by Stephen Paden

I wrote this about 4-5 years ago as kind of an exercise. There are a few issues that still need to be looked at, but I hope you enjoy it.

I dallied for several hours,
down paths in the mist-covered wood;
down trails where dead trees stood.
No blossoming, sweet-scented flowers,
in the dying and decadent wood;
in the ageless and blackened wood.

No Asef to suffer so meekly,
just quiet and peace in her stead.
She was now in a grave, cold and dead.
In the church on the hill where we walked down that aisle,
I remembered something she said.
I recalled just one thing she said.

‘I will love you forever,’ she told me.
And I muttered the same in return;
I whispered the same in return.
‘My love will not end, it will live past the moon,
and will linger past death if it must;
my love will turn steel to rust.’

As I passed by the trees that were bending
over me as I walked down the path;
covering me down that path.
The trail choked as if it were ending,
and the evening sky darkened more;
the evening sky darkened more.

Her grave rested deep in that forest,
where I buried her two months ago;
where she lay still where no one would know.
I fell to my knees at the Mound,
and cried as the tears froze my cheeks;
I cried as the tears froze my cheeks.

I wiped them and told her I missed her,
that two months only seemed like a week;
that the months only seemed like a week.
A voice whispered softly behind me,
and I swung around quick to reveal!
A ghostly white woman revealed.

I searched for a breath that escaped me,
and stared at the woman’s dead eyes.
The life had passed from those eyes.
She said ‘Don’t be troubled, don’t hate me,
I’ve remembered my promising vow,
but I have not revealed until now.’

‘I told you that my love will not end,
but I had no idea what that meant!
And the stones held the malice I sent.’
“But how are you here?” I had begged her.
“What air do you breathe that you live?”
“What demon has forced you to live?”

‘No demon or angel can hold me,
for the love that I gave you was true;
It is binding and wholesomely true.
The taint-ridden demons, they scold me;
My soul still has so much to do!
My vengeance has so much for you.
Your eyes will forever behold me;
in this vaporous form a new birth,
for I cannot remain on this earth.’

“Leave me!” I screamed at the vision.
That could only be wrought in my mind!
That could only exist in my mind.
I ran from the ghostly white woman,
down the trail from whence I had come;
down the trail that led to my home.

I arrived at my house in a panic,
and hurriedly slammed the door.
I barred and secured the door.
“Asef is gone, not here with me!”
I repeated this phrase to myself.
I repeated this phrase to myself.

I collected my thoughts and retired,
for it truly had been quite a day!
No more tricks for my weak mind to play.
I curled myself into the covers,
of the bed that we onetime had shared.
That Asef and I had once shared.

My eyes grew heavy and fell down,
and the dreams that pervaded my head,
were just dreams and not nightmares instead.
In my dreams she was back in her earth-bed,
no vaporous form in the woods;
just leaves where her grave now stood.

I awoke the next morning elated!
For I knew what I saw was a sign;
but I could not determine the sign.
I opened my eyes and I saw her!
At the foot of the bed she now stood;
just the same as she was in the wood.

I grew in a panic and cast off the sheets!
I rose up and stood my own ground!
I stood there and made not a sound.

Then I cried, “Leave me now, do not haunt me!
I cannot retract what I’ve done.
I cannot escape this maleficent web
That my verminous spirit has spun!”

‘I told you that my love was binding,
My soul will be burned into yours.
Our master awaits and we shouldn’t be late
To the fire and the sulfurous shores.’

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