Yule Fest

Gathered together for the centuried rite;
Across snow-covered ground we walk bleakly t'ward home,
Through archaic Kingsport and streets seldom trodden,
After sunset's last rays have sunk into the gloam.

Only the lonely and poor still remember
Why we have come to this place out of time;
In this strange haunted city where once lived our elders,
With its gambrels and gables all covered with rime.

In the last ancient house at the end of the alley
We are met by the priest in his waxen-faced mask;
From blasphemous books we relearn the rituals,
Through tunnels beneath we descend to our task.

In green-litten caverns we hold dark communion,
Near a subterrene river where ghouls fear to tread.
With wild harmonies and songs cacophonic,
We sing and we laugh as we feast with the dead.

Then beyond the blackness from over the river,
Where the green flame burns bright and the black waters fall,
Come our mounts that are neither a mole nor a buzzard,
But something a sane man could never recall.

Far back in the shades of these gangrenous caverns,
In the depths of this cosmic Tartarean hall;
Are shapes of vile things that somehow are moving:
Vile things that walk but ought only to crawl.

Maddened, we rush down that black, oily river,
Past chaotic cataracts that thunder and boom;
Through caverns infernal on wings gaunt and membranous,
Our steeds flop and fly as we rejoice in our doom.

Yes, only a few of us old ones remember--
Only the cursed and the sad demon-kissed;
And snow fills the footprints that wend through the alley,
And the last ancient house disappears in the mist.

© 1997 Alan Peschke

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