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Gaunt Man: A Tale of Woe

Gaunt Man: A Tale of Woe
A gaunt, gloved man. He guides the rein
As slate skies pour out sleet and rain.
Four black horses haul a dark hearse.
It holds a mauled corpse stained by curse.
Heav’ly breathe. Celtic draught team,
They snort, paw, nostrils flare with steam.
The bier wagon sways, cadaver rides,
Behind green glass, the coffin slides.
Syrup gray mud grips, grabs mares’ hooves
While wood wheels squeal; squeeze rutting grooves.
Breeze whips, whistles, twilit winds blow,
The gaunt man grieves, as hot-tears flow.
Find ruined love in father’s eyes,
Hurt by son’s loathsome wizard lies.
On the eve, of the devil spell,
Gaunt man tore the black book from hand.
He stopp’d the son’s domdaniel Hell.
Crush’d underfoot damned talisman.
And in that hour, he, hurl’d warlock
From cragg’d tower, to jagged rock.
As dark clouds gath’r’d; billows swift,
Father cradled broken horror,
Then hasten’d to repair the rift,
That brings Armageddon hour,
From dark brimméd hat, water pours,
The death ride grinds, as gaunt man hears:
Fears; groaning moans, from mountain peak.
On he speeds, down the road, chance bleak.
From shadowed rooks, dark crawling band,
To claim the witch, destroy the land,
On he pushes to chosen spot,
Where son’s sin, a father must blot.
Plodding progress through miry clay,
To a grave, by his hand, pre-planned,
Prepped with acids, herbs, oils that day,
He cleansed the soil, ancestral land.
Now at the place, where men wear hoods;
women wear veils. The mourners wail;
kneel in prayerful attitudes.
At sound of howls, hearts nearly fail.
Rainfall. Behold, drench’d, wet pine box,
The silver key op’ning the locks.
Cerement cloth removed, unveil’d,
unwrapp’d corpse, hath goodness prevailed?
At sound of howling banshee cry,
They wait, pray, gaunt man win the race,
While corpse of son in mud doth lie.
Grasps the Cadaver’s pallid face.
Mourners see the ground-crawling haint;
Through rain, mist: hissing, evil taint,
the hell-spawn demon quickens pace,
to claim the witch in his pine case.
Wolf-bane, thistle, Bible in hand,
The villagers; man; make their stand.
Gatherers heavy lives await;
Ceremony, anticipate,
Gaunt man, father, to pay the price,
Holy sign, now the sacrifice.
From canvas bag, takes, grasps sharp brass
knife ready to decapitate.
Head back, hand in hair, knee on grass,
Wizard’s head severed, salt applied,
Used in spell to emancipate.
Cadaver warlock, peace, at last.
Poised on ebony escarpment,
Harpy wolf-howls, cry at the dawn.
Hell-spawn slithers, now impotent,
Back to hell’s shadow’d cave; gone.
Words are spoke to send the curse away,
Pine box is lowered in the wet, red clay,
Clouds roll back, the sky no longer gray,
The living, free! Rejoice; sing; pray!
The devil flees as the sun lights the day,
Deeds of the son, father thus, must pay,
Now, behold, view one last scene weird.
Mares, whinnied, at the sound, they reared,
Sword blade, steel, into heart is seared,
Blood of gaunt man, spilled, as feared!
Villagers rend clothes, as they peered.
In bright dawn, morn light, sun appeared:
Visage pallid, blood spattered beard.
Father’s life ebb’d, sinks, heart wound leered,
by the grave - of son, dead wizard,
In mud, lifeless, one eye is teared.

26 Jul 03

Rated 9 (8) by 1 users.
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Inactive (5): 6, 6, 8, 9, 9, 9

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Doth the raven call? Doth it?
 — Moth

Does it speaketh of the trinity? Indeed! Bring forth the Mollusk!
 — unknown

O'er the cusp of infinity, I calleth thee; bring me my chalice, and we will sip from it; Prithee tell Lord, I will say, have thee heardeth of "Gaunt Man: A Tale of Woe"? No, he shalt say. And then I will beginneth.
 — ersaph

I keep coming back to this poem. It's title is so alluring.
 — Moth

Its title.
 — Egg

I KNOW I'm not a poet, so if anyone wishes to tell me what I've done wrong, it would be very appreciated. I wan to improve it. I do know the "flow" is off.
 — RSpiers1

I actually really like it. It's very geeky, but in a splendid way. :)
 — Egg

it made a movie in my head, with popcorn. if you ask me you ARE a poet. see you at the carnival!
 — onklcrispy

This is indeed Celtic sounding, gothic in the extreme, with stanzas twisting between regular rhythms and almost into the familiar ABAB CDCD EFEF GG verses. It's gory and stormy and I like it a lot.
 — Isabelle5

isabelle, thank you. can you elaborate on the format. i felt it was simple octameter - if that is a term. i was told elsewhere that the gluttal sounds and the sibilant sounds conflict, for instance, A gaunt, gloved man. He guides the rein//
As slate skies pour out sleet and rain. should be A gaunt, gloved man guides the rein which loses a syllable but sounds better. any help is greatly appreciated.

besides being old fashioned, what could give it a "8" or "9". Maybe the format kills it, though most everyone gives it a "thats entertaining, somehow".
 — RSpiers1

Every time I read this, I like it better.
 — Isabelle5

some story
 — bttrswtd

wow, i love this poem   its very powerful and gory. i absulotly love it
 — gothicsin69