By: RC deWinter
in the shadowland
you stalk my dreams,
an incubus in nothing but a loincloth,
laughing softly as you chase me
down unfamiliar paths
you capture me, holding me
by my wrists.
i’m frightened but i don’t want to flee.
i want to know what you’re after,
why you’re always there.
even when i can’t see you i sense your presence,
your eyes trained on my every move.
what do you seek?
you cannot think i conceal a thing,
naked as i am to your night vision,
your scrutiny, your damnable knowingness.
even as you pull me closer
you release me, standing defenseless
in the beam of your laser that cuts
through all my pitiful pretensions.
will you ever tell me what and why,
or must i flounder in my suppositions,
always wondering, wondering…?
If you will not speak, i cannot.
i dare not ask what i long to know,
and you stand stockstill,
so far from telling.
We shall shortly see who are the steadfast.
True hearts shall be identified from false:
Those unafraid of darkness now descending
will witness my star fade to feathered ash.
I wonder who, as I spin – a crazed compass –
remains there – sturdy, unafraid of gloom.
I’ll warrant most have fled back to the tinsel,
the glitter and the falseness.
But I now greet oblivion unembellished;
honesty has slain the froth of wish.
And dimly down the unlit endless tunnel
flee flapping cloaks; the faithless disappear.
It is to be expected; only natural.
Who willingly accompanies a corpse?
But grateful would I be if one would stand by me,
to witness my dead electricity.
into the whiteness of the day i fly
without aim or purpose
sooty wings immune to the cold
there is no fixed target
i ache with an addictive tenderness
as somewhere a guitar plucked by unseen fingers
drops random notes into a far-off sky
so blue it threatens to drown me in a mist of melancholy
tinged with the sweetness of spring
when i can no longer keep myself aloft i
in a dizzying spiral
grateful for a dry patch of straw on which to land
the only bit of earth untouched by blizzard
once again i have failed
i must seek out a spade
and go to the woods
to bury a ghost
my magic is dulled
no permanence there
the dead resurrect
as a dreadful reproach
why can’t they stay
in their coffins asleep
instead of returning
to brag and to boast
to mock me and shock me
as though still alive
roaming feral in
memory’s hallway unbound
while laughing mirthless
their sinister mayhem contrive
i would give all i own
though in truth it’s not much
to sleep soundly at night
RC deWinter’s poetry is anthologized, notably in Uno: A Poetry Anthology (Verian Thomas, 2002), New York City Haiku (NY Times, 2017), Cowboys & Cocktails ( Brick Street Poetry, April 2019), Nature In The Now (Tiny Seed Press, August 2019), in print in 2River, borrowed solace, Genre Urban Arts, Gravitas, Night Picnic Journal, Pink Panther, Reality Break Press, Southword among many others and appears in numerous online literary journals