Dark Poetry
By Brian Barnett

ants crawling on me
long lines marching up my arm
exiting my skin
Faces Of Death
By Michael Pendragon

Death wears a kinder face today
His gaping grin replaced with welcome smile
While hollow sockets glow as if to say
"Hello old friend, let's sit and talk awhile
Or walk a ways together by the stream"

I nod my head and smile back at him
Tho time and age have cut my smilelines deep
And turned my visage into something grim …
But I am tired and would rather sleep
I close my eyes and sink into a dream

Death wears a gentler face these days
A sheepish face with softly caring eyes
And I have found when I return his gaze
The peaceful hush of boundless summer skies
Or coral sleeping on the ocean's bed

Death takes a face as tender as the night
And dotes on me as though a favorite child
Paints fairy lands in strokes of silver light
Spins cobweb castles 'til I stand beguiled
And long to know his kingdom of the dead

Do I but dream, or is his face my own
My mother's, father's, long-departed friends'?
Yea, all the faces I have ever known
There blend like some kaleidoscopic lens
And each one bent on beckoning my soul

Death wears a kinder face tonight
As one who celebrates a masquerade
I watch my reservations take to flight
'Til I would join him in this gay charade
And take my face -- a ghastly, grinning skull
Poetry by Brian Barnett and Michael Pendragon
To read other short stories,
click one of the titles below.
Love Thy Neighbor
By Michael Pendragon

One day I'll kill that worthless s.o.b.
That three hundred pound stack of human trash
Our paths will cross when no one's there to see
Then in a trice my vorpal blade will flash
And slash the globs of fat about his throat
Then as the bastard gags on his own blood
I'll stab the rolls of flab beneath his coat
And just to make our little drama good
I'll gut the fucker like a flopping bass
Then stuff his heart inside his gaping mouth
And shove his large intestine up his ass

I hope that none will think me too uncouth
Or be offended by my little plan
But I dislike my neighbor, sad to tell
And were I not a most forgiving man
I'd kill his cats and fat-assed kid as well
About Brian Barnett

Brian Barnett lives in Frankfort, Kentucky with his wife,
Stephanie, and his children, Michael, Sebastian, and Jane.  He is
the author of the Middle-Grade novella Graveyard Scavenger
Hunt and the collection A Closetful of Monsters.  

He is a Full Member of The Fictioneers with over 150 credits in
magazines such as The Lovecraft eZine and Trembles Horror
Magazine and in various anthologies produced by Blood Bound
Books, James Ward Kirk Fiction, Thirteen Press, and Static
By Michael Pendragon

Night glistens like the fresh December snow
That limns the bones of slumb'ring winter trees
When lampwicks hiss and hearthfire embers glow
Like sepia dreams and ambered memories
Of summer fields lost in the long ago

Night glides on sable waves of raven wings
In silent splendor thru the sleeping grove
While high above, her ev'ry footstep brings
A starry train -- a sparkling treasure trove --
The scattered gypsy gold of fairy kings

Night tiptoes in the hush of Dian's beam
To tuck her children safely into bed
Then sets the tiny candlestars agleam
And gently rocks the weary hunter's head
Bestows a kiss on meadow, vale, and stream

And thru the night the silent bear
Lies restless in his ancient lair
And counts the straying shades that sweep
Across his floor like phantom sheep
While round his door the fireflies
Recast the image of the skies
Across the quiet woodland glen

But far behind his rusty eyes
There lurks a wisdom that belies
His gruff, ungainly, rustic form
Where deep within such visions swarm
'Twould strike the Delphic seers mute
For in his dreams this glow'ring brute
Divines what store stars hold for men

Sometimes night rides athwart two frothing mares
With screech of owl and flutt'ring wing of bat
To prey upon the helpless soul that dares
Expose itself on feathered bed or mat
Oblivious for once to worldly cares

Thus like the succubus of olden times
She pounces on the hapless soldier's breast
And as Hecate's black-rimmed hour chimes
Torments his sleep as one by Hell possessed
Disturbing dreams, distorted pantomimes

At other times she creeps on mouse's feet
To cloak the evils in men's hearts and deeds
Beloved accomplice, merciless, discreet
Like nightshades blooming 'midst the meadow's weeds
Or whispers in the bow'rs where lovers meet

And all the while the watchful owl
Peers like a hermit from his cowl
Yet deigns not judge the shadowed scene
Where black cats prowl and banshees keen
For spots incarnadine besmirch
The talons on his lofty perch
And stain his vestments with his crimes

Across the land his anguished cry
Rings out a guilty lullaby
While children cow'r in trundle beds
And pull the covers o'er their heads
And hope the goblins pass them by
While still the great unblinking eye
Surveys the moon besotted climes

As night steps forth upon the darkened stage
Her myriad splendors bright as vestal fires
Bewitching prophet, poet, fool, and sage
Sibylline whispers spark arcane desires
Enchantress from an endless Golden Age

And all who fall within her wondrous spell
Behold such visions angels dare not view
Set sail for secret shores where mermaids dwell
And women fair are always lovers true
Where e'en the poet in his lonely cell
Might take her hand and let his heart take flight
In myriad dreams deep in the arms of night
About Michael

Michael Pendragon is an
American writer, poet,
editor, and publisher of
the literary magazines:
Penny Dreadful and
Songs of Innocence &
Experience (1996-2005).
His writings have
appeared in Terror
Tales, Morbid Curiosity,
Enigmatic Tales, The
Dream Zone, Masque
Noir, The Blue Lady,
Edgar, Frisson, Charnel
House, Nasty Piece of
Work, etc., and were
recently featured in The
Horror Zine, Sanitarium,
Disturbed Digest and
Danse Macabre.
Cave Hermit
By Brian Barnett

filthy cave hermit
will eat almost anything
welcomes trespassers
Creatures Escaping
     By Brian Barnett

mysterious sounds
secret military base
creatures escaping
By Brian Barnett

DUI penance
trapped in the wrecked car
alas, forever
By Brian Barnett

Roc, white bird of prey
building its skeletal nest
crunching human skulls
The Witching Hour
     By Brian Barnett

whispers in the wind
silhouettes in the moonlight
it’s the witching hour
Your Voice
By Brian Barnett

your voice on the phone
I always loved your voice
when you were alive
Zombie Apocalypse on
     By Brian Barnett

Burt in riot gear
Big Bird slain twice by
Elmo ate Grover
For poems by Jeremiah
Jaster, Jade Horne and
William Lau,
click here

For poems by Paul
click here

For poems by Brian
Barnett and Michael
click here