Dark Poetry
Poetry by Alexa Findlay, Changming Yuan, Derek Brown and
Gabriella Wilden
Death at a Circus
By Alexa Findlay

there strangers sit
clumped together
in a single
red & white circus tent
to watch
the performance
before them
staged by
those with red noses
& bright suits
as they mingle & giggle
once harmless
now dangerous
clowns gone mad
with machetes in hand—
To read other short stories,
click one of the titles below.
About Alexa Findlay

Alexa Findlay is an
Undergraduate student at the
University of California,
Riverside. She spends her time
writing poetry and fiction. Her
work has been featured in El
Camino College’s Literary Arts
Journal: Myriad, See Beyond
Magazine, Pomona Valley
Review, Better than Starbucks
Magazine, amongst others.
About Changming Yuan

Yuan Changming published
monographs on translation before
leaving China. With a Canadian
PhD in English, Yuan currently
edits Poetry Pacific with Allen
Yuan in Vancouver; credits
include ten Pushcart nominations,
the 2018 Naji Naaman's Literary
(Honour) Prize, Best of the Best
Canadian Poetry,
Threepenny Review and 1,449
others across 42 countries.
The Bird
  By Derek Brown

I dreamed I rode on a giant bird,
No feathers on its head
I could tell by the smell of rot the world below was dead
It soared above the wasted land, no life upon the ground
And in the distance I could see what looked like a blackened mound
It's surface crawled and writhed, and the giant bird let out a screech
A million other birds broke apart with blood upon their beaks
A beating heart was revealed, its surface gauged and split
The savage beast began it's feast, determined not to quit
Until the heart beat its last, and mine was filled with dread
But what could love and strength mean to a bird that eats the dead?
By Changming Yuan

As giant ants march ahead in nightly arrays
Demonstrating against the ruling humans
Along the main street of every major city
Hordes of hordes of vampires flood in, screaming
Aloud, riding on hyenas and
Octopuses, waving skeletons
In their hairy hands, whipping at old werewolves
Or all-eyed aliens standing by
With their blood-dripping tails

Gathering behind the masses are ghosts and spirits
Of all the dead, victims of fatal diseases
Murders, rapes, tortures, wars, starvation, plagues
Led by deformed devils and demons
As if in an uprising, to seek revenge
On every living victor in the human shape
Some smashing walls and fences, others
Barbecuing human hearts like inflated frogs
Still others biting at each other’s soul around black fires
All in a universal storm of ashes and blood

Up above in the sky is a red dragon flying by
By Alexa Findlay

staring back at me
with its
beady red eyes
razor sharp claws
devilish horns
as I cling to my bed sheets
a demon
from the underworld
ready to take my soul—
By Gabriella Wilden

I tell in the simplest of speak,
Of what follows and stalks me,
It’s very ghost and essence in the frame of mind,
Near impossible to comprehend of this wreath.

And when I speak and spin such a tale,
Which whispers and taunts,
Their hushed tones turn to shouts,
Shouts of disgust and of gleeful appeal,
For this wreath is known to very few,
And their thirst swallows his idea whole.

Yet, the unmoving still moves,
All throughout the lavish room,
And despite the wreath’s fondness of me,
I see as it stalks and gently caresses those dear,
As if my very essence,
Is not what the wreath intended to be near,
And as I dance and my view is spun,
It turns and smiles,
Reminding me I’m the one.

In the dead of night,
When all are gone,
And the halls are bare,
It lurks with a loudness that one cannot bear,
It stomps and storms,
And as I shout and scream,
“The wreath! The wreath has come for me!”
None are able to hear.

Very little has to do with the night,
No, the wreath readily feeds in the day,
In all hours, it figures it can slay,
When the night is upon us,
And the moon hangs high,
When even the holiest,
Question the existence of the littleness of light,
And how vast the dark as it lay,
The wreath taunts those,
With its indecent and sinister ways,
Its evil glare smiling in pity,
To the light that remain.

Despite so readily speaking,
I do not think I can stop this wreath,
That has become me.
About Derek Brown
In for the Kill
By Alexa Findlay

there she waits
a top her white silken bed
dressed in black underclothing
heels as red as blood
sprawled upon the sheets
waiting and waiting
to seduce her potential mate
luring him to his death
her fangs sunken deep into his decrepit body
devouring every inch of him
until there is nothing left
but his offspring—
By Changming Yuan

There is a fairytale told, and retold again
In Ming Dynasty, about a coquettish fox that
Takes on the shape of a beautiful young woman
Ready to offer herself to a poor obscure guy

Like a magician she brings rich food and wine
To him during the day, and uses her two mouths
To suck up all his yuanqi (energy or masculinity)
At night until he dies in ecstasy of sexual love

Then, the immortal woman would marry another
While many hungry boys would rather become
That lucky guy. I enjoy thinking of that fox
Like a deformed soul wearing a human mask

With hair behind, which makes it feel itchy
While all men are waiting, in anxiety
Evening Walk
By Changming Yuan

Each time I take a stroll after supper
I am haunted by the idea why night falls down
Far thicker and faster
On my neighborhood than elsewhere

In particular, I often see the fanciest house trembling
Like a tortured monster, as darkness shot
Out of its chimney, greenish blood gushing out
From its pipes, giant shapes charging
Towards the windows like bloated moths, smelling
Of fresh human corpses, myriads of muted voices
Screaming so hard as to thrust open the entire roof

Every time I would keep myself farther away from the
Residence, in case it might drag me into the black fire
That backfires from inside. The house belongs to
A new governor, just elected, a passer-by once told me

Gabriella Wilden is an Alaskan
woman striving to pursue a
career in writing and expression.
She has been published before
and hopes to continue to write
and improve her craft, while
caring for her three pooches at
home. In her spare time, she
reads relentlessly, and blogs to
bring awareness to disability
and mental health.
For poems by Alexa Findley,
Changming Yuan, Derek
Brown and Gabrielle Wilden,
click here

For poems by Cindy Kovacik,
Ron Larson and Brian Barnett,
click here

For poems by John Grey and
Alexa Locksley, click here