In the fustian gloom of the tower

something moves to give room to spiders.

the lips of hell part with a smile

pleased with its progeny and its guile

          and the sun slinks away

          from its slit in the wall

          where archers of old

          felled the pressing horde.

Nothing has ever left these chambers

and fear congeals with rotting straw

strewn across the stone flagged floor

where creep and crack speak low

of something we should not wish to know.





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M.C. Newberry

Sun 23rd Aug 2015 15:38

Shades of M.R.James! Atmospheric...working on a number
of levels. It took me back to visiting the chamber in
Berkeley Castle (in the 1950s) where it is said that the
unseated King Edward 11 was murdered on the orders of
his ambitious hate-filled queen and her lover. The location
then must have been awful in every sense, with the
castle set above a desolate river plain and its cluster of
peasants' hovels with their impotent fear-filled occupants.
"The shrieks through Berkeley's rafters ring
The screams of an agonising king"

David Moore

Sun 23rd Aug 2015 11:30


Remember the line in the Blackadder scene you describe? "the endless poetry"

That made me smile!


David Moore

Sun 23rd Aug 2015 10:50

Ray, great piece. I like it as it can be taken literally, or it can be a dark interior place. A secret we all have which keeps us moving forward, but is ugly and we wouldn't wish to share.

It speaks to me also of the despicable things which nations do to survive and how often they are seen as necessary evils. What interests me about that notion, is that often when viewed historically many necessary evils can be seen as quite unnecessary, though I admit not all.

I am familiar with that side of life.

Nice one Ray.

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Stu Buck

Sat 22nd Aug 2015 10:32

lots to enjoy here. the shortening of the lines and tower formation in the middle is excellent and trips off the tongue. the line 'where creep and crack speak low' is lovely, and the whole thing flashes memories of every ruin ive ever visited and the episode of blackadder where they are stuck in the dungeon by prince ludwig the indestructable. which is no mean feat!

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