Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pavor Nocturnus

Hello. It has been a long time since I last posted a poem. During the interlude, I’ve been searching for answers to some pretty basic questions, and the resultant shifts in perspective have led me to some rather dark places—journeys about which I am, as yet, unable to write. However, I want to share a recent visit from an old acquaintance.

Although we all have experienced dark dreams and nightmares, some souls (mine included) are introduced to the king of nightmares, the granddaddy of dark dreams: Pavor Nocturnus. Here is a brief glimpse into the world of pavor nocturnus...the night terror.


Pavor Nocturnus

A sometime acquaintance, harbinger, fright,
So suddenly visited me last night,
That I could no preparations have made,
To welcome such a most-unwelcome shade.
A dark brother, spawned in a shadow world,
His sinister, indigo wings unfurled,
Silently glided, an amorphous cloud --
And wove me a torpid, somnolent shroud.

It settled, as mist on a midnight strand;
Silently stealing ashore, the cold hand
Of fell intelligence, seeking to spread
A cloak of fear, a chill blanket of dread
Where I walked, a wraith on the path of dreams,
Where nothing is ever quite what it seems.
The eerie mantle, formidable, sheer
As the wind, ferried a black, formless fear.

I fled when I felt dismay in that place.
I led the fell cloud on a frantic chase.
I felt trepidation at each quick turn.
I sped through the nightmare, to safety earn.
Though I was quicksilver, the mist, more swift,
Caught me up, and cast me, trembling adrift.
My timorous, tremulous, terror scream,
Silently shattered my direful dream.

As the shards of my reverie dispersed,
I pondered again: Was I blessed or cursed?
Was my chimera a mere spectral snare,
A cursed apparition my soul must bear;
Or a phantom favored to save its nape,
A revenant blessed to always escape?
Favored or not, I dismissed the dark dread,
And sought the soft, warm redoubt of my bed...

Mick McKellar
September 2010