My chambers teem with tensions, taut, that logic can’t withstand,
fragmenting mental masonry with memories unplanned,
as bitter tears from amber eyes reduce the stone to sand.
Dim shadows cast by candles flit across the haunted room,
beleaguer apparitions, pale, that stalk me through the gloom,
usurping purloined purple forms forgotten ghosts assume.
The tick-tock clock of time rewinds within the mirrored hall
and pendula suspended, pause, while creatures creep and crawl
on images of effigies, through memories that maul.
The madness of the midnight mass! Perchance it interferes
with spiders spinning spiral threads which bridge the chandeliers
when weaving minds' discarded coils to silken souvenirs.
Reflections graced the vacant gaze of idols as they fled!
Their futile, feigned, far-flung farewells now hammer in my head,
marooned like frozen silhouettes in footprints of the dead.
My lovers smile through marbled masks before they turn their backs
(like furnace flames deserting ash or phantoms fleeing cracks)
with faded, painted, wrinkled faces nightmares carve in wax.
Sometimes a gust disturbs the dust and secrets reappear,
which dance in silver slippers through the dusk of yesteryear -
it's not the screams that drown my dreams, but whispers which I fear.
The hangman posts a letter home, his message indiscreet
about the vestal virgin in the café (where we meet
to savour tea and crumpets) down a one-way dead-end street.
The rapping and the tapping at my tattered, time-worn door
repeat reports of migrant myths, of tales of nevermore,
strung far across a sullen sea, most shipwrecked near the shore.
Forget-me-nots, enwrapped in rain the while a wan wind blows,
recall the faintly fickle fates this drifter undergoes –
alone, unknown with tracks interred in teardrop undertows.
My feet, no longer tied or tethered, traipse within a squall
pursuing profiles long forsaken, buried in the sprawl
of spectres spread amongst the dead, some tattooed to the wall.
At times, the belfry towers toll of anarchy and gin,
of smoke and mirrors, rolling dice and other things akin,
impaled on forks down byway roads, and things that might-have-been.
The skies outside, beyond the night with shutters shut and drawn,
begin to glow on shattered shapes escaping ’fore the dawn
as clouds undone beneath the sun release this captive pawn.