Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Light and Christmas Dark
Poetry Today December 2015

Compiled and Formatted
by Anthony Servante


Welcome, readers and poetry aficionados, to the Servante of Darkness "Christmas Light, Christmas Dark" Poetry Today 2015 column. With us this December, we have Lori R. Lopez, Michael H. Hanson, Coralie Rowe, Brande Barrett, Jerry Langdon, Mark Allan Gunnells, Joseph Rubas, Howard Carlyle, Andrew D. Blacet, Lemmy Rushmore, and Jaye Tomas, presenting you with a selection of merry, melancholy, and morose verse. To highlight this bounty of Christmas fare, I've added some Winter graphics, some naughty and some nice. Remember, we begin with "dark" poetry, then "light", and so on.

We begin with Ms. Lopez.

Lori R. Lopez


Lori R. Lopez wears many hats. She is an artist who designs her book covers and illustrates some of her tomes. As an author she writes poems, short stories, novels, children's books and songs, as well as a humorous-slash-serious column called "Poetic Reflections" at Fairy Fly Entertainment. She is a musician, actress, filmmaker, tree-hugger and animal-lover. A vegan, her work often contains themes of conservation, animal rights, and the rights of children. Lori has received various honors for her writing. Books include THE DARK MISTER SNARK, THE FAIRY FLY, AN ILL WIND BLOWS, ODDS AND ENDS: A DARK COLLECTION, CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES, THE MACABRE MIND OF LORI R. LOPEZ, OUT-OF-MIND EXPERIENCES, DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS, POETIC REFLECTIONS I and II: KEEP THE HEART OF A CHILD and THE QUEEN OF HATS. Stories and verse have appeared on Hellnotes and Halloween Forevermore, Servante Of Darkness and Verto Publishing; in THE HORROR ZINE MAGAZINE, THE SIRENS CALL, and about 20 anthologies.

Website: http://www.fairyflyentertainment.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/lorirlopez

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/lorirlopez.author

The Poetry:


The Negative Side

by Lori R. Lopez

“I don’t believe in Santa Claus!” her brother sneered.
“He’s just a bag of wind!  For little kids,” the heckler jeered.
“I believe in Krampus, who takes or breaks your toys.
Instead of cookies, he likes to nibble girls and boys.
He’s going to come at Midnight, and if you’re not asleep,
you could be snatched and bagged by a black-bearded creep!”
Atremble, Gretchen listened to the stories he told often,
of ugly beasts transforming, who rose from earth and coffin;
skulked from caves, from swamps and lakes, out of a dire pit.
However they originated, she was their favorite target.

“He’s coming for you!” warned Ranken, his voice a trifle low.
“And you needn’t bother hiding.  There’s nowhere safe to go.
He’ll find you then he’ll bind you, crammed within his sack!
Every type of awful thing can be found in the nasty pack.
Worms and bugs, rats and slugs, gators and serpents too.
All of them will squirm and squeeze the stuffing out of you.
By the time he takes you to his lair, you’ll be plenty horrified
and might beg the fiend to eat you — baked or boiled, raw or fried.
In a tort, a sandwich, a batch of brownies, a cake or casserole.
Krampus isn’t picky and may swallow children whole!”

His sister made a face and stuck her tongue out at the notion,
wishing she could make Rank disappear with a quick potion.
There had to be an antidote for older siblings who were mean . . .
an over-the-counter cure; a remedy for a rotten spleen.
It wasn’t fair, the cute angel felt, and her heart began to wither.
He had crossed a line, spoiling Christmas! would Gretchen dither.
The lass permitted her darkest impulse to come out and play.
Like any pestered youngster, she wanted a bully to go away.
But became the greater peril, infected by a wicked spirit —
who whispered rancid nothings, and only she could hear it.

Christmas Eve, the kids alone upstairs in Gretchen’s room,
shadows and monsters menacing from corners of the gloom,
a frightened child huddled in a circle of illumination,
the glow of a flashlight held by Rank, and gulped in trepidation.
A thud urged both to jump, perhaps the wind; they heard a scrape,
which even made Rank cringe, alarmed, then turn his head to gape.
The girl was amazed, for her brother nearly never acted scared!
The boy seemed to wish he could take back the terrible folktale shared.
Afraid, her sibling bade in a hushed tone — not to let an ogre enter
if he tapped a window, rapped her door; just ignore the vile tormentor!

Gretch had a better idea and nodded her head though deep inside,
excitement filled her, a giddy thrill for the secret she must hide!
Her aspect remained calm to mask a grin and a delicious tingle
at her tummy’s base, like unwrapping a present from Kriss Kringle.
A lifetime of pinches and insults had taken a grim toll,
causing a beastly brat to hatch out of an innocent girl’s soul.
“Bedtime!” yelled a weary working mom.  “Scrub faces and teeth!”
The gal obediently washed and brushed, then hung a crimson wreath
on the door to her nightmare’s bedroom, replacing a metal sign.
“I think from now on,” she softly uttered, “this should be mine.”

The red octagonal roadside marker fit well upon her portal,
which caused the child to dance for joy and gaily chortle.
Things were going to change, and it would be her time to gloat
when Brother Dear slid down a repugnant demon’s throat!
Once a tale is told to frighten a child, it cannot be undone . . .
the story will unfold, its ending not completely spun.
A snickering taunter had invited Santa’s negative to call,
posting a blood ring at his sister’s threshold with unwitting gall.
Solemn-voiced, he invoked the yarn as if it almost wasn’t play.
Words may signal a devilish dickens, so be careful what you say!

Downstairs the lights went off.  Upstairs the children lay awake,
cold and stiff as graveyard denizens, biding the advent of a snake.
Fetid huffing breaths stole to the stairs and mindfully scaled;
intent on climbing to answer the summons, a ghastly evil exhaled.
The two-horned goatman paused before a room protected by STOP.
He sniffed and snorted with frustration, did a clever jig, a Pannish hop,
moving on to the subsequent room where a bold red circle clamored
to slink inside for the promised treat.  Krampus impolitely hammered,
his foot and hoof shuffling impatient; hooked fingers ready,
a kicking bulging bag over a shoulder, to seize the next Billy or Betty.

In her bed, a girl pulled the covers overhead as concussions sounded.
Their mother must surely appear, loud as the boogeyman pounded!
To her surprise, Mom failed to arise and investigate the din.
Gretchen kind of hoped her brother wouldn’t let the goblin in.
Rank was nice at times, on the rare occasions he wasn’t cruel.
She might not be mad enough to feed him to a ghoul . . .
He didn’t intend to beckon Krampus.  How could the bandit go?
Slipping down to kneel and bow her noggin, she let emotions flow:
“Dear monster in the hallway, I don’t want you to eat my brother.
He isn’t perfect but he’s all I have, and I doubt I’ll get another.”

A pointy tongue flicked her sign; a long tail switched the wall.
A heartfelt plea annoyed sharp ears, causing the fiend to bawl,
“Little girl, I’m going to eat you and your sibling in a bite!
I can smell you darlings quiver, delightful shiverings of fright!
Children are more scrumptious than pastry, pudding, or pie.
Let me in and I’ll give you a hug, before I make you cry.”
Footsteps pranced from door to door as the hairy brute sang.
“Krampus is here, it’s the time for fear.  Jangle Bells will clang!
I’m in your house, don’t be shy as a mouse and keep me waiting.
I’ve been so hungry these months, feverishly anticipating!”

A clawed finger carved a groove across wood, plaster, wood.
“Open up, tender ones, I am out of patience.  You’re not being good!
I am starving toe to tongue and your sniveling prayer has stung.
It burns my sensitive ears!  I’ll lick your tears as they’re wrung.
It’s foolish to delay.  I will not go away till I have you dears.
Don’t be meek, take a peek at the king of impish cavaliers!
Children are nestled snug in my pack for a delectable snack.
Join them, bashful naughties, ere I give your mumsy a heart attack!”
His song was discordant, the melody uneven, yet a harsh meaning
rang clear.  Gretchen pressed an ear to her door, panic keening.

She heard a click and a creak; her brother obeyed the demand.
“Leave our mother alone!” a voice would shakily command.
“And stay away from my sister!  It’s my fault, claim me instead,
but don’t you dare harm a hair on that little girl’s head!”
The boy was starting to cry.  It seemed unbelievable that Rank
stood up to a monster for her!  Gretchen suspected a prank.
Still she did the most difficult thing, determined to be brave,
and swung wide a Stop-Signed barrier, desiring him to save.
“I’m sorry,” wept she.  “It’s supposed to be me who gets picked.
I put the wreath on your door so Krampus would be tricked.”

Her brother confessed, “I brought him.  I’m the one he should take.”
A grinning Krampus snatched the pair.  “Oh, for badness sake!
Allow me to settle your dispute by shoving you both in my bag.”
The kids were engulfed and sealed; their captor began to drag
a writhing sack along the floor while he strode and giggled.
A voice emerged from its depths as the pouch slid and wiggled.
“Santa, I believe in you even if my brother thinks you aren’t real.
We need your help, and I know you’re busy but here’s the deal —
we’re about to be eaten by a hairy troll who looks like a goat.
Santa, please hurry!”  A muffled choir of wails escaped the tote.

“Be silent, you runts!” scolded Krampus.  “Pipe down, whiners!
You’ll give me indigestion.  Quit squalling like trapped miners.”
The diabolic grump pulled his noisy burden down the stairs . . .
and was met at the bottom by a plumper fellow’s blares:
“What’s this disrupting my munch?  Ah yes, I can see!
It’s my dark side, corrupting Yule for children and me!”
The white-bearded old coot brushed crumbs off a red suit
and peered up at the tall creature hauling a bag of young loot.
“If it isn’t the saintly Nick,” jeered his unjolly rival.
“Such a Goody Two Boots.  Come to threaten my survival?”

“You always were a taker.”  Santa scowled at the cretin.
“And you, a sugarcoated giver, disapproving what I’ve eaten.”
Krampus poked at Kriss’s girth.  “But I could do the same.”
He plucked a chocolate chip from Santa’s beard.  “For shame.
Shouldn’t you be on a diet?  Kid meat is lean.  Why don’t you try it?”
Nick’s cheeks turned rosier than his coat.  “You should be quiet.
There’s nothing worse than a skinny Santa, and I’m very content.
If I didn’t eat the cookies, how would it seem, a tradition bent?
You’re the one who’s unsightly — your feet don’t even match!
You look like you belong in a Halloween pumpkin patch.”

Saint Nicholas stretched to grip the goatman by a horn.
“And you have no shame, a miserable thief!” would he scorn.
“Your child-eating days are over!” bade the merry fat man.
“’Tis the season for joy and peace, not kid soup in a can.
Release them and apologize, or I’ll make you sorry!
I’m tired of you profaning Christmas to something gory.
Noël is a special feeling, like giving the world a hug,
and it mustn’t be spoiled by a scummy humbug of a thug!
I banish you and your despicable bane.  Return to the nether.
If you protest, I might stitch your foul lips together!”

Kriss Kringle aimed a gloved finger.  A thunderous peal —
Krampus dropped the neck of his sack with an injured squeal.
Blue magic encasing him like a lopsided bubble,
he was swept from the property, causing no further trouble.
The children crawled out, rather weepy and unsettled,
their fettle slightly tarnished; hearts free as fish unkettled.
Santa Claus would deliver the rest of them to their homes,
tucked in to slumber and dream of dancing gnomes.
“You are on my Good List.”  He patted Gretchen’s head.
“But your brother is Undecided.  Now go back to bed.”

He kissed the girl’s brow and gave them each a bright box
wrapped in shiny silver paper, the size of wood blocks.
“Open these and you will have a small gift, nothing more.
Keep them closed and there will always be wonder in store.
Mystery and surprises.  Fascinations of untold worth.
A thing to treasure.”  He shook with festive mirth . . .
evanescing to twinkles and sparkles that disappeared.
Gretchen knew he wouldn’t come again.  The regret speared
her melancholy soul.  “I’ll miss you, Santa.  I’ll behave.”
She didn’t need him anymore, and lifted a hand to wave.

Good Will

by Lori R. Lopez

They met on a battlefield.
Some called it a neighborhood, a street,
but they knew better.  It was a zone where
antagonists must face off, annual games be played out
and decided as they were divided, by tradition
and spite.  Ben Harkens and Tom Crier
had been foes since the First Grade,
wanting the same toy, crushes over the same girl —
a cross between mortal enemies and best friends,
each superimposed on the other’s thoughts
and actions for decades.  They lived next door
as long as they could remember, engaged in
single-minded dares and clashes.
Something in their chemistry, perhaps a lingering
past-life conflict, had turned them into
raging idiots and opponents.
Wives were now caught in the middle;
children too.  Siblings and parents had once
been trapped in an equally awkward position . . .
moving away, abandoning homes to the contests
and disputes of grown yet immature boys.
A feud that seemed to possess
no beginning and no end, it simply was.
There were no rules of combat, no guidelines
or barriers.  Only a figurative line
etched in the dirt . . . along with quite visible
property lines.  Fences, gates, hedges, locked doors;
motion detectors and security cameras, the best
defenses.  No other laws existed between them —
as far as the two men were concerned, anyway.
Holidays made them the most competitive.
Labor Day, The Fourth Of July, it was who could throw
the largest loudest outdoor event.  Not mere
backyard picnics or barbecues, but catered bashes
with live entertainment vied for supremacy.
Until none would accept their invitations to be used
for pawns, eardrums abused in an unfriendly zone
of hostile blatant oneupmanship.
Such affairs were consequently scaled down
to family-sized shindigs during which police would be
summoned, if not by surrounding community members,
then sicced like attack dogs by the bitter
rivals themselves.
Halloween, it was a matter of whose abode
could be rendered more dilapidated and grotesque:
coated with cobwebs, giant spiders and bats;
windows and exterior walls grimy, slimy;
porches cluttered by sarcophagus or iron maiden;
noose, guillotine, executioner’s axe;
casket, tombstone, skeleton or ghost;
assorted ghouls caped, hooded, zombified —
who greeted passersby with macabre laughs
and creepy suggestions such as
hanging out for a while, or visiting the crypt
for a dead tea party.
Yuletide, ah, that brought a new height to the madness!
Levels of hypertension, insanity and seriousness
rose to screaming boiling dimensions of
dementedness.  The Santas and snowmen grew bigger
each year.  Reindeer evolved from plastic to animatronic.
Garish light displays occupied nearly every inch
of every surface, becoming elaborate extravaganzas
that could be seen from Outer Space.  Not to mention
the candy-cane, icicle, and gingerbread trim.
There were angels, manger scenes, stars;
oversized elves and gaily wrapped gifts.
The trees, inside or out, were festooned with
so much glitter and gewgaws that their limbs
sagged at the weight.  But this year Ben and Tom
singularly vowed to have the tallest broadest
evergreen possible squeezed into their living-room!
A logging truck pulled up before the Harkens residence;
a rig hauling a trailer parked in front of The Criers.
Enormities were unloaded.  Teams of lumberjacks
and movers arrived in vans to carry massive
obelisks to entrances, where bulky bundled logs
were angled, shoved, jammed with expertise
(and much prayer or prestidigitation)
through strained doorways.
The nemeses nervously supervised
and peeped to glimpse adjacent progress,
anxious to beat the other at this lofty latest challenge.
Trunks and boughs were boosted in crowded quarters
with objects breaking, voices shouting, choruses of grunts
and groans, the protests of timber contorted to improbable
extremes.  Then at last twin monoliths were erected
to stand wide and straight, branches unbound —
smashing windows, crumbling ceilings, raising roofs
as they towered to full unyielding glory!
An argument immediately ensued
over whose was higher, grander, thickest . . .
the victor of a Christmas tree wrestling bout.
Two wives packed kids and luggage into matching
sedans then backed out of ruined garages
and drove in separate directions away from
a chaotic spectacle of sirens and gawpers
coming to inspect the rubble of envy and excess.
sputtered across an eave, stuttering on the left house;
blinked then fell from the gable of the right,
flashing in a heap of shattered sentiment
scattered on a walkway.
Both messages abruptly turned off,
the season’s meaning lost in a muddle of
selfish glitz and modern debris.

Michael H. Hanson

I wrote my first poetic works and had them published in my small town newspaper starting at the age of 15. I did not pen all that much work during my high school years, but I'm not unhappy with what I produced. My eldest brother had just started college and was an English major at that time. He encouraged me to experiment as a writer and find my voice.

The Poetry:



by Michael H. Hanson

Its Christmastide and hope is near, 

so close to the end of the year 
when family and friends unite 
to banish every fear and tear.

Long journeys end on green doorsteps 
after pine trees are dragged within 
and spiked cider traded for sips 
and all are met like long lost kin.

Ridiculous sweaters are worn, 
fruitcake endlessly re-gifted 
and all sidewalks are quickly shorn 
for snowballs thrown wild and wicked.

Then all pile on to flimsy sleds 
and recklessly are launched down hills 
defying all life’s frights and dreads 
hearts pump hotly to banish chills.

At last inside we all dry off 
holding mugs of hot chocolate 
trading laughter with sneeze and cough.

Coralie Rowe

Coralie Rowe started writing poetry in early 2014 and has had twenty poems published in five different anthologies, with three more to be published soon. She is a stay at home mum, who believes reading her child so many nursery rhymes has infected her own brain.


The Poetry:


Christmas is coming

Really?... is it that time of the year again 
Are you sure? Because I feel I am going insane 
Really? … I think you must be lying 
I just can't believe it… can't I just keep denying

Though I know I cannot deny the decorations 
Appearing in all of the usual locations 
Supermarkets, homes and of course Facebook 
I cannot deny it, no matter how hard I try not to look

I am nowhere near ready, can't it be another date 
I'm sure my 5 year old won't realise it's late 
I have one gift for her, that's all I have gotten 
Do I dare tell her... that Santa must have forgotten

Christmas is meant to be about family and love 
But those damn adverts in my child's face shove 
All those things that Santa will never bring 
But I will still do my best to give her a little something

I will scrape and I'll skimp, I will juggle the bills 
Just to see my darling's dreams slightly fulfilled 
I love this time of year for what it's meant to be 
But I hate this time of year… for its actuality

Do I admit that I am truly feeling slightly 'Bah Humbug' 
To the point I may just go hide under the living room rug 
I know I can't avoid it, I have to accept my fate 
Christmas is coming… and it is never ever ever late

Saint Nick's Xmas List

A silvery moon hangs heavy in the night sky 
Illuminating a strange image as it flies by 
Casting a shadow, it lands upon your home 
It magics itself inside, and then starts to roam

Heavy footfalls heard as hobnailed boots tread 
The creaking of the stairs fills your heart with dread 
Jolly Saint Nick is not as nice as children believe 
And of certain loved trinkets from you he will retrieve

The naughtiest of children are on his Xmas list 
Like little Tommy, who hit his puppy with his fists 
Sarah and Jacinta, have made the list as well 
All the trouble they caused with the lies they did tell

Saint Nick collects each and every horrid litte kid 
And sends them up north, to pay for what they did 
Who do you think the worker elves really are 
They were the naughtiest children of all by far

Sent to the north pole to make presents and gifts 
Working so many hours in never ending shifts 
Building the toys with which they'll never get to play 
Cos jolly old Saint Nick came and took them away

Brande Barrett

Brande Barrett is a San Jose native who works primarily in photography, mixed-media, and poetry. Her haunting imagery is echoed by her themes in written word often reflecting on loss, abandonment and the fragility of life. Current work in pastels is a response to personal tragedy and attempt to overcome fear. Brande is an artist, art and ceramics instructor and poet who lives and works in San Jose.

The Poetry: 


Photography by Brande Barrett

More Photos by Brande Barrett
Available Here

Nonsense poem for Christmas

Just hanging the stocking
Hear the bells ring
Merry Christ..mass shooting
No longer shocking.

The peace of the season
Snowflakes made of ash
Now the piece in the news
More guns sold for cash.

And the loss of so many
the girls and the boys
Should we get Kevlar vests
Instead of candy and toys?

Shall we keep them all home
From school and the mall
Til they're called overseas
With the rest of them all?

For the spoils and profits
Of old men on the boards
Who never served a war
But fattened their hoards.

So code red has changed
To run, hide and defend
Ask when this damn nonsense
And violence will end.

He needed stronger clothes

Held together threadbare
tattered remains of once proud cloth
frayed at the edges
Pulled along the seams
Stretched and worn for almost a century
pattern lost in worm holes and beetle
textile persistent yet crumbling
To soft dark dirt and the worms
From last light's vision
memory of something
Once worn

Long shadows cast on the late afternoon
Surrendering to the dark
Last licks of sun
Weaves into bundled knits
Empty bird cages
Piled in rust and cast out
Lay open freeing the ghostly captives
Of once golden slaves
Roses browned long dead stems
Thorns twisted sharp
Wrapped through time and dust
Leaves gather and blow into corners and the
Spider continues its web.

Jerry Langdon

Jerry Langdon is a Michigander that flew south and got confused and stranded over the pond in Germany. That was in 1992. Age? You don't care about the price of tea in China but want to know my age. Well let's just say I would be a damned good Whiskey. I've been married to the one and the same for 25 years; Hey the wine is good. I love to write, and paint; also Computer Generated Art. I've been writing now for a good 30 years. Are we getting closer to my age yet?

Ok Seriously. I was born 1967 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Lived 19 years around the area, until gong into the Army. I eventually landed in Nuremberg (Nuernberg), Germany. In '92 I exitted the Army and stayed here. Long story short; Family first. I have self published 2 books of poetry so far.



The Poetry:


Cold Turkey

The house so silent 
Decked so eloquent 
All in gold and red 
So hauntingly dead

Bulbs and tinsel gleam 
In a Christmas dream 
Festively waiting 
Silently waiting

Silent night, 
Bloody night 
Noone survived tonight

Poor Little 
Billy Dangling in tree 
From his feet 
Wrapped all neat

In Christmas garland 
Card in his hand

Daddy here and there 
Daddy everywhere 
Momma's head 
Stuffed like a turkey.

© Jerry Langdon 2015


Season of Love

`Tis a time to love; to give, 
Don't care much to receive. 
`Tis a time to smile; to live, 
No matter if I believe. 
Christmas is time with family, 
Time to laugh; time to play. 
The season to set a smile free. 
To pack the year into one day. 
With luck it might snow, 
Blanketting the world in white. 
Spending comfort, letting me know, 
Love is in the air tonight.

© Jerry Langdon 2015

Mark Allan Gunnells

Mark Allan Gunnells loves to tell stories. He has since he was a kid, penning one-page tales that were Twilight Zone knockoffs. He likes to think he has gotten a little better since then. He loves reader feedback, and above all he loves telling stories. He lives in Greer, SC, with his fiance Craig A. Metcalf.

Amazon author page http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Allan-Gunnells/e/B005C18L7Q/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

And blog http://markgunnells.livejournal.com/

The Poetry:


By Mark Allan Gunnells

Twas the night before Christmas 
And all through the trailer, 
Not a creature was stirring, 
Especially not Taylor. 
His boyfriend Gerard 
Had discovered the pic
On Taylor's new cellphone 
Of someone else's dick. 
So Taylor was strung up 
By the chimney with care 
From multi-colored Christmas lights 
In only his underwear. 
His chestnuts were roasting 
Over a roaring fire, 
His throat opened in a gash 
By thin piano wire. 
Gerard snapped a photo 
And delivered it as a text 
To the number that sent the dick pic 
With the message, "You're next!"

Joseph Rubas 

Joseph Rubas is the author of over 200 short stories, many nonfiction pieces, several novels, and a nonfiction book. His work has appeared in: The Horror Zine; Eschatology Journal; Nameless Digest; The Storyteller; Horror Bound Online; and many others. His short fiction is collected in Pocketful of Fear (2012) and After Midnight (2014). He currently resides with his family in Florida.

Amazon Page: 

The Poetry:


                        Silent Snow
                        By Joseph Rubas
I walked last night in a snowy wood
Lost in thought and heavy hearted
I thought of someone gone before
A fleeting phantom nevermore

When I reached the summit
Of a high crested hill
I looked upon the world
And remembered her face
So kind and gentle, wizened with age
An angel beyond time and space

Though the lights will twinkle on Christmas morn
All bright and gay and full of joy
And presents shiny and new
I can think only of you

In the warm, by the fire’s glow
I sit and listen to silent snow
Ice crusts the windowpane
My lips are numb
I speak the name
Forever, now, engrained
On a slab of stone
Drifted in silent snow

On the radio a song plays
Something about Christmas
And jingle sleighs
The weather comes next
More snow, the man says
I sip coffee and watch
The fire dance
Something reminds me
Of days gone past
Love and warmth and happiness
Then the thoughts turn dark and gray
And a thought comes
A scene from the coldest day
Walking into the room
People gathered ‘round
A sheet pulled up high
Cold clay beneath
Then it hits me
I never said good-bye

The snow piles up
At the windows now
I sit by the fire
Puzzling how
The footprint, wet and cold, came to be
On my kitchen floor
In the darkness of my shadow study
A noise
I turn
But nothing is there
Only shadows
Then a hand
Cold and gray
Reaches from the darkness
As if to pray
To the god of the dead
Or the god of snow
And when the face emerges
From the shadows’ black
I scream and faint
You’ve come back

Days pass away
And it comes no more
A fever of the brain
And nothing more
On the fifth morning
I bundle and go
Into the woods
And through the snow
The grave I find
In its peaceful glen
The snow is unbroken
A nightmare then
That and nothing more
Some fancy made of grief
But the prints on the floor!
I see them as clear as day
A person’s feet
Perhaps cold as clay
In my study the curtain flutters
A draft, I say
But a phantom it may

Silent snow
Falls from the sky
In the dark of the night
I wonder why
I smell your perfume
Strong in my nose
And find in a corner
Your burial clothes
Then, in the witching hour
Swaddled in blankets
You come to me
As cold as snow
Your face, rotted and worn
Your hands
Tattered and torn
The ground is hard
Your fingers soft
You touch me
And I shudder
With terror or pleasure

In the morning light I wake
And you aren’t there
At the grave
In only my night shirt
I find you lying
Upon fresh dirt
I lie with you
Shivering in the cold
Merry Christmas
All I want, is you to hold
And as death takes me
In its grasp
I think
I hear you rasp
“Now I’m not alone”

The Poetry:

Friends of Joseph Rubas

By Aleck Peerson

Away in a manager
On a cold winter day
Silent night
As bells ring above
Christmas has come
Christmas has come
Hark, rejoice
Every man, woman, and child
Under the Son

Thinking of Christmas
By Stephen Warner

I walk’d through a snowy glen
My hands in my pockets
Thinking of Christmas again
I thought of Santa all in red
And of reindeer
And children in bed
Dreaming of toys and joy
Shiny presents
For every girl and boy
I thought of lights hung with care
Stockings and grandpa
Sitting in his chair
Telling stories of Christmases past
A pipe in his mouth
Smoked to the last
Santa is coming, they would say
And, oh, how we waited
Anxious, impatient, night and say
To hear those bells beginning to ring
Over Cleveland Street
While the carolers sing
Silent night, holy night
We wish you a merry Christmas
And to all a good night

A Visit From Santa Claus
By Mary Dorner

High atop the world
Banked in endless snow
There lives a man
You all should know
Jolly and fat and dressed in red
It’s Santa Claus
A cap upon his head
Once every year
When the night is cold
In the silence you will hear
Bells jingling, and Santa saying
“Ho, ho, ho!”
And the reindeer neighing
So hurry to bed, kiddies big and small
Because on Christmas
Santa will visit you all

Christmas in the Heart of War
By David Tillery

Bombshells and cannon-blasts
Artillery fire and mustard gas
Dead men and dying boys
Strewn about like broken toys
Night falls on this hellish land
December 25, Christmas and
From across the way
A voice starts to sing
“Silent Night”
In a German way
Though the boys in the trench
Do not understand
The words
They pick up the verse
And before long they come
Over the top
On either side
And meet in the middle
For Christmastime
They lay their arms upon the ground
Exchange gifts
And dance around
Merry Christmas
From the heart of war
Right now, we won’t kill anymore

The Krampus Song
By Joe Clarke

Krampus comes
Just once a year
Krampus comes
And now he’s here
You were bad
And you were told
Now here comes Krampus
From the cold
He’s got a face
Like a mask
Got some claws
To take you to task
Now as you lay
In your bed
Hear the footsteps
Filled with dread
And as he comes
Into the room
No one’s to blame
Except for you
Did know
That Krampus
To visit kids
Just like you
When you’re bad
He will hear
And then he’ll gut
You like a deer
Hang your head
Atop the tree
Puts your innards
In a pie
And then he’ll eat
Both your eyes
Listen now
And listen good
Listen to
Your mom and dad
Because if you don’t
And you are bad
Krampus will come
And you’ll be sad
Stop whining
You little monster
Shut your trap
And listen here
Krampus will come
Into your house
And eat your face
Like a hungry rat
So stop acting
Like a brat
Mind your peas
And dot your ques
Listen to dad
And pay your dues
Don’t act up
Ever again
Krampus knows
What you do
And he’s waiting
For a taste of you

Howard Carlyle

Hi, I have been writing poetry for over 20 years but have been writing horror/dark poetry for about 2 years now. I am 42 years old and live in York in the UK and all my horror/dark poems and short stories can be found at my website gloriouslygory.WordPress.com.

Forgot to mention in my bio that I have also had 6 of my other horror/dark poems published this year and it always comes as shock whenever anything I write gets published.

The Poetry:  


Have A Gory Christmas

It's that time of year again
to hang some limbs on to
the wall,
Not quite sure how many
victims have contributed..
I couldn't count them all.

I love it when those
Christmas carolers
stand at my door and
sing a song,
but whenever I invite
them in...they never seem
to stay for very long?

This old place at Christmas
has such a joyous feeling,
As last year's guests
rotting stinking intestines
now decorate my ceiling.

Eyeballs now hang as baubles
from my Christmas tree,
It seems that everywhere I go
those eyes keep staring at me!

I didn't bother with a turkey this year...
that tradition seems so dead,
So cooking in the oven right now
is old Mr Kennedy's head.

I might invite some friends
this year to share all this
lovely food,
then afterwards play
Russian roulette....I'm sure
that would lighten the mood.

Then when the party is over
and all the fun's been had,
we'll raise a glass to toast the
fact that I really am quite MAD!

© Howard Carlyle 2015.

Merry Christmas and a Gory New Year.

Andrew D. Blacet

Andrew D. Blacet is a modern day poet in the tradition of classic poets like e.e. cummings and Dylan Thomas. His stream of consciousness prose cuts like a razor blade. His current book of poetry, The Occupant of the Ditch and Other Poems is available now on Amazon.

The Poetry:


Photography by Sorell Matei

[Untitled First Draft in "Stream of Consciousness" form.
Titled Final Draft in poetic structure below.]

I sang to you where you crouched, huddled under the creeping dunes, your white bones bathed in the grist of epochs. In my heart, I felt you, silently listening, motionless as gravity, alert to the agitation of a single molecule. Alone and invisible, you sank deeper into yourself, your earthen shoulders hunched, a homunculus of mulch, your nerveless back massaged by the flat of a shovel, the hooves of a grazing deer. Tracking time in accretion disks and the shapes of root-nests, stop-motion or time-lapse footage of you crawling through dirt, the blood clot collapsed in the vein, the needle, stuck in the arm of the corpse. Above you, dancing mandrakes of sedge and wild roses bend their stalks to listen. I sang without words, without voice, as a hand reached up and hushed the sun. For a breath I was sure you had answered in the tongue of a seagull, offshore. Walking home under the trestle at midnight I thought I glimpsed you, lounging in shadow, suspended in a hammock of moonlight. I laid my hand on the timber frame and felt you shiver, shedding moon-fire and the sorrowful thrill of a night bird. Pouring my lungs to a low-flying cloud, you replied with a steam whistle; the train, counting the length of miles between cities, faded. I sang, counting light years, the distance between the living and the dead, and felt your hand in mine.

A.D. Blacet

I sang to you where you crouched, huddled under the creeping dunes, your white bones bathed in the grist of epochs. In my heart, I felt you, silently listening, motionless as gravity, alert to the agitation of a single molecule. Alone and invisible, you sank deeper into yourself, your earthen shoulders hunched, a homunculus of mulch, your nerveless back massaged by the flat of a shovel, the hooves of a grazing deer. Tracking time in accretion disks and the shapes of root-nests, stop-motion or time-lapse footage of you crawling through dirt, the blood clot collapsed in the vein, the needle, stuck in the arm of the corpse. Above you, dancing mandrakes of sedge and wild roses bend their stalks to listen. I sang without words, without voice, as a hand reached up and hushed the sun. For a breath I was sure you had answered in the tongue of a seagull, offshore. Walking home under the trestle at midnight I thought I glimpsed you, lounging in shadow, suspended in a hammock of moonlight. I laid my hand on the timber frame and felt you shiver, shedding moon-fire and the sorrowful thrill of a night bird. Pouring my lungs to a low-flying cloud, you replied with a steam whistle; the train, counting the length of miles between cities, faded. I sang, counting light years, the distance between the living and the dead, and felt your hand in mine.

Lemmy Rushmore

Poet and author Lemmy Rushmore has a new book out with James Ward Kirk, Niall Parkinson (author/illustrator), and John D. Stanton (cover design) called Between the Walls in paperback and Kindle. Now available on Amazon.

The Poetry: 


I’ve completed my list 
and I’ve proof read it twice 
it’s a list of a few 
something other than nice

‘neath the flickering lights
to the holiday sounds
everyone I shall see 
as I’m making my rounds

I’ll see this one for that
I’ll see that one for this 
but so thorough I’ll be 
and not one single miss

there’s no sleigh I might ride
just a Buick instead 
but I’ll still find my way 
like by Rudolph I’m led

like the saint that I am
oh such gifts I shall bear 
and the part I shall look 
with the red suit I wear

while the stockings are hung
while it’s quiet and still 
like a plague I’ll go forth 
with a strong urge to kill

I shall shop till I drop
and I’ll chop and I’ll chop 
but till each one is had 
there’ll be no thought of stop

with an ax I shall call
as they lie in their beds 
and I’ll finish the night 
with a sack full of heads…

I’ve been hanging the lights
And I’ve been trimming the tree
Till it seems all is in place
For that Christmas to be

There’s a sleigh on the roof
And there’s a wreath on the door
And seems the front yard now serves
As the manger and more

All the gifts have been wrapped
And all the stockings are hung
All the garland is draped
And all the popcorn is strung

Both the wee ones now sleep
With grandest thoughts in their heads
Tucked in snug as a bug
Within their warm cozy beds

It would seem all is in place
For that Christmas to be
But it just won’t be the same
Since you’re not here with me…

Jaye Tomas

Jaye Tomas has "scribbled" all her life but found her audience growing hugely after she created her Chimera Poetry blog.

Her first Book, "Nocturnes" was very well received and the second book, "Carnevale", was published in September 2015 and has been very successful.

Her next book "What Lies Beneath" is planned for release in early 2016.
Jaye loves all things bookish and has a minor obsession with hedgehogs.

Originally from Chicago, she is currently residing in the UK but has begun to cast her eyes in other directions. "The beauty of the story, she says, is in the journey, not the arrival."

Where can you find the Elusive Jaye?


Books by Jaye Tomas available at - 

Carnevale at Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/carnevale-jaye-tomas/1122571277 

Carnevale at Amazon:  http://amzn.com/1515236358

Nocturnes at Amazon:  http://amzn.com/1499170874

The Poetry


One After Another ~

It was a very cold night in December
and the room I huddled in leeched heat out through a thousand hidden cracks
and my handwriting shivered with me as I wrote out the letters
one after another
and another
and another.
I thought once I heard a clock chime
but other than the scratchings of my pen
the seedy room was silent.
I was losing the night faster than my ink could flow
and the morning would find me
spent like the straggling strips of wallpaper hanging in the damp closets.
This I knew
and still I scratched on
one after another
and another
and another.
My Yuletide greetings,
my stir up as it were,
each one carefully blotted
folded carefully with the most perfidious of kisses
and bearing the wax seal of the deepest,
oldest curse
and sent
into the flames
rising red eyed and glowing
on the hot updraft.
The recipients would get them with the first fresh north wind of the morning
they wouldn't know exactly what they had received
until later....
much later.
Another cold night in December.
Another scratching pen
and a thousand shivering nightmares
being born
exulting on the malevolent hot air as they rise
one after another
and another
and another.


Billie Sue Mosiman
The Spirit of Christmas

Fox Fire ~

Light the stones with candles and let the dark lift from the night.
Let the frostspell hold fast the fox women,
confine them in their burrows,
just for this moment.
Let the departed hear
the poems handed into the dimmet,
like fairy coins,
like pebbles in a wishing well.
Let them once more join
in the spinning of
this spiders web of remembrance.
Warm the moss and granite with wax and golden tapers
let the holly and spruce scent the air
and the sweet straw sway with the breath
of the gathered,
keeping the grey cats away
until midnight shatters the frost.
And the fox fires light up the skies
with a plume of snow,
and the vixens once again ride to the nighthunt,
crimson mouths gleaming in the guttering light.
While the candles on the stones flicker,
and vanish.


Anthony Servante here to thank you for visiting this Christmas season. Please be sure to thank our contributors to the poetry column this year by leaving a comment below. I hope our visitors become our contributors in next year's column. The door to the Servante of Darkness Blog is always open to friends and fiends alike. So, sharpen your dark poetry and light poetry and let me have a look at it throughout the year. Always room for one more.