''Nightmare One'' - A poem by John Eric Gulliksen


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Copyright by John Eric Gulliksen
All rights reserved

NIGHTMARE ONE
a poem by John Eric Gulliksen

Darkling sky
quiet ocean
down marble stairs
beyond the garden
the sun sets

Lean now upon a friendly trunk
first stars appear

behind me...

Sweat makes my palm sticky
no...
my hand is...
being drawn into the TREE
AND THE DARK ONES COME!

FLEE!
Leave flesh and bone hanging in tatters
as banshee voices shriek through center

RUN, NOMAN!

vines clasping knees...
grip ankles...

Closer!

RUN, NOMAN!
Heed the voices!
FEAR HAS BEEN NAMED!

The glen!
None can hide there!

On the bench
figure
flowered dress
lemon skin turns black
leprous

She waits
moving now to trip
She of the auburn hair
springing to catch
So swift is she!

RUN, NOMAN!
still they come behind
and she
talons outstretched
keening for blood
DARK ONES

FLY, NOMAN

to the sea
beach
candy-covered beach
soft sand

Sky now shot with gray
Ocean now black - angry
Sand shining palely sweet
evil

still they come!

RUN, NOMAN!

By the water They cluster
kicking at a white seal/thing flopping

closer

slavering!

Fly - gasping
like the wind
THEY look up as I pass
up from the flippered thing lying mewling
its tormented eyes
flash recognition? pleading?

still they come!

RUN, NOMAN!

run, Noman!
Swift as thought
as deed
as blood
as
lead

slow
shrinking
knees
thighs
grow together
the sand CHANGES

the sand...

ankles joining
floundering
falling

pain...
flopping
gasping

sand
sand
sand
so dry

gritty
searing
in eyes
nose
mouth
throat
lungs

The Dark Ones laugh
showing ivory fangs as heels crush bones
laugh

SCREAM!

mist
faces
Dark Ones

SCREAM, NOMAN!

once again scream
once again
die