The Trees

A nightmare.
My dreams are restless, dark and cold,
As I traverse the lonely road,
An avenue of gnarled trees,
Leafless, lifeless effigies,
Reaching out with claw-like limbs,
To unsuspecting victims.

Through their branches, storm winds wail,
As though of lost and lonely soul,
And up ahead a shadow twists,
A sense of evil in its midst,
Yet still I carry forward on,
Against instinct to turn and run.

The creak of branches beckon me,
To quench my curiosity,
And though I've had this dream before,
Yet still I follow to the lure,
Of fleeting shadows, dancing mists,
Into the unknown darkness.

Whispered voices, incoherent,
Fill my mind with dread and torment,
The instinct still to turn and run,
Is refuted by their scorn.
I carry on the rugged path,
Yet, though I fear it leads to Death.

Eyes that shine like mocking spark,
Fireflies that dance the dark,
None to fear, I tell myself,
Harmless insects in-themselves,
And yet, the innocence of their prance,
Cannot awake the nightmare's trance.

On, on, and further on,
Forward into the unknown,
The skeletal forest beckons still,
My heart to race, my soul to chill,
My spine to creak like withered branch,
I carry on against my hunch.

Suspicious, though I am with fear,
Something in the darkness there,
Lures me inward to its depth,
To where it's darkest secrets kept.
Oh why, oh why must I go on,
Against the urge to turn and run?

Deeper, deeper, deeper still,
Into the pitch, against my will,
The urge to scream, to run away,
To fall upon my knees and pray,
Is thwarted as the branches lower,
To raise me up from off the floor.

Further on, I'm urged to go,
The branches tugging at my clothes,
Too late, too late to turn and flee-
The forest closing in on me-
I have no choice, I must go on,
To find out that which is unknown.

Thunder roars across the sky,
As though saluting sacrifice,
I dread to think my journey's end,
The evil alter of a fiend,
My blood be spilled in ritual.
Yet onward I be propelled still.

Through the trees; how high they loom;
I forward on within their gloom,
Of shadow cast by gnarled wood,
As the squall of darkness floods,
With a cold, dense nothingness,
That brings terror to the senses.

Before me stands the great cathedral,
A twisted effigy of memorial,
To all that was but now is not,
To that which cannot be re-got,
To all of such has gone before,
To the horror of the evermore.

Bones draped in cloaks of darkness,
Stand silent sentry in their harness,
Twig-like fingers point the way,
Ahead I go to my dismay,
Against my will, against my judge,
Forward on still, I trudge.

What lurks within that treed cathedral,
Who's branches arch and twist like evil,
Talismans and trinkets to,
Devil's, warlock's, witch's brews,
Casting shadowed tendrils forth,
To rip and tear and rend my clothes.

Cold and naked, stood before,
An alter made of wood and stone,
I shiver in my anxiousness,
Of what is hid within the darkness.
Of what I fear, I know not,
But fear I feel within my heart!

And still I have an urge to flee,
Yet I'm compelled to wait and see,
What madness should torment me so,
To chill the marrow of my bones,
That would crawl upon my skin,
And drive me half-insane?

I watch the trees begin to sway,
I hear the chant of evil play,
It's moans and groans of misery,
To souls long-lost to history,
And I'm sure that in the darkness looms,
The reason for my pending doom.

Mesmerized by ritual,
I cannot stand, yet cannot fall,
I simply sway as with the trees.
I try to yell, I try to plea,
My innocence, my ignorance,
My soul's perpetual deliverance!

Then all at once, within a scream,
I escape the nightmare dream,
I look around my darkened room,
And fear what lurks there in the gloom,
As a tree branch taps my windowpane...
I fear I'll never sleep again!
Published: 12/2/2015
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