Who are these shadows?
The thundering train
Whose rattlings roar
Through my pages again.

Whence came the ladies
In bombazine skirts
To tut at my bedside
And shush when it hurts?

Why must I see them
When others do not?
When fever starts soaring
My visitors flock

All measure of ‘ill’
May be summed in a word:
Delirium –
Visions.  Increasing.  Absurd.


The Visitor

Last night I dreamed of you once more
I don’t know why it happened
I wandered down a corridor
Anticipating nothing more
Than labyrinth and cellar door
With monsters in the background

But lifting latch to enter in
To where subconscious led me
I found a room I’d never seen
And furnishings within my dream
That hinted at forbidden scenes
Unknowing feet had fed me

A dozen hints to where I was
Now trespassing, unbidden
A hidden world, a silent scream
An unfamiliar home would seem
Her imprint on your self-esteem?
I wonder how I’d know; when

It’s many years since we were one
And known to all as coupled
This showing of a life undone
A virtual necronomicon
To rub it in, how things went wrong
Two people were unshackled

And suddenly your face was there
But not as I remembered
New colours of your clothing; hair
Now tamed to something debonair
You tried to speak, your voice unclear
Imploring my endeavours

What could I do? I turned and ran
Unseeing, my escape sought
And fleet of foot, I left behind
The stranger found within my mind
Familiar face but false, unkind
Unbearable this torment

I tossed and turned an hour more
Unsettled by this vision
My hopes remained that one whose snore
Had lent such comfort when before
From dreams had landed on the floor
Beside me might awaken

And somehow find me in this plight
Besieged by thoughts, unwanted
And ride to seek the lover, whose
Untimely entrance might impose
Some limit on my own repose
But not a soul I spotted

And waking to a darkened room
The cat asleep; your breathing
I lay and wondered in the gloom
At all I’d seen and felt and done
And what might prompt this change of tune
Your visit to my dreaming

If somewhere you were suffering
And hoping I could save you
Could rescue you from what you chose
The path you trod, the door did close
When she sought more and you arose
To bite the hand that fed you

I turned my head from bitter thoughts
Regrets and all that shattered
To ask myself, if I were there
And had some proof that you still care
Would it still matter, anywhere?
And hoped to give my answer

The Insomniac

I leave the light on, late at night,
I don’t quite dare to face the night.
Leaping from the floor to bed
In case some creature grabs a leg.
For who can tell what lies beneath
Childhood terrors cause much grief
And only morning brings relief from
Witches, Goblins, Vampire teeth.
I close the curtains, windows, door,
Yet leave a light on down the hall.
I cross my fingers, sneak a peep,
Hold my breath and pray for sleep.
The windows rattle, floorboards creak,
The wardrobe holds demonic sheep
Whose glowing eyes are keeping watch,
Counting seconds, ‘mid my socks.
I’ve hated bedtime all my life.
I rarely sleep, but feel the knife,
The cold sweat trickling down my spine,
My sister’s snoring – sleeping fine.
And yet I daren’t drift myself,
Fearful of some vile elf.
Reading, writing, all night long,
Drawing pictures, whispering songs,
Anything I can devise
To keep from closing these tired eyes
Until at last the morning’s come, and,
Gentle saviour, brought the sun.
Then at last my watch will end,
Trusting in my faithful friend
Who watches me from day to day
And holds my demons all at bay:
Light will keep my dreams quite pure,
So I may fall to sleep once more.

Nightmares and daydreams

Inside my mind I dare not wander
Save for in the realm of slumber
Waking dreams are terrors real
And things I’d sooner never feel
I find within when dare I must
And venture forth before the dusk.

If you should ever find yourself
In daylight hours, beside yourself
Beware what beckons you with grin
And urges you to enter in
To what contains all manner of
Strange adventures, even love.

For what you meet inside your head
May drive you mad, or kill you dead.