Tag Archives: Horror


A taste for riddles that have no answers

At the end

Upside down

The sky sharp as a knife

Dogs let loose on their own recognizance

Prowl the gutters

Rifling sodden wrappers

Break open their skulls

Could be teeth and bone

Could be the rubble of sepulchred Rome

You tell me

As she lies there neither living nor dead

Fabric knotted around thighs and ankles

Winding sheet widdershins

With the warm silver of forceps

Flashing in the dark

You pluck the hairs from her body

From her head

White limbs rigid

Laved in spit

As if a semblance of innocence could engender resurrection

Faceless one

Your hands filthy as history

Splintering boards the grave colour of earth

Gored routed runnelled and worm-eaten

Here the building consumed by cyanic lichen and arsenic moss

A lair for delinquent perversities and slipped blades

Hides the mask

The dark emerges the secret

The permutations of that face

Livid in the umber a puzzle

Bruise mottle

Torn rags

Lipstick a bright discarded jewel

Keys in the red dirt

Over the concrete culvert

Sigils, misgivings, remnants of misadventure

Evidence, detritus where the river ends

Stink of fear

Here was the trail of blood

Left, fled

When my heel split open

When I stepped on an axe

Running away

Right, red

Circling up on toes like a dancer

Wince and hobble

Over the splintered boards

The peppertree filling the air

With a tangerine spice

Pomegranates spilt where they fell

Flies worrying the mingling stains

The creek awash with yellowing leaves

That fall but do not turn the wheel

The mill house wearing moss

Like a comfort

Of years that could waking be cast aside

The nacreous vehicle lumbering sloth-like away

From this cold glade

Past crumbling ochre chimneys

Detritus an alien expanse

A wound opposing the sky

The orphan weeds

The cavernous terraces

Crawling with the black and yellow of poisoners

Smoke and dust taint the blue balm

Into the unyielding horizon

One wheel circling

The moment when

In the dank water

So lost in slimes and sharp reeds

The dragonflies drone as the mud leeks into your ears

Uprooting the leech from this pale limb

Leaves it neither pure nor soiled

A smear of blood is ambivalent

As vast as is the night

Unaffected by your sarcasm

This space is the opposite of infinite

Here, now

The faceless and the masked and the naked still cry

The building lumbers circling


Kouji Tajima




Something a little strange for Halloween, with a picture adapted from a piece by Kouji Tajima.

Father’s Heart

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.