David J. Hurfurt


Below stairs, the unlatching of a door

Sends a weight of muttered prayers,

Ricocheting down the aisles of history.

Oak strains against disturbance;

Hinges creak, laden with centuries of secrets,

Absorbed and held as memories in wood.

By day, shadows ink darkness in the vault;

And walls huddle in whispered incantations.

Ancient wisdom, cast on dust motes in its light,

Revolves around a teak and cypress sun.

Knowledge breathes in rhythmic, restful sleep,

Faded like the sepia captives of Victoriana.

A mortal key sounds in the lock;

A stone hitting the bottom of a bone-dry well,

Blind to triggering the inner shifting of shapes.

Book spines yawn, while creatures of alchemy,

Freed from the smudged world of medieval pages,

Move in a space where time has slipped its bonds.

The twisted, acrid root of the magician's soul

Is swaggering and thirsty for Draconian control;

Each member of the lion's pride, his wizardry has turned

With hooting and meowing his mastery's confirmed.

The remnant king is trembling below the sorcerer's tome,

His heart a mournful requiem, his roar a solemn groan.

The angel of compassion cannot resist despair;

Like a genie on a wisp of light she materializes there.

The shaman of catastrophe, well, he can only stare

As sheets of parchment tear, and tumble in the air.

Upon his spell, bright flashes fizzle, spark and flare;

A cloud of smoke disperses, and where he stood is bare.