Stuart Howson - Dark Poems

- An April/2004 Special Feature -

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::Born To Bleed::Bite Marks In The Dark::I Sail By Black Curtains::

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|| Born To Bleed ||

Stained pale white,
Surging with flickering, wicked energies,
With nowhere to send them.
Spitting black spite.
Eating at mankind's conscience,
Tenant of the night,
Looking for some sustenance and delight.

Made and raised into the creed,
Unbound from hindering roles,
Wild, unrestrained and ready to multiply and breed.
To prolong the parasitic domino race,
To bite another stranger's beautiful face.

Born to bleed,
With an inbuilt need to find something sweet to feed.
A clawing, barbed, sliding banshee need,
Inside shouting out loud,
But only you can hear the roars.
That growl and chatter,
Growing the highest on the witching hour.

The craving drives on and on,
Each night becomes a blur in a pop up book,
That has a new shape and feeling each bitter owl time.
Created by the love of two such creatures,
A sibling to ranks of outlying half relations down the centuries.
But now is your time,
To strike,
And spread the mark of the iron on to another.
Spoiling unspoilt souls and scum alike,
Mercy would be an excuse to spare those that lack suspicion or anger.
Innocent and villainous fall like wheat slit by scythes and blades. 
But the signs point and demand falling shapes,
To feed the beast,
Or madness and splintering rage springs forth to engulf every living thing nearby.
The black mist must be kept at bay.
Control the need or fall to become the ultimate safari animal in the concrete jungle. 

Born to bleed,
And sow the cursed seed. 
To cause the channels to flow and rain.
The puddles are a carpet in the neon night.
Discarded litter and packets are a metaphor for man's little time on this planet. 
A playground for the careless and wicked.
The clocks rhythm on,
Punching towards another sleep and then more.
To munch down,
Just as in forest history the bare legged hunters were mauled by giant wild boar. 
To lunch on all and to create unsolvable and disgusting crimes and gore.
To gain the drain and then carry a thought of guilt for some hours,
A welcome respite and change from the nagging plans for the next menu.
To travel everywhere throughout the night where everywhere looks the same.
It has always been so,
And it will continue to carry on this way.
The hunter and the prey,
Nature's most primeval role.
Everyone is a chess piece in the big game. 
So the famous saying goes, 
They were born to bleed. 

|| Bite Marks In The Dark ||

Had the unfortunate mishap,
To meet a grim tramp last night.
Took a short cut through main park.
In the dark,
Stupid, foolish mistake.
And I said I'd never get caught out at night in that place.
Fists pounded on my back,
The groceries flew in slow motion,
Brown bags ripped,
Black grapes and milk spilled a filthy sea. 
Hands as hard as granite grabbed me.
And then it went blank.

Someone had switched off the light,
Sending away the life.
Sucking me out,
Sending me away and replacing it all with hell. 
Leaving an empty shell,
Penalising me with bite marks in the dark. 
I have become a bottom-less wailing well.
No end in sight,
For this poisonous gift I've taken,
An aching, twisting inside.
This choking, endless plight.

Got home around 3,
No one would have missed me.
The cat, Porcupine flew away after one sniff
He wouldn't re-emerge again,
Think maybe he's left for good.
They say cats and dogs can see things we can't,
Maybe that's true?

Soon it will be sun up,
I find myself instinctively covering the blinds with old newspaper,
I am a passenger now,
Something else controls my innards.
The mirror thing is true,
And bulbs burn my eyes.
Considered calling the precinct,
Then decided against it, 
For good.
Maybe I'll hit the park tonight,
I will repay that tramp,
The hard way.

My job,
That's down the pan.
Got to think up something practical if I can.
But now the flats shake,
People are awake.
I am a surveyor of all.
I read the air that they label as they use it.
Can smell and feel the whole flat,
The scurrying rats,
The slumbering, ranked bats,
The cockroaches alien and darting in the cracks.
And the tenants, 
And their innermost thoughts,
And desires.
Every click and flowing juice of their brain cells. 
The cooking and babies crying and couples aggressively arguing.
I hear inside all. 

But then I start to shut down,
Hibernation mode for the day hours,
Can't take a bath now,
Will have to later.
Soon I'll be up again,
The tramp is my first port of call,
To settle the grudge and to ask questions,

|| I Sail By Black Curtains ||

They call us creatures of the night,
Written about and feared,
Hunted down and staked and burnt alive.
They only see that side to us all.
The brutal, aggressive, primeval side,
You bring to bear each night.

Switching the blank mask turning to the face of a million screams,
Breaking into their homes, through padlocked doors and holy water rooms.
Kicking in wood and metal,
Clawing, snapping, scratching, screaming, howling and worse for fun. 
Until they realise that they are just dreaming,
The nightmare is over.

How many have you taken?
Or did you lose count after the first ten?
Pick off the idiots that strut the night,
Begging subconsciously to meet their maker.
Up there or down.
The first few tend to put up a flight and run and struggle foolishly to fight.

After that experience,
The others.
The sorry lambs fall like sycamore seeds spinning towards the jaws,
Each fate sealed by the slam of the door they left behind,
To make their last journey.
Beasts or beauties of the shiny, silken realm,
We can never unite,
Never truly touch or trust. 

We are oaks among withering saplings. 
So many names label us over the ages,
Some do so little to create the right balance about the reality,
Of what we all have to carry inside.

And of what we all left behind. 
And have to nightly reflect on about when we crossed and died.
Travelling the eternal cycle,
Copying the spiteful moon. 
Its glow hurts our eyes the first couple of months,
But this fades,
Like the memories of the ancient lives.

Mournfully discarded in black bins inside our heads. 
In the small form. 
Climbing the dark sky like an eagle of the night.
I sail by black curtains. 
Over roof, garden, road, house and ditch,
Sensing and touching. 

Cleverly passing through lines and awkward shapes.
What would it be like to swap the day for the night?
And to let them become the hunter and let the craving drift away on the rolling sea?
But the stupid, humiliating thing is tragically, 
That it can never ever be. 

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Copyright 2003-2004 Stuart Howson