"Seven bums and fourteen legs,
a brazen ecstasy which begs
the question some of us are asking -
is Peter Goulding multi-tasking?"

Martin Parker, Editor, Lighten Up Online

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Poetry bus driven by Pure Fiction

Pure Fiction is looking for uplifting stories of helpful spirits from the Otherworld. I think its time to go Goth...
To See Leonie Again

One month. One deadened month had passed,
In which no playful sunlight fell,
Since sweet Leonie breathed her last
And plunged me in eternal hell.
I’d stroked her cheek upon the bier,
So cold to touch, devoid of breath,
Cocooned within her tragic death
From love and waste and morbid fear.
And, in my blind, oppressive trance
I bore the slap of circumstance.

I shut myself inside my room
And cursed the intervening hands
That brought Leonie to her doom
And mocked our dormant wedding bands.
Fearful friends with timid knocks
Upon my sturdy oaken door
Were roundly scourged like ne’er before
And fled downstairs, as from the pox.
And all the while, I howled in pain
To see my sweetheart once again.

But then, one morn, a colleague came –
Oh puppeteering alchemist! –
With potion, amber as a flame,
To cleanse, said he, my darkened mist.
And I, with neither care nor heed,
Drank deeply from the proffered vial,
While he, with easy, pleasing guile,
Observed the fast-descending mead.
And as I gulped the bitter draught,
I spied an old abandoned raft

That bobbed and wavered by the bank
Of some foul-smelling, hateful stream,
While somewhere close upon my flank,
An old man cursed my devious dream.
Upon the swaying craft I sprang
And loosed the moorings from it’s side
Submitting blindly to the tide.
And in my heart I felt a pang,
A tremor swathing through my veins,
As though enclasped by ghostly chains.

Across the nitred dark I flew,
While deep below the flimsy boat,
Half-hidden from my trembling view,
Swam shadows black as creosote.
And lo! a smould’ring coast appeared,
And high upon a craggy rock,
Clad in a charred and smoking smock
Arose that figure once revered.
With writhing hair and blackened eyes,
Leonie uttered wretched cries.

I tried to turn, to move my limbs,
But terror held me petrified,
As all the while, those hellish hymns
Like lightning crashed above the tide.
And when the prow defiled the shore,
A great three-headed dog appeared
Behind a poplar, black and speared,
Emitting a triumphant roar.
Then as I cursed the crimson moon,
I fell into a blackened swoon.

The latch slides back and there appears
A shallow and impassive eye
That gazes ‘pon my rage-filled tears,
Then turns away and passes by.
Imprisoned in this padded cell,
I fight this all-embracing coat,
As screams well up inside my throat,
Screams that med’cine cannot quell.
For still she stands there, black as coal,
Beseeching me to save her soul.
Slightly lighter tales may be found here


  1. Wow, wow, and wow! The story itself is great, but it's the rhythm and the language of this that I love. There's almost an Ancient Mariner feel and the story held me as does his.

  2. I WILL sleep tonight.

    I salute you, Samuel Edgar Robert Alighieri-Brownridge!

    Have you ever seen "The Woman in Black"?


    P.S. This would make a great Lords of the New Church video.

  3. Wow Peter, what an epic! some brilliant lines in there - the use of nitred, creosote etc, is great too.
    Really a compelling one

  4. Yes, an epic. As a Poe aficianado, that's who it brought to my mind.
    It was the second stanza that really got me, but the whole piece is just a stunning work. Blimey, this is a good week. Loved this!

  5. This could've been penned by some 19th century master - fantastic stuff - and you manage to maintain the rhythm and energy right to the end, which is some achievement!

  6. Definitely one to be read aloud by the fire on a long, dark night! You do this really well - some luscious language.

  7. just fabulous, the strong rhythm really drives it along and it's images are wonderfully evocative, definitely leaves you haunted.
    thanks for sharing

  8. It wasn't quite like this but this poem set of a train of thought and, seriously, it left me wondering if there's not a whole genre to be developed: steampunk poetry! It would be interesting to pursue it.

  9. Peter, you have written a classic horror tale. Applause! Applause!

  10. Definitely Poe-esque! You have a real command of the style and language here. I've read others' attempts at this kind of thing and it often comes out wrong becuase the language isn't quite right - but you nailed it. Great story and a blistering set of images.

  11. Amazing story, really great :)

    marinela x x