THE BLACK BOOK
AND OTHER POEMS
by Rik Hunik
copyright 2016 by Rik Hunik
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A brief introduction:
Way back in the early 1980’s, before I managed to write any worthwhile stories, while I was still heavily influenced by H.P. Lovecraft, I wrote poetry. Looking back at it a few decades later I find most of it pretty damned good, though I have less in common with the poet than I thought I would, considering he’s me, or I’m him. Some of those poems weren’t good enough to include in this book, and there is a chapter at the end for poems that barely made the cut.
[* Chapter One: Fantasy& Horror *]
Intro: Considering that fantasy and horror are my favourite genres for poetry this chapter might seem rather short, but the sonnets in the next chapter, and the longer poems that make up the later chapters, are all fantasy and horror, too.
In the moonlight
Two drops of blood
Glisten on her neck
Like black pearls
On white satin.
On Full Moon Night
The moon is full,
I hear its call,
It reaches through
The void to me.
Upon my face
The moonbeams fall,
I feel them work
Their spell on me.
I know I have
The werewolf curse,
I come alive
On full moon night.
I feel it then,
I can’t reverse
This urge to kill,
It feels so right.
The change is done,
I’m on the prowl,
In search of prey
I stalk the street.
I lick my lips,
I snarl and growl,
I lust for blood,
For fresh red meat.
The moon is bright,
My nose is keen,
And I can smell
Some tasty game.
There she is, slim
But not too lean.
My passion burns
In me like flame.
I move but make
No sound to warn
Her as I strike
And when I pause
Her slender throat’s
So freshly torn
It pulses yet
Between my jaws.
I let my kill
Fall at my feet,
I stand there bathed
In silver light,
The taste of her
Young blood so sweet
I howl and howl
With sheer delight.
It feels so right.
My mind has been driven insane,
My soul has been blasted with pain,
But the reason for that is plain,
I spat in the devil’s own face.
I lived a life of vice and sin,
Women would call me the devil’s kin
And I’d answer them with a grin,
Saying, “Hell is my kind of place.”
I lived high till my dying day.
My soul forsook its earthly clay
And then the devil got his say.
He dragged me down to judge my case.
Comfortable on his great throne
Of brightly glowing, red-hot stone
He confronted me. Me, alone.
I met his gaze, stood face to face.
Said he, “I watched you live your life,
Strong willed, greedy, with evil rife,
But now, to save yourself from strife,
Remember one thing in this place.
I, and I alone, rule down here,”
He told me with a nasty sneer.
And then to make his point quite clear,
He bent and spit right in my face.
My vision went completely black
And before he had settled back,
Too fast for even him to track
I spit right back into his face.
My spittle puffed into hot steam,
Fire shot from his eyes in a beam,
In an instant he made me scream,
Burning red in his fire’s embrace.
He seared my naked soul with fire,
Intensely burning, hellish fire.
Relief became my one desire,
Release from that burning embrace.
Then at last the fire died away
And I swore I would make him pay
For what he did to me that day
But he only laughed in my face.
He said that I would never learn
And sentenced me to always burn
Until the spheres had ceased to turn.
Then demons dragged me from that place.
Long, sharp claws piercing through my soul,
They dragged me screaming to a hole,
A fiercely shining, white-hot hole,
And threw me down right on my face.
A hot glowing wall surrounds me
Heat so intense it astounds me,
Tongues of flame dance all around me,
Flicking and lashing at my face.
Down here in my hole I’m burning,
Always and forever yearning,
Constantly, restlessly turning,
Trying to ease the fire’s embrace.
Years, decades, centuries slip past,
Each day I hope to be the last,
But I’m still trapped here in the blast
Of the hot fire’s endless embrace.
This fire, it burns always hotter.
I pray for a drink of water,
For a single drop of water,
To ease this thirst I can’t erase.
I rant and rave but no one hears,
The hellish fire still burns and sears,
And I cry without shedding tears
For there’s no moisture in this place.
I damn the devil and his name
As I burn in his ceaseless flame
But I won’t accept any blame
For being sent here to this place.
I won’t admit that it’s too late,
I will never accept my fate,
And as long as I burn I’ll hate
Him for putting me in this place.
Hate and pain fill my universe,
I swear all the time and I curse,
But it keeps on getting worse;
No, Hell is not my kind of place.
The bleached skull
Lies staring up
From the drifting sands.
Years of wind and erosion
Have smoothed its features,
Dulled its face,
Worn it through in places.
Now it is filled with sand.
Dry thoughts stir occasionally
Through its gritty mind,
Thoughts of the sun and the sky,
Of the sand and the wind,
All it can see,
All it can feel.
At night the stars look down
On the dead skull
But nothing moves,
No life remains;
Only reflections of starlight
From grains of sand
In empty sockets.
I saw another dead baby
In the gutter today.
It was clogging a drain,
The falling rain
Pooling behind it.
A black and gray dog
Was worrying one arm
While a pair of cats looked on.
I kicked the dogs away
And when I got home
I know trees that stalk in the night
On their gnarled and knobby root feet,
Shifting soundlessly, avoiding the light,
In deep darkness where the shadows meet.
Grasping the ground in their wooden grip
They seem so solid in the daylight
That I wonder how they make the trip
To scratch at my windows all night.
When the sun goes down they move about,
As darkness falls they begin to creep.
Of this I haven’t the slightest doubt
And the thought won’t let me sleep.
It’s more than just the breeze that blows,
I know those trees do more than sway,
For even in their wind-tossed throes
The longest limbs are too far away.
Every night they’re at my window,
Softly scratching on the fragile pane.
In vain despair I wish they’d go,
Stop the noise that drives me insane.
I don’t know what they want from me,
I feel them prying inside my head.
My house is surrounded, I cannot flee,
So I lie awake, afraid, in bed.
One night, I know, they’ll get inside,
Breaking through locks and wards and doors,
Leaving me with nowhere to hide,
My scream unheard by my neighbours.
Out On The Town
Every night you’re out on the town,
Smoking and drinking, having fun,
And you won’t stop for anyone
Till the devil comes to take you down.
You enjoy living your life of sin,
Enjoy it so much you never think
As you order yet another drink,
That the the devil is going to pull you in.
You’re having fun but you can’t win,
You’re living your life much too fast,
And the good times will only last
Until the devil comes to drag you in.
You’re smile is wearing a little bit thin,
So you get out your box of pills
And take them all, hoping for new thrills.
The devil starts right then to reel you in.
Satan arrives in his fiery crown,
You never knew he was so close,
But you just died of an overdose
And you know he’s here to take you down.
Chapter Two: Sonnets
A collection of Lovecraftian sonnets.
Way back in the early 1980’s, before I managed to write any worthwhile stories, while I was still heavily influenced by H.P. Lovecraft, I wrote poetry, including a series of sonnets inspired by Lovecraft’s “Fungi From Yuggoth“cycle. I kept working on them from time to time over the next couple of decades but mine were never as good as Lovecraft’s. Recently I dug them out, dusted them off and polished them up.
The Black Book
From those countless works on that crowded shelf,
From those volumes of ancient lore, I took
Only one, a thick, black, leather bound book.
Turning, clutching it tightly to myself,
I hurried from that evil, dusty place,
Out of those gloomy rooms, down silent halls
Where the life-like carvings along the walls
Leered at me with hunger in every face.
As I retraced my footprints through the maze,
Straining to see in the uneven light,
A massive statue loomed tall in my sight
And I looked up to meet its mocking gaze.
Then I saw as it moved its feet of stone,
The footprints I followed were not my own.
A gigantic upheaval in the past
Marks the distant time when this all began.
It happened long before the dawn of man;
The whole planet was shaken by the blast.
No life of Earth was there to see it come
But I know it came from somewhere Outside.
Traversing space and time it came to hide;
I dare not think what it was hiding from.
For countless eons it slept in that hill
But now it ceases to dream, it awakes.
Its restless stirring causes countless quakes
As if prepares to flee what follows still.
Heeding the warning of an ancient text
I will not stay to see what happens next.
I came across a remarkable shell
While walking alone on a sandy shore.
When I asked what tales it could tell
It whispered to me with a gentle roar.
It told me of cities under the sea,
Of sunken temples built ages ago,
Of vast stone buildings that are not empty,
Lived in by strange beings with eyes that glow.
Thousands of years old, they ruled the world then,
Now they’re trying once again from the deep.
They do it by directing chosen men,
Manipulating their dreams as they sleep.
Shuddering, I took the shell from my ear,
But since then my dreams bring unease and fear.
When I touched the door it crumbled to dust
And I entered a vast, dimly lit room
That echoed faintly with an age-old doom,
Or was it only the air’s sudden gust
Setting in motion that ancient bronze gong?
It hung suspended on braided gold wires
Between the ashes of long-dead fires
And right away I yearned to hear its song.
My soul shivered inside me and fled
When I felt a cold mallet in my hand
And swung, compelled by an unheard command.
It struck the gong and the sound filled my head,
The walls quivered and the solid floor shook
As the thing I’d called came forth from its nook.
The church stood alone on top of the hill,
Lurking beneath the shadow of its past.
As I approached the sun was sinking fast
And the evening air was growing chill.
The discolored white paint was cracked and peeled,
The whole building reeked of age and decay
But I pushed through the door without delay,
Eager to see what the old walls concealed.
On the far wall a cross hung inverted,
The stone altar was stained red with fresh blood.
Somewhere behind me I heard a soft thud,
Between my ribs a knife was inserted
And I fell screaming to the wooden floor
As the priest raised his knife, dripping with gore.
When I get bored I go down to the docks
To watch the ships sail in from distant lands.
One day I found a small, bejeweled box,
Bound and sealed tight with gleaming silver bands,
Lying forgotten on an empty pier.
I took it and hid it under my cloak.
Starting home I felt a cold, clammy fear
Though the deserted streets held only smoke.
I crept through cluttered alleys, glancing back
To see what followed; there was nothing there
But then everything went completely black
And I stopped for I couldn’t see anywhere.
I stood there, blind, quivering in my socks,
But the thing that came took only the box.
The silvery moonlight shimmered brightly
Across the oily black expanse of lake
And I thought coming had been a mistake
Till the gleaming surface rippled slightly.
I knew it was no animal or fish
For none could live in the poisoned water,
And then, as though soaked up by a blotter,
The pale moonlight began to diminish.
Stars winked out, I saw the moon disappear,
Stranding me in darkness among the trees.
I felt a tremor weakening my knees
And I could not move as the thing drew near.
I heard it come, I felt a warm, wet touch
That thrilled me as I yielded to her clutch.
When I take a walk through an old graveyard,
Seeing so many graves makes me wonder
Just how all those dead bodies down under
Are faring after years beneath the sward.
Looking around I see twisted, gnarled trees
Probing with their thick roots into the ground,
Using the choicest nourishment around,
Under the soil where no one ever sees.
There is one such place of death and decay
That the people all shun most fearfully.
The reason for that is the awful tree
That even I visit only by day
For this tree has sculpted its bark to bear
The face of the man who was buried there.
I saw a paper lying on the ground
And picked it up to take a closer look.
It seemed to be a passage torn from a book
But I wondered just what it was I’d found
For the strange characters glowed lambent red
Waxing and waning and changing in size,
Writhing and shifting right before my eyes,
Forcing bright images into my head.
Though I could not read what was written there
The dreadful meaning came painfully clear.
I shuddered once in revulsion and fear
But I recovered quickly from the scare,
For having caught a glimpse through this strange door
I was now eager to learn even more.
When I saw the bracelet in the window
I knew that it was meant for me to own.
The lustrous metal was to me unknown
But it intrigued me with its soft, warm glow.
As I stared through the pane I heard it call,
Telling me it had once before been mine.
I felt like I was drunk on potent wine
And I could not resist its pull at all.
Pushing through the glass door I walked right in
And went straight to the shelf holding my prize.
I put it on my wrist to try the size
And it clamped itself tightly to my skin.
For a moment my whole body went cold,
Then surged with the power I’d know of old.
I was deep in the jungle, weak and lost,
Far from a settlement of any kind,
Struggling for each step, when I chanced to find,
At a point where two ancient roads once crossed,
A vine-covered building of immense size.
Coming closer, I saw, carved in the stone,
Grotesque symbols in a style still unknown,
So bizarre they brought a sting to my eyes.
Dark and forbidding, hidden in shadow,
The great doorway stood open and waiting.
I moved forward without hesitating
Until I looked inside and in the glow
From low fires I saw strange figures dancing.
I turned and fled that inhuman prancing.
The narrow, unlit street curved steeply down,
Disappearing into darkness and fog.
Somewhere below he heard a howling dog
And wished he had never come to this town
For he knew that sound from childhood dreaming;
That hellish call was the source of the fears
He had suffered with for so many years.
Through the fog he saw the hound’s eyes gleaming.
Those wide-set, yellow eyes stared right at him
And when it let out its inhuman cry
He knew for sure he was going to die,
Hunted down, torn asunder, limb from limb.
He fled, but felt its hot breath on his back
As he went down under its savage attack.
I can feel those evil powers gnawing
Into my mind from the base of my brain.
I am going mad from the ceaseless pain,
The invisible, malignant clawing
That stirs deep memories of things long dead,
Unspeakable horrors that I once fought,
And banished from this world, or so I thought;
Now they’ve returned, I feel them in my head.
I can’t see them, I have no way to fight,
My body is old and my mind is weak;
I can’t find the spells I so vainly seek.
Without them I can’t match their fiendish might
And I can feel myself losing control
As they make their thrust to capture my soul.
You doctors think I’m hopelessly insane
But it was my choice to enter this game
And I know I’ve only myself to blame
For the madness eating away my brain;
I delved too deeply in forbidden lore.
You see before you now what I became
Yet still I hunger to learn even more.
I know I look like a shell of a man,
I’m crazy, so you lock me in this room,
But when the proper constellations loom
I can accomplish deeds no others can.
Yes, I know demons who come when I call;
Stay away tonight or you’ll meet your doom
When my fiends rip your steel door from the wall.
The Wicked Witch Of The North
She is the most wicked witch in the north,
She is the one who makes those chill winds blow
Down from the arctic land of ice and snow
When she sends her malicious magic forth.
Day after day the air grows colder still
And the rays of the sun can’t penetrate
The dark layer of clouds her spells create,
Piled thickly by her mad, sorcerous will.
Across the land there flows an icy breath
As she weaves bitter spells of frigid might.
Bathed in the flickering aurora’s light
She guides the winds in a current of death.
The people shiver and cower in fear,
Wondering why spring is so late this year.
While searching through a dark, dusty basement
Under a rotten, old, abandoned house
I startled something I thought was a mouse
But it disappeared through solid cement.
I directed my light onto the spot
To see if I could find some sort of hole.
I did not, but what I felt chilled my soul
For when I touched the wall there it was hot.
As I slid my hands on the dirty concrete
The wall went soft so I pushed my way through
And discovered that I had come into
A dark place of intolerable heat.
Over my flesh I felt strange creatures crawl,
Against my back I felt a solid wall.
Where are they now?
Only fragments remain….
And are gone…
I reach with my mind
Into the future,
Into the tapestry
That is my life.
The sky below me,
I stand on clouds
The world above
Is falling on me,
And the world
Generic Love Poem (Insert the name of your choice.)
When you took my hand
Girl, you stole my heart
And now I just can’t stand
For us to be apart.
It seems that I’m caught
In the sensuous spell
You so carefully wrought
And I know you can tell,
But I can only break free
Till I think of you again,
You’re the one I need to see
As much as I possibly can.
I feel like I’m lost in space
Whenever I see you smile.
Just seeing your lovely face
Makes my whole life worthwhile.
I’ve got to have you near
Because of late I’ve found
That life is so empty, my dear,
When you’re not around.
As the evening shed its golden light
And began the long fall into night
All my dreams took sudden, panicked flight,
Stranding me, forlorn and desolate.
On black leathern wings they swiftly fled,
Leaving me as one already dead,
With slow, weary thoughts inside my head
And no hope at all in my tired heart.
Standing in darkness, wanting to cry,
I shed not a tear from either eye,
For they, like my heart, were hard and dry,
And all my sorrows were trapped inside.
Anguish and grief filled my aching soul,
My entire life seemed to have no goal,
My spirit plunged down into a hole,
A bottomless pit of dark despair.
Lost and afraid in murky gloom,
Feeling like I was in my own tomb,
I sensed a heavy, impending doom
Gathering strength, closing in on me.
Feeding on my weakness and fear
It had grown over many a year
And now it knew that it’s chance was here,
To strike, and to crush my very soul.
Against this awesome evil power
I could only shiver and cower,
Facing up to my bleakest hour
Without any courage or support.
I was no longer able to cope,
I was long past the end of my rope
And I had given up any hope
Of ever seeing the light of day.
I needed help, I needed a friend,
Someone on whom I could depend
To help me avert this tragic end,
To give me reason to save myself.
I cried out loudly and no one came,
But for that I had myself to blame
Because when others had felt the same
I had never stopped to lend a hand.
My situation could not be worse,
I was threatened by a heinous curse,
To survive I needed to reverse
The downward trend weighing on my mind.
Then realization struck like a blow,
This great curse was merely a shadow
Of my own despair cast from below;
Thus I found courage to save myself.
Nothing is ever as bad as it seems,
We all have the strength to build new dreams,
The power of our own will redeems
Those whose inner drive is strong enough.
I set my teeth and I got to work
Clearing my head of the mental murk
And evil influences that lurk
In the dark to prey on weakened minds.
I swore to myself I would progress,
Get myself out of my present mess,
That I would accomplish nothing less
Than to forge new dreams and make them true.
I would stand up on my own two feet,
I’d never again admit defeat;
I would strive to make my life complete,
To bring my dreams to reality.
Then the warm glow of the rising sun
Spreading across the dark horizon
Told me a new day had just begun
And I knew there was still hope and light.
For the more religious-minded in the audience, here is an alternate version of the verse fifth back from the end:
Nothing is ever as bad as it seems,
We all have the strength to build new dreams,
And the great power of God redeems
Those whose faith in him is strong enough.
Intro: A brief spattering of nonsense verse, some of it inspired by Ogden Nash, but I really don’t know where the last one came from.
Rhyme Time (A Lament)
Now poems needn’t rhyme
All of the time
But I think it’s a crime
If they don’t rhyme
Some of the time.
If it’s hard to make sense
When you write in rhymes,
Dispense with the sense
The eagle is a regal bird
But with your head up watching him
You just stepped in a beagle turd.
Is She Dead
Yes, the old woman is dead,
But not everybody knows
She died from spontaneous combustion
Of the hairs in her nose.
Chapter Eight: Witches’ Spell
Greasy candles spit and sputter,
Dark shadows dance across the walls.
Four hooded figures chant and drone,
Witches at a smoking cauldron,
Brewing their odiferous spells
Of bubbling, seething magic, black
And evil like a moonless night.
Into their iron cauldron goes
Dried demon dung and virgin’s hair,
A hanged man’s warts, a blind man’s tears,
Squirming worms and a lizard’s wing,
Carrion crawling with maggots
And tiny, shining silver scales
From the tails of venomous snakes.
Mouthing rhymes as they stir they add
Fresh menstrual blood and babies’ drool,
Stale camel piss and human bile.
The vile concoction boils thickly,
Dark bubbles burst, releasing stench
That fouls the air. The fumes, like smoke,
Rise to blacken rafters with slime.
The stirring sticks dissolve away,
The witches all take three steps back.
Over the cauldron a mist hovers,
Coalesces, and starts to spin.
An icy wind blows through the room,
The candles flare wildly, then die.
A man-like figure not a man
Forms inside the spinning cocoon.
His skin glows warmly red, his eyes
Blaze brightly with the fires of Hell.
The witches chant, he screams in pain.
He howls, strains against the confines of
the spell. He growls and curses,
He struggles, but cannot break free.
He agrees to do their bidding.
Raging, shrieking, the demon flies
As fast as thought across the sky;
A crimson chord stretches behind.
Bats and night birds flit from his path.
Below, dogs howl at his passing.
A young woman stirs in her sleep,
Disturbed by deep, uneasy dreams.
He draws near to molest her mind.
The witches watch by arcane means.
Uttering potent syllables
Of power they alter his course.
Yowling, he speeds to his target,
A group of top-secret silos
Hidden away in the mountains.
Here an atomic arsenal
Stands waiting, all primed and ready.
Invisible to cameras,
The demon eludes the alarms.
the fail-safes mean nothing to him;
Electrons obey his commands.
He breaks the code, sends the signals.
A flock of deadly birds takes flight,
Armed for mass destruction with their
Multiple nuclear warheads.
Chapter Six: Ghoul
Alone in a graveyard
In the darkness of night
Here I am working hard
In the moon’s silver light.
Headstones watch uncaring
As I enter this grave
I ignore their staring
While seeking what I crave.
With shovel and pick
I remove the moist dirt.
Mud on my hands grows slick
And sweat soaks through my shirt.
And now at last I loom
Over the sealed coffin,
Preparing to exhume
The meal that waits within.
My eager fingers itch
As I pry at the lid,
Slavering for food which
All others would forbid.
Then with a sudden jerk
The casket comes unclosed.
At last I’m through with work,
the corpse is now exposed.
A young woman who lost
Her life rests on the silk,
her arms artfully crossed,
her skin as pale as milk.
her eyes are open wide,
I meet her frozen stare.
In death she cannot hide
What pain has written there.
The story of her life
Is told within her eyes.
The tragedy and strife,
the hatred and the lies,
the good times and the sad,
Her happiness and grief,
All she did, all she had,
In her lifetime so brief.
Yes, everything is told
Except the reason why
She could not gave grown old
Before she had to die,
It was all so unfair,
She was worthy of more,
But fate just did not care,
Long life was not in store.
With a tremulous hand
I gently touch her face,
With its pale beauty and
Silent, unmoving grace.
Upon my cold fingers
I seem to feel her breath,
A faint warmth that lingers
Yet from before her death.
When I remove my hand
I leave a muddy streak
That stands out like a brand
On her smooth, powdered cheek.
I try to wipe it clean
But only spread it more.
I can’t retrieve what’s been,
That vision from before.
And now, gazing at her,
I feel again my need,
A sharp pang of hunger,
The sudden urge to feed.
Her young body is firm,
The dead meat is still fresh.
I wet my lips, I yearn
To taste her tender flesh.
Even though I’m hungry
And it’s long since I ate,
A strange force prevents me,
Her beauty makes me wait.
I wish I could explain
The anguish in my head,
It’s food I came to gain,
It’s love I found instead.
A mighty conflict rages
Inside my tortured head.
I think of all the ages
I’ve eaten human dead.
In all those countless years
I’ve never felt like this,
The strong emotion sears,
But I feel only bliss.
Then my trance is broken
By a faintly heard sound.
Was it a word spoken?
Are there people around?
Now I’m out of my daze,
My senses are alert
As I carefully raise
My head above the dirt.
Again I hear the noise,
Brought to me on the breeze,
Not a word nor a voice,
Only a stifled sneeze.
Behind the high stone fence
I see a glow of light.
The a gate slowly opens,
It’s time to think of flight.
But though the men are near,
And they are seeking me,
I feel no trace of fear,
I’ve time enough to flee.
My hunger reminds me
What I came here to do,
And I know I can’t flee
Till business is through.
Back down under the soil
I gently lift her arm.
Its removal will spoil
Her elegance and charm.
But despite my regrets
I want to stay alive
And it’s dead human flesh
I need to survive.
It was no choice of mine
To play this cursed part.
While in a battle line
An arrow missed my heart.
On a cold battlefield,
Pierced through by an arrow,
I dropped my useless shield
And fell down in the snow.
No one knew where I lay,
Alone, hurt and bleeding.
All my friends went their way,
Passed my by unheeding.
As my life began to fade
Satan offered respite.
He set his price, I paid
Putting mein this plight.
Now he rules me, it’s true,
And though I have a soul
I know what I must do
To keep it, play this role.
There is only one way
For me to ever quit;
Call out to Satan and say,
“This soul is yours, take it.”
That time is mine to choose,
I’ll live until that day,
My life my own to use,
Though I must eat his way,
Always hiding, unseen
By those who don’t approve,
Who label me unclean,
Abhor my every move
Right now I have a chore
And though I’ve wasted time
I will not need much more,
There’s enough for my crime.
The cut will not be neat
Because I must be fast
But I will get me meat,
I will have my repast.
My keen blade cuts clean through
Her yielding flesh and skin,
Through the joint and sinew,
Through meat and back to skin.
The task is quickly done,
As it’s been done before,
But this time it wasn’t any fun,
It was a ghastly chore.
So now I have her arm,
I’m finished with my knife.
I really mean no harm
But is still want my life.
Thankful for what she gave,
I give her hand a squeeze.
As I climb from the grave
And hide among the trees.
Watching from the shadows
As the hunters arrive
My fear suddenly grows;
They don’t want me alive.
They’re coming after me
To end my long career.
I must not let them see
That I’m still hiding here.
They all gather around
To study the remains
In that hole in the ground,
Her missing arm, the stains.
I see them clearly now
As they discuss my work.
The leader makes a vow,
His hand upon his dirk,
I know this man too well,
He has hunted me before.
We’ve many tales to tell
About our private war.
Crag has not caught me yet,
I’m sure he never will.
My life he cannot get,
It’s his blood that will spill.
I think of all the times
He’s tried to capture me,
But despite my many crimes
I’m still at large and free.
Lost in these memories
I’m brought back by a shout.
As I turn I am seized,
One quick blow and I’m out.
I never had a chance,
I was easy to find.
I didn’t see them advance
To attack from behind.
My poor head is reeling
As I slowly come round.
My hands have no feeling,
They are so tightly bound.
My feet are also tied
So I can hardly squirm.
I lie there on my side,
as helpless as a worm.
What was the attraction,
How could it be so strong,
So strong no distraction
Warned me I’d stayed too long?
No woman before her
Has made me feel this way.
Just how did she differ,
What on Earth made me stay?
A pair of black-booted feet
Stop inches from my face.
Again Crag and I meet
In a dark burial place.
There’s no love between us,
We both hate each other.
It has always been thus,
Since I ate his mother.
‘So you’re awake at last,”
He snarls in rage at me.
“You’ve escaped in the past,
This is my victory.”
I look into his eyes,
His anger’s plain to see.
He holds her arm and cries,
“For this you’ll pay to me.
“Just think of all the grief
Your feeding habits bring.
You vile, nocturnal thief,
You cause such suffering.
“You will not get away,
There’s no way out for you.
For all your crimes you’ll pay,
This time you’ll get your due,”
Holding aloft her arm,
Crag rants and raves at me.
With increasing alarm
I watch him fearfully.
My position is grim;
I know my time has come,
I can’t escape from him,
I’ve never felt so glum.
I know he speaks the truth,
There’s just one thing to do,
Give up eternal youth,
Tell Satan that I’m through.
But still he lectures on
About my evil ways,
Tells me all hope is gone,
Looks straight at me and says,
“I will never forgive
You for what you have done.
You don’t deserve to live,
You should be dead and gone.”
Yes, you are right,” I say,
“I’ve lived a life of vice.
I can’t go on this way
So I must pay the price,”
Though I tremble with fear
I do what I must do.
“Satan,” I cry, ““Come here,
I’ve got something for you.”
From nowhere thick smoke pours,
The whole world seems sway.
Trees move and the wind roars,
The men all back away.
Bright forks of lightning flash,
There’s a throb in the air,
Then a deafening crash
And Satan’s standing there.
He holds an arm of bone
Which he throws to the ground.
“For this you must atone.”
He laughs, an ugly sound.
“You played the game quite well
But now for you it ends.
Into my trap you fell,
It’s time to make amends.
“The girl was never there,
Nothing was as it seemed,
Because the whole affair
Was just something you dreamed.
“You were alone all night
Until you summoned me,
‘Cause I controlled your sight,
Determined what you’d see.
“So now I’ve truly won,
Your soul belongs to me.
With it I’ll have my fun
For all eternity.”
Helpless, I see him make
A quick, mystical sign
Helpless I watch him take
A soul no longer mine.
I feel a painful twitch,
An emptiness inside,
A strange, dark coldness which
Tells me I’ve truly died.
My old wound starts to bleed,
But I can’t feel the hurt;
So now I pay no heed
As my blood soaks the dirt.
Chapter Seven: Zombie
Chapter Seven: Zombi
Zombi 2300 words
Alone, dejected, he wanders the streets by night,
An exile in the city, hiding from the light.
He feels a compulsion to scrutinize faces
As men go by, but does so from hidden places
For he recalls how people react to his face,
And he knows he no longer belongs to their race.
Though he tries to forget he remembers his death,
Alone in a dark alley, struggling for a breath,
His money stolen and a sharp knife through his lung,
Bleeding and dying on a heap of waste and dung.
Although his body died his soul remained behind,
With just one overpowering thought in his mind;
Vengeance, to find the man who took away his life
And to pay him back with his own discarded knife.
His filthy clothes are full of ragged holes and tears,
The windy streets are cold but he no longer cares,
His dead body is unaffected by the freeze,
It does not feel the icy bite of winter’s breeze.
His dim mind no longer comprehends the seasons
But even though he is not aware of the reasons
He takes advantage and spend those long dark hours
Roaming endlessly amidst the cities towers
Forever searching, scouring the streets for his prey.
He slips into shadow, someone’s coming his way,
It’s a woman, walking the city streets alone.
Watching her there comes from deep in his chest a moan,
A glint of recognition shimmers in his eyes;
He steps out in front of her, she stops in surprise.
Standing there, facing her, he sees her eyes go round.
He tries to speak her name, his dead throat makes no sound
So he moves closer, reaching out a cold blue hand.
She speaks a single word he can’t quite understand,
But it’s meaning stirs memories. He turns to run
Eager to get away, to escape what she’s done.
The word still burns in his mind like a clean, white flame,
He can’t escape what she said; she called out his name.
With the image of her face alive in his head
He tries to cross the street, wishing he was not dead,
That he could return to her and resume his life,
But that’s not possible so he runs from his wife.
Half a block away a traffic light turns to green.
As cars start to move he slips on an icy sheen,
Falls, sprawled on the pavement. He scrambles to his feet
Just in time to be flung like a limp sack of meat
From the shiny fender of a speeding black car.
He hears a woman screaming, as though from afar,
As he lands and rolls to a stop near a brick wall.
He regains his feet after his bone-crushing fall.
With broken bones grating and his right foot dragging,
His somewhat erratic course zigging and zagging
To the nearest corner he makes good his escape,
Moving as fast as he can for one in his shape.
Down half a block he squeezes through a narrow crack
Between two buildings and emerges at the back,
Then shuffles away down the deserted alley,
The buildings concealing him in their dark valley.
He wanders for hours, heedless of his scrapes and breaks.
The memory fades like all his other mistakes
What’s left of his mind returns to its former state,
Forgetting life and love, thinking only of hate,
Focusing and concentrating on just one man,
A man whose life he knows he will take when he can.
He’ll forever remember the grinning punk’s face.
It hovers now before him so he speeds his pace
But it recedes, a phantom of his decayed mind
Brought on by the thoughts of the man he wants to find.
He stumbles after it toward a distant glow
Until it fades in the sunrise and his steps slow
As he becomes aware of the increasing light
That he knows will soon be intolerably bright
Unless he can quickly find a safe place to hide
Among the buildings towering on every side.
He stops in front of a nearby basement window
Sealed tight against vagabonds and encroaching snow.
He pries at the topmost board, loosening nails,
Trying to get inside before the darkness fails.
One end comes loose and with a loud crack the board breaks.
He continues, regardless of the noise he makes,
Heedless of splinters and nails, enlarging the gap
So he’ll have a private place for his daily nap.
When the hole’s big enough for him he climbs inside,
Falls to the floor and searches for a place to hide
Somewhere in the darkness where he will not be found.
He crawls behind a crate and falls limp to the ground.
As the sun comes up his awareness fades away;
He lives only at night and is dead through the day.
All through the daylight hours he lies there undisturbed
Till the sun goes down and he rises, much perturbed.
His hands are ragged and worn right down to the bone,
He has seven fractures in his right leg alone
And he’s lost several pounds of flesh and skin.
He doesn’t know where he is or how he got in,
All he knows is that he wants to get out right now,
That he will find his prey tonight, somewhere, somehow.
Although his dead body can no longer feel pain
It’s taken as much abuse as it can sustain
Without ceasing to function or falling apart.
He ignores all the damage, each night’s a fresh start
Because his power to move is fueled by hate,
A relentless craving to seal his killer’s fate.
A part of him recalls the meeting with his wife
And he wonders briefly if he caused her much strife.
He could not speak to tell her what was done to him
But that is not important now, however grim,
For he does not feel any sadness or remorse,
All that concerns him now is that peculiar force
That pulls so strongly, urges him into motion
To get to the man he seeks with such devotion.
The basement is cluttered and it’s completely dark
So he walks slowly, swinging his arms in an arc,
Groping the space ahead, but despite all his cares
He trips in the darkness on a steep flight of stairs.
He crawls up to the top and there regains his feet,
Then shambles down the corridor toward the street.
The heavy door at the end is solidly locked
But he cannot tolerate his progress being blocked
So he flings himself wildly at the wooden door.
He rebounds and falls back on the hard dusty floor.
He tries repeatedly, battering his body
Till the door weakens, breaks open, and sets him free.
Out of the building the pull is even stronger
And he knows he won’t have to wait much longer
Because he can tell which direction he must go.
He tries to move quickly but his body is slow,
In his ruined condition he cannot go fast
But he has to hurry before his chance is past.
The night is clean and cold, the stars are bright and hard.
A graveyard of dead, empty buildings stands on guard
Against the evil forces and strange dark powers
That dare not come out during the daylight hours.
The black walls seem to lean, threatening to crush him
As he passes beneath, dragging his broken limb
Heading into the living heart of the city,
Heedless of his safety in his insanity.
He leaves the buildings’ concealing darkness behind,
Pulled by a stronger force of a different kind,
A force powered by a hate as hard as concrete
Which now directs him down a busy, well-lit street.
Cars and trucks go speeding by in a steady stream.
No one stops. He moves like someone caught in a dream,
Step by step, ignoring all the sounds and sights,
Unaware that he is passing under bright lights
Which show distinctly the condition he is in
With his battered body and ravaged clothes and skin.
Intent on reaching his goal as soon as he can
His thoughts are focussed on one particular man
So his surroundings do not concern him at all;
He disregards everything but the silent call.
Traffic is thick, the winter night has just begun,
He doesn’t notice anything or anyone.
Crossing busy streets without varying his pace
He enrages drivers who, when they see his face,
Forget their anger and rejoin the steady flow
To escape what they saw under the streetlight’s glow.
Uncaring, he continues to shuffle along,
Unmindful of the fast-increasing evening throng.
He doesn’t make any attempt at all to hide
And the people quickly, fearfully, step aside
To let him pass as if they’re afraid of his touch,
But there’s only one man whose flesh he yearns to clutch.
For him it’s as though no one else is there,
They can do whatever they like, he doesn’t care.
The life of the city goes on, flows around him.
He is not a part of it and his mind, though dim,
Realizes this. For a moment he despairs
But such emotion doesn’t last, he no longer cares;
All that matters is that his killer is near
And the force that directs him is perfectly clear.
This psychic link had been there from the start
But he couldn’t feel it when they were too far apart;
Now it pulls at him with a strength he can’t ignore.
He follows it across one last street, through a door
Into a restaurant where he spies the punk’s face.
He rapidly crosses the intervening space
And confronts the person who took away his life.
He notices that he no longer has the knife
But that doesn’t matter to him, he’s found his man
And will kill him quickly now, any way he can.
His prey hears him approach and looks up from his plate,
Recognizes him and his intent, sees his fate
Descend on him as a man he’d thought safely dead
Reaches out for him. He screams once in shock and dread
As dead fingers lock tight around his living neck
With an icy grip that holds him firmly in check.
He struggles wildly, futilely, to catch his breath
But he cannot breathe and he knows he faces death.
Waitresses and customers scream and back away
As the walking corpse kills the man it came to slay.
The man tries to push it off but the freezing grip
Is too strong for him to loosen and it won’t slip
From his constricted throat however hard he pries.
Strips of dead flesh come off in his hands as he dies
But his killer doesn’t notice, he feels no pain
And keeps on squeezing until his victim is slain.
Then, dropping the lifeless body to the floor,
His task at last completed, he turns to the door
And finds himself staring into his wife’s blue eyes,
Eyes that accuse him without a word as he tries
To explain to her why he has just killed a man,
How he came to be this way, how it all began,
But his body does not respond, no sound comes out,
His lungs are dead and empty and his loudest shout
Is a meaningless ghastly rattle, nothing more,
So in defeat he pushes past her to the door.
As he comes closer their psychic fields merge and mesh,
He’s jolted by the fleeting nearness of her flesh.
In that single, brief instant he becomes aware
Of how his disappearance caused her such despair,
How she cried and worried while he was gone away,
How she spent some time searching for him every day.
There was no sign or word of him until last night
When their paths crossed, but then he’d resorted to flight
For he had been incapable of any speech
And she had scared him away before he could reach
Out and touch her. Now she catches him by the hand
As he tries to escape and pulls him back to stand
Before her, his putrid face inches from her own
Fresh-complexioned beauty, her eyes as hard as stone.
Every detail of what has happened to him
Pours out through their psychic link and her eyes grow dim
As she learns of his death and the vengeance he sought,
How his hatred kept him going and fought off rot,
How he hid by day and searched the city by night
Till he found the man responsible for his plight.
Her eyes focus on his, absorb his fearful hate,
And the warmth of her love begins to penetrate
The countless layers of his cold, undying rage.
He struggles desperately, tries to disengage
But she holds him firmly and won’t let him go
Because she still loves him and wants him to know.
But his body is sustained by anger and hate
And as he accepts the love flowing from his mate
His whole world seems to move, beginning to revolve,
Spinning around and around, starting to dissolve.
He goes limp, falling and sprawling across the floor,
Releasing the soul that was trapped at the core.
His world stops spinning and fades rapidly away
As his soul at last takes leave of his earthly clay.
Head bowed, his wife lets out a single painful sob
As she pushes her way through the gathering mob.
It’s all over now, her husband is truly dead,
His body rots on the floor, but his soul has fled.
He is no longer driven by his hate and pain
Because he’s had his revenge, his killer is slain.
Chapter Eight: Bonus Poems
These are early poems that almost didn’t make it into this book, but I decided to include them in this bonus chapter. A couple more early poems should probably be in this chapter too.
Black Sabbath 1980
Ozzy went insane
And split from the band.
Tony scorns the pain
In his mangled hand
And continues to play.
Now Ronnie has come
With new things to say,
While Bill with his drums
And Geezer his bass
Still keep up the same
It’s a well-known game
But despite the years
They still beat the rest
And to my numb ears
They’ll always be best.
I know that you said
That when you were dead
You would wait for me
And I know that you would
If you possibly could
But who knows where you’ll be?
You know very well
There’s no way to tell
What death holds in store.
Perhaps it’s true, my friend,
That to die is the end
And there’s nothing more.
And if you do have a soul
How can you know the role
It will be forced to play?
Maybe an awesome power
Will want it to devour
And for all your sins you’ll pay.
And if it’s to Heaven you go
You should already know
I could never join you.
You would be an angel
And I would burn in Hell;
How happy would that make you?
And if there’s reincarnation
You might be born in a nation
Where I could never find you.
You’d live a life without me
In a land I’d never see,
Never sharing the love we knew.
But we can cheat our destiny
If you only put your trust in me
And give me all your charms
For all we’ve got to do is this;
Seal out time with a poisonous kiss
And die forever in each other’s arms.
If you’re a virgin beauty
And feel the need acutely,
For the price of your soul
You can achieve your goal
For it’s never too late
To be Satan’s next mate,
Though once it’s him you find
You cannot change your mind
Because ending your quest
Puts you resolve to the test
When you’re given a choice;
Repent and die, or rejoice
When Satan breaks through
To plunge deep into you.
At first rough and rasping,
Then slipping and grasping
Until the red hot eruption
Of Satan’s foul corruption
Comes spurting forth
With an unwholesome warmth,
But when he is finished,
Though your need is diminished
And your body’s relieved,
Within you, a demon is conceived.
Chapter Nine: Pot Poems
Intro: Another bonus chapter, with my poem about marijuana. The repeating lines are part of the rigorous structure of the pantoum.
Lots of people like to get high
Smoking a pipe or a big fat joint
Something to help themselves get by
And isn’t that the whole damned point
Smoking a pipe or a big fat joint
There’s nothing wrong with taking a toke
And isn’t that the whole damned point
There’s no reason to fear the smoke
There’s nothing wrong with taking a toke
Nothing wrong with the wondrous weed
There’s no reason to fear the smoke
It won’t create insatiable need
Nothing wrong with the wondrous weed
The weed is so misunderstood
It won’t create insatiable need
It makes people feel really good
The weed is so misunderstood
People don’t need a reason why
It makes people feel really good
Lots of people like to get high
Little Jack Horner
Sat in a corner
Smoking some buds of Thai.
He took a big toke,
Blew out some smoke
And said, “Man am I high.”
If you liked this book please take the time to write a short review, and check out other titles by this author. Thank you.
About the Author: Rik Hunik was born in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, in 1957, and has lived his entire life in BC, except for a few summers in Alberta, and a few days in Washington State climbing rocks. He has lived in Ymir, Wells, Quesnel, Prince George, Quesnel, North Vancouver, Quesnel, Burnaby, North Delta, and Quesnel. He lives with his wife Jo and a 17-pound (big, not fat), blue-eyed, white cat named Mister. Although he mostly constructs buildings to earn a living, he is a also a writer, poet, photographer, artist, indepentdent e-book publisher, and role playing game designer. He’s written dozens of stories, including fantasy, horror, sword & sorcery, mystery, humor, erotica, and science fiction, frequently combining genres. More than forty have been published in small press magazines and e-zines. He has also published dozens of ebooks at Shakespir, many available to the public for the first time.
Other titles by Rik Hunik: available at
Down Among The Hoodoos (atmospheric ghost story)
The Hole Story (science fiction, space opera)
Widdershins (modern fantasy retelling of old English folk tale)
The Gold Watch (western ghost story)
Defiance (horror poem)
Easy Money (alternate history, fantasy, paranormal detective novel)
Key Service (humorous contemporary fantasy)
On Full Moon Night (horror poem)
Incident In A Tomb (fantasy, horror, humor)
The Ghost In The Kettle (contemporary ghost story)
The Sitting (horror)
Worse Than An Orphan’s Curse (dark fantasy)
Joyride (fantasy, horror)
Green Eyes (horror)
Defiance 2 (poem)
Witch’s Skin (horror)
The Dark Gate (fantasy novel, sword & sorcery)
Forces Of Evil: The Board Game (horror, humor, zombies)
Night Lures (science fiction)
The Hole (horror, joke)
Under The Shade Tree (ghost story)
Wake-Up Call ( flash fiction)
Time To Time (A collection of time travel stories)
Swords & Knives & Sorcery& Magic (An eclectic collection of sword and sorcery stories)
Witches’ Skins; The Witch Skin Quartet