My Father’s heart beats in a glass jar,
All black and blue and red,
On the windowsill.
All loverly with the sun going down,
And the sky all dark and colourful,
Through Mother’s delicate lace curtains,
Sheer and trimmed with edges like snowflakes,
And embroidered violets.
Mother’s heart unfortunately is still and black and clouded.
Such an ugly thing,
In the jar beside him.
I suppose it was the vinegar.
But my Father’s heart is like a sunset.
I’ll be sure to show sweet Jenny,
When she comes home.
I’ve been reading Weird Tales recently – the classic magazine of the macabre imagination. There’s something quite extraordinary about horror poems. I suppose it is the poem’s purpose to encapsulate, to concentrate a moment of intensity, combined with horror’s exploration of the intensest moments. Of course terror and beauty have been inextricably entwined at least since the time of Edgar Allan Poe. To add in some small way to that tradition is a worthy poetical ambition.