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
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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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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