To pause at the lip of this voiceless place
To wait at the brink of this frozen dream
And feel its dead breath seep through waiting space
And know its kiss would swallow every scream –

It is like death.
Deep-buried in this crypt
Must stalk black wonders beggaring belief:
Thin mandibles of chitin that have sipped
The blood of innocents; whose name is grief.

Here, waiting to be sent among such powers
I lie, a plastic-clad ambassador
Who frets, and sweats, and blinks, and counts the hours
Till contacts kiss, till nozzles howl and roar.

I have one comfort.
Nothing in that sky
Is half so cruel, so terrible as I.

From The Elven Lands by William Illsey Atkinson
Copyright © 2010

Published Work

Works in Progress

  • The Fifth Evangelist
  • The Sea That Laps Vancouver