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


sunflower said...

I came across your writings this past April and thoroughly enjoyed them all. It's been a while since I've checked in and I'm glad to see you're writing again, but am very sorry to see you've been having night terrors. While I've never had them myself, I have witnessed loved ones struggles with them and have been there when they have awakened disoriented and petrified. I will pray for you.

Your writings remind me very much of my father, also a midnight writer and gone since 1988. His journals which once were a cause for polite teasing, eye rolling and many tender moments are now priceless gems. I suspect you are aware of the gift and the legacy you are leaving your family. I thank you for sharing with me and the rest of your anonymous audience.

So many things come through in your poems, your writings and your blogs - a wise, self deprecating humor, humility, reverence, self conflict and self awareness, and a merciful spirit. What I like most of all is that they are pure and honest. As I said, you remind me of my father in many ways... Thanks for letting me visit with him through your mind. It feels good to miss him. I guess I'm at the age where I, like Papa Bear, cherish the opportunity to indulge myself with the past.

Mick said...

Thank you, Sunflower.

It is gratifying to know someone is reading my work, and appreciates the feelings and emotions behind the words.

Mick McKellar