Hydra

Standard

Thick, tainted blood coursing

through black veins,

legs like two talon-tipped tree trunks

drag a confused creature

through the muck.

Breath of pure, unadulterated pestilence,

the smell alone keeps all

but the most intrepid

far away.

It picks the bones and chain mail

from seven sets of sated, grinning teeth.

There are many mouths to feed,

and all of them like to savor

each morsel.

A gnarled, writhing rat’s nest,

growing back stronger and fuller

in defiance of defeat.

An inexhaustible capacity

for contingency

plans.

Seven falls to six,

poison blood mist sprays

from mangled stump,

then two more heads

come roaring back —

a flesh-wound quickly repaired.

Much worse than a strong enemy,

is one that’s well-prepared.


Fog Lights

Standard

The rift extends over the horizon

and all around me

are shades and shapes

indistinct.

Soft hums

of far-off chimeras

echo in the distance.

The river of asphalt,

completely still

yet winds snake-like.

Pass the torch.

With the flick of a switch,

cast away the mist.

Burn it all off,

scatter the wolves,

the bandits

and the cockroaches.

Every puddle, pothole,

and patch of black-ice

exposed.

Every wayward wanderer,

given fair-warning

of approach.

Come with me,

I will forge

a path.

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Nymph-o-mania

Standard

The Nephelae,

In their endless nebulousness,

Floated,

With empty jars,

Once filled with rain water.

The Hamadryads waited,

With breath bated,

For a little drizzle,

But the Nephelae,

Wasted all of it,

Once again,

On a parade.

So to save face,

They went to their sisters,

The Naiades,

To fill their pitchers.

“Back so soon,” they asked,

Poking their heads out,

From the running rapids.

The Nephelae looked at their feet,

“Use it wisely,”

Said the Naiades.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you”

The Nephelae screamed,

Dipping their jars,

Into the river.

They floated off, toward the forest,

Then the Aurae blew them away,

Over the Amphitheater.

“Now’s as good a time as any!”

And they dumped their cargo,

Onto the concert.