end at morn
And now I fear he will escape
My wrath, and I will be forsworn—
For with hell’s fiends that long to rape
His soul for all eternity
I bartered for my brief return
Its sure and swift delivery.
Which failing, my poor shade will burn
Forever in the lake of fire!
But then at last I see him—lo!
The object of my dark desire
In the dawn’s first feeble glow!
Still cowering on hallowed ground—
How foolishly he clings to faith!
But sensing now that he’s been found,
He turns to flee my fearsome wraith.
I overtake him quickly, shed
His blood as he repents his deeds
But without mercy are the dead
And now the earth on which he bleeds
Begins to quake and then to rock,
And then yawns wide to swallow him—
And by the crowing of the cock
I know that I must follow him.
But looking my last on the sky
I see that angels ride the wind!
They’ve come to bear my soul on high
Which ere this night had barely sinned!
Copyright 2012 by Christopher Courtley. All Rights Reserved.
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