Over the horizon

 I

Bright, billowing white sails like angel wings

 Shimmer beatifically

In the opalescent moonlight

As an ethereal ship

Disappears over the horizon

Towards a golden lighthouse

Beaming like a giant halo

 Across distant, mystic shores

Leaving a trail of footprints

In the golden sand

And a blaze of shooting stars

 

II

When frost dusts the trees

And the leaves turn brown

When there is a chill in the air

And rain lashes down

When the desolate road is rocky

And darkness falls

When fear

Coils around your heart

Like a serpent of thorns

When you feel you are drowning

And struggle to breathe

And the waves pull you down

Into the icy black sea

When thunder roars

And lightening bolts

When aquatic stallions

Rise from the deep

In angry revolt

When ships are smashed

Into tiny smithereens

And the gloomy wasteland

Littered

With skeleton leaves

III

When you hear the birdsong

On a crisp Spring morn

And inhale fragrant

Pink rose petals

In the roselit dawn

 

When a tiny white butterfly

Unfurls her crumpled wings

Glistening like a snowflake

On a dewy emerald leaf

 

When the sun gently dries

Your tear soaked cheeks

And melts the icicles

That stitch your eyelashes together

Like frozen barbed wire

And sea water heals

The slashes on your wrists

Carved deep when grief

Was etched raw

On your heart

When you fall into a deep slumber

Fuelled by booze and pills

Stalked by insomnia and nightmares

IV

When clouds float peacefully

Across dreamy daisy meadows

And juicy blackberries ripen

In the russet hedgerows

 

When chestnuts roast

And log fires burn in the hearth

When the embers glow

And a warm light fills your heart

V

When a canopy of frozen stars

Blaze like demonic fireflies

 Across the ebony sky

And a flurry of snowflakes

Turn the world dazzling white

So beautifully cruel

When frostbite

Turns your lips blue

And you are skating blind

 On a jagged sheet of black ice

VI

Soon it will be Spring again

When new buds will form

The ice will slowly thaw

From your bleak, shivering bones

And the blizzard will blow away

Winter’s crown of icy thorns

 

Copyright © 2017 Anne D Morgan

Sinner

When dusk falls the sinner’s

Lonely pyre is solemnly lit

With tinder full of woodworm

And choking with dry rot

The holy river shivers

 

Tiny flames like crimson rose buds

Ignite and bloom

Into fiery serpent flowers

With bright, dancing petals

Of incandescent orange, red and blue

Devouring the deceased

Like voracious beasts

The Stars weep

 

As smoke trails away

And the smouldering ashes

Are gently cleansed

Temple bells ring

And a new day dawns

 

Copyright © 2017 Anne D Morgan

 

Stallions and Sirens

A demonic, testosterone fuelled

Galloping heard

Of aquatic stallions

Crash fearlessly

Against the shore

Pebble grey with steely manes,

Tongues lolling, eyes rolling

Foaming at the mouth

 

Forks of diamond white lightening

Slash and burn

The melancholy, inky night

Thunder rages fiercely

Like a tormented beast

The silver alpine moon shivers,

Petrified

 

Wind howls and lashes the

Huge equine beasts

With her frozen tongue

Like an ethereal horses whip

As they rear up on their hind legs

Tangled manes dripping with salty water

Flanks glistening with briny sweat

Ruby calves, shredded by coral

 

Doomed pirate ships carrying cargos of lost souls

Are hurled ferociously against the rocks

Like flimsy matchsticks

And smashed into tiny pieces

 

Scattered like a pile of rubbish over

Jagged rocks along the shore

Torn bodies,

Prostrate like dead starfish

Or Jesus on the Cross

Lie in tatters like bloody rags

Hair strewn with oily coils

Of tar and seaweed

Encrusted with tiny crabs

And bloody seashells

Cracked blue lips caked

With wet sand and barnacles

 

The stallions’ nightmarish watery jaws

Swallow bodies whole

Plummeting them

Into the frozen underworld

Finally, free

From their hellish

Living nightmares

 

Neptune’s beatific sirens

Like otherworldly ice maidens

Wearing iridescent white gowns

And garlands of shimmering seashells

Bury the dead

In their watery graveyard

Weeping silently

Murmuring ‘May God rest their souls’

 

Meanwhile, ghostly hags

Shrouded in ancient black veils

Like inconsolable, jilted widows

Clutch the bloated corpses

Of long drowned sailors

 

Restless Spirits entwine

Like a mangled mass of

Congealed cobweb jelly fish

Then float into the blind abyss

With sinners and whores

 

Majestic Golden Hinds

Appear on the horizon

Filled with weary travellers

Rubbing dreamy eyes

Devilish nightmares are swept away

With the swish of a sail

 

Exhausted stallions retreat

As the merciful dawn unfolds

Like sweet, fragrant rose petals

Gentle waves lap the shore

Caressing the hooves

Of milky white mares

and tiny newborn foals

Sirens comb their silky hair

Sitting on bejewelled rocks

Once more peace is restored

 

 

Copyright © 2017 Anne D Morgan

 

Ashes & Sand – 1st prize LSJ short story comp

July Short Story Competition Winner

Here is link to the website:

http://www.lsj.org/web/competition/jul16.php

July 2016 – Short Story

1st – Anne Morgan

Ashes & Sand

By Anne Morgan – 1st Place

Present day – St Ives

Flies swarmed round the headless, bloated corpse as screeching seagulls circled overhead like vultures. It was a sweltering morning in August. An ethereal figure of a young man hovered nearby as the sun scorched his skinny bones. In life, his eyes were piercing sapphire blue and broke hearts.

The mangled torso entwined in seaweed had been found by a woman out jogging just after dawn, washed up on Peregrine* beach.

As the body was driven away, three more ghostly figures of a middle aged couple & a young woman joined the young man and floated down the beach towards the sea.

Steadying his hand, knife poised, the rookie pathologist prepared to make his first incision.

Week earlier

James arrived in St Ives mid-afternoon after driving down from London with his mother’s ashes to scatter in the sea. She had taken an overdose. Beside her body was an envelope containing a letter.

A month earlier, London’s notorious black cab serial killer had been suffocated in his hospital bed. In her final letter, his mother had confessed to the killing.

James sunk several whiskeys in The Fisherman’s Tavern before heading unsteadily down to the beach where he had spent idyllic summers as a child. The waves, like wild stallions, were coming in fast and storm clouds brewing.

Eight months earlier

On Christmas Eve the mutilated remains of Saskia, James’s teenage sister, had been discovered dumped in bin liners near Embankment. She had been raped, strangled, stabbed & butchered. She was Jonathan Hardy’s third victim. Shortly afterwards he was arrested after his forth potential victim, an off duty police officer, fought back.

Saskia’s distraught mother, Jenny, recent widow of slain mobster Johnny Mack (whose killers were never apprehended) vowed revenge.

Month earlier

Thanks to ‘inside’ contacts at the prison where Mack was on remand, Jenny orchestrated a frenzied attack which would put him in hospital. An anonymous tip off revealed the whereabouts.

Disguised as an agency nurse, with a stolen ID badge, all she had to do was hold her nerve and foil the prison guard stationed outside his room. She would put the pillow over his head and personally finish the job.

Returning home, Jenny wrote her blue eyed boy a letter before calmly swallowing a handful of Valium. The black moth that slumbered in her heart had risen from the embers & unfurled its ugly wings again; the pain unbearable.

Present Day

As the scalpel slices into John Doe’s flesh, an icy blast of salty air whips the pathologist’s startled face & he hears the petrified screams of a drowning man.

A week later, horrified local fishermen discover a badly decomposed head and urn in their nets. The injuries suggest the victim was dragged under a boat. The urn contains waterlogged ashes and a disintegrating envelope.

And so the sea continues her onward journey, sometimes turbulent, sometimes calm but surely as the tide rises & falls, ashes will be scattered & footprints left on the sand.

Crimson

Crimson

The bonfire is his temple, and the abode of ghosts and evil spirits his home

The bewitched vermillion sun scorches
The skulls of sacrificial virgins
Which hang on chiselled spears
Attached to wooden stakes
Still warm from the satanic pyre
As sadhus bathe in their ashes

Beside a pile of human heads
With flowing ebony hair
Matted with blood
A warm, crimson blade glistens
Fresh from the slaughter

Bowls and jewellery are carved
From human bones
Skin and entrails boiled
In a filthy, blood stained cauldron
Destined for magik potions

Turmeric is smeared on
Fevered mahogany brows
Whilst holy men high
On alcohol and marijuana
Meditate to reach enlightenment
Around the macabre bonfire

They sit naked atop cadavers
Wild, dreadlocked hair
Hangs down their lean backs
Like a mass of knotted cobras
The putrid stench of death
Laced with the sweet aroma
Of Jasmine and marigold
Cloys the fearful breeze

When the tuberose dusk falls
Tortured souls from the spirit world
With frozen, contorted faces
Hover on the perimeter of the abyss

A family of monkeys
Playing amongst
Crumbling tombstones
Are darted with poison arrows
Before being skinned alive

Human and animal flesh is devoured
By the skeletal sadhus
Washed down with human effluent
Their feast shared
With a pack of starving pye dogs

The skins are tied to the branches
Of the graveyard’s mystic banyan tree
Whose roots are said to be the entrance to Hades
Guarded by a monstrous immortal naga

A vat of warm virgin blood mixed with milk is
Placed at a hole by the trunk
For the vaporous blood thirsty creature
Who will slither up from the earth’s bowels
In the smoke filled darkness
To consume his nightly offering

Virgin skulls used as candle holders
Are lit and placed in a circle
Around the sacred tree
The saffron moon shivers

The mystic tribe summon the dead
Prostrated before grotesque deities
Smeared with virginal blood
Garlanded with lilies
Chanting surreal demonic poetry

The serpent rears her head
Tongue flickering manically
As hellish flames leap high
Into the midnight sky

As dawn breaks
Vultures dine
On grisly remains

Bloated corpses float
On the toxic river
Choked with industrial
And human waste
While temple worshippers
Light incense and pray
For the sweet, pure rains
When polluted souls will be cleansed
And crimson stains washed away.

Copyright © 2016 Anne D Morgan

This poem is inspired by the Aghori monks.  They are a Hindu sect known predominantly for their taboo practices such as the ritual cannibalism of the dead