The Beast of Dead Wood – part I by D.B. Hall

 

There was no singular moment

that I noticed when breezes stopped

or when birds no longer sang

and squirrels hid in attics of trees.

 

For I had wandered totally enraptured

lost within my poetic thoughts

until I crossed the threshold into the dead wood

a forbidden place

where no one dared to venture

for once they did

they never returned

another gruesome victim

of the legendary beast of the dead wood.

 

Panicked, I raced back

to find my way out

but every way seemed to just

lead me into denser darker wood

intertwining branches loomed over me

an enveloping canopy cutting off air

making it unbearably despondent.

 

Silhouetted trunks spoke with no sound

voices of souls long since dead

with a mocking laugh welcoming me

to an eventual moss-covered grave.

 

The complete absence of sound and beauty

was such a rude awakening

it gave birth to a rise of heightened primal fear

and changing anomalies

breeding in a hyper-fertile mind.

 

Seconds were days

furtive eyes darted into every shadow

heightened senses analyze every crevice

I raced through an ever-changing maze

tripping over roots alive and moving

landing face-first through mud and decaying leaves

jumping up and falling down

until

digits

hands

limbs

and coverings

slowly adapted in desperation and protection

until man finally became beast.

 

Various walls of dark caves

echo my haunting howls

they contain my desolate scribblings

scratched with claws that can hold no pen

I am cursed and hunted by villagers

that used to be my neighbors and family.

 

I have become the beast of the dead wood

a curse upon my soul.

 

© D.B. Hall


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the-art

Who are you? Are you a brave knight? A warrior brandishing your sword, ready for battle. Are you a dreamer? Away with the fairies, losing count of fireflies whilst searching for Neverland. A goth? Who feels right at home with the monsters hiding under the bed, who loves to dance a dervish with the devil on the stroke of midnight. Or perhaps you are a dragon-slayer? Or a soul snatcher? Basking in the heat of an eternal flame. Or maybe you’re a witch? Hiding deep in the woods, practicing dark arts beneath the light of a full moon.

L.J. Diaz, Author of Catching Snowflakes

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