Ode to a Mortuary Stench

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Ok- things have been insane. Sick kids, sick wife, sick self … I’ve also been super swamped with wonderful responsibilities in the fields of art and poetry. Beowulf: The Midgard Horrors is being worked on. I’m sorry this is late, but I wanted to share something on Flash Fiction Saturday. It’s brief and humorous. Until next week, happy writing!

Ode to a Mortuary Stench

Amusingly, the wizard watched on.

Passing underneath the cemetery, several
Comments were made, or complaints rather,
About the mortuary.

Some skeleton remarked on an inarticulate
Stench permeating the entire premises.

A slightly decaying carcass chimed in
With her own perception on the entire
Situation.

Anger began to fester amongst the worm-ridden
Bodies, boiling to a point of contention.
Voices grew louder and louder until at last
I silenced them.

“The smell, and further more the need for the
Smell”, I began, “stems almost entirely from and
For one reason only:”

Every eye, or hollow socket, turned upon my
Freshly blushed skin, full of formaldehyde.
The dead anxiously awaited the cathartic
Revelation I eagerly bestowed upon them.

“We’re corpses. Corpses rot and stink.”

Then the wizard waved his wand,
And we all fell limp.

James Matthew Byers resides in Wellington, Alabama with his wife, kids, a dog named after an elf, and two tortoises. He has been published in poetry journals and through Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, where he received his Master’s in 2010. His epic poem, Beowulf: The Midgard Epic, is out now from Stitched Smile Publications, LLC. He also has a short story featured in their upcoming release, Unleashed: Monsters Vs. Zombies. Recently, three of his poems won Prose’s weekly challenge.

Find James Matthew Byers at:
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/MattByers40
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Mattbyers40/
Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/JamesMatthewByers
Wordpress: https://jamesmatthewbyers.wordpress.com
Prose: https://theprose.com/JamesMByers

Vampyre

 

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Greetings! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! I’m working on Beowulf: The Midgard Horrors right now. You can rest assured the tale will continue next Saturday, Grendel’s honor. For now, here’s an adventure off of my well worn path. I decided to give free style a try. In honor of the release of the fifth installment in the Underworld franchise, here’s a poem called “Vampyre.”

Vampyre

Dark drip drains
The marrow
From the bone
Within my soul

Feasting teeth
Gnaw harder,
Sinking in
Beneath the flesh

Ambitious
Equation
Reels on heels
As I return

Bled, bleed blood,
Vein punctured
Aorta,
Vena cava

Cadaver,
Alignment
Resurrects,
I am undead

Sky sun lie
As night moon
Hangs starry,
Hour witching

Arms up, rose
Legs are crossed
Death has failed
And line gets tossed

Two slot holes
Become my
Advent forth
To never die.
James Matthew Byers resides in Wellington, Alabama with his wife, kids, a dog named after an elf, and two tortoises. He has been published in poetry journals and through Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, where he received his Master’s in 2010. His epic poem, Beowulf: The Midgard Epic, is out now from Stitched Smile Publications, LLC. He also has a short story featured in their upcoming release, Unleashed: Monsters Vs. Zombies. Recently, three of his poems won Prose’s weekly challenge.

Find James Matthew Byers at:
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/MattByers40
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Mattbyers40/
Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/JamesMatthewByers
Wordpress: https://jamesmatthewbyers.wordpress.com
Prose: https://theprose.com/JamesMByers

Twas the Night Before Yuletide or Santa vs the Reindeer

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My Saturday flash fiction blog and Beowulf: The Midgard Horrors will return on January 7th, 2017. I’ll be taking a breather for the holidays. But to tide you over, here’s another way to look at “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Seasons greetings from Midgard and me!

Twas the Night Before Yuletide
or Santa vs. the Reindeer

Twas the night before Yuletide, and all through the land
Santa Claus was preparing to make Christmas grand.
He went out to his stables, his heart full of cheer,
In a last ditch planned effort to rouse his reindeer.

The snow falling brutally as each crisp step cracked
And Saint Nicholas carried the toys he had packed.
When he entered the stables, two ravens sat perched.
All around them were symbols; the wood grains red smirched.

“Now, pray, what is the matter? What mean you birds here?
Have you come to cause trouble among my reindeer?”
The two ravens said nothing, then flew to the door.
Upon flitting, then quitting, they said, “Nevermore.”

“Nevermore?” Santa quoted, “Pray, what does that mean?
In a thousand past years, this beats all I have seen!”
Then they gave a good chuckle with wicked delight.
“Nevermore will you travel on Christmas Eve night!”

A look of surprise as the caws burst in cackle,
And Santa Claus saw Dasher break from his shackle.
Then the ravens flew out as the reindeer stood tall,
Captivating Saint Nick, who in fear took a fall.

“By the power of Christmas, what meaning is this?
Tell me, Dasher, now tell me! Just what is amiss?”
“Weihnachtsmann, some people, they know me as Woden.
In Asgard, I rule. I am Allfather, Odin!

Much too long have you punished these wood folk I see …
As the Lord of the Hunt, I will now set them free.”
And as Odin spoke, magic dispersed from each beast.
“They are reindeer no longer; each soul is released.”

Santa stood in much anger, scoffed, “We will just see.
Odin, you with your antlers can’t take them from me!
Now just look at you, fool, as some reindeer like god-
I will give you a whacking with my lashing rod!”

And as Santa approached swinging hard left and right,
Out of nowhere, the ravens dropped something in sight.
Odin reached out and snatched Gungnir, his magic spear,
Hoof like hands holding on as a battle drew near.

Father Christmas smashed hard with the rod in his hand,
But the spear Odin blocked with had much more command.
Back and forth the two parried, with nary a break,
And then Odin transformed Christmas lights to a snake.

After glow in its making, the brightly lit thing
Made its way around Santa, who started to sing
All the names of the reindeer, but he was ignored.
The serpent squeezed tighter, Santa cried, “I adored

Every single last reindeer that pulled on my sleigh.
And now look at you creatures! My, how you betray!”
From the shadows, the eighth one that Odin had been
Came and offered to Santa, “The age of these men

Now is ending for we are the dwellers who seek
To repay all the wicked and prey on the week.
No more presents and falsehoods from you in your lie.
Know that Midgard is free, as are we, so now die!”

Saint Nick slumped to his side and died in the stable,
The folk of the woodlands placed him on a table.
And as Odin then gathered his things and took flight,
“Merry Yule,” they exclaimed and they all took a bite …

 

James Matthew Byers resides in Wellington, Alabama with his wife, kids, a dog named after an elf, and two tortoises. He has been published in poetry journals and through Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, where he received his Master’s in 2010. His epic poem, Beowulf: The Midgard Epic, is out now from Stitched Smile Publications, LLC. He also has a short story featured in their upcoming release, Unleashed: Monsters Vs. Zombies. Recently, two of his poems won Prose’s weekly challenge.

Find James Matthew Byers at:
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/MattByers40
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Mattbyers40/
Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/JamesMatthewByers
Wordpress: https://jamesmatthewbyers.wordpress.com
Prose: https://theprose.com/JamesMByers

Tanka Treats

Today’s poetry blog introduces the tanka. This form of Japanese poetry has existed nearly 1,200 years. It’s similar to a haiku. It has five lines with thirty one syllables total. The lines are broken into the following format: 5/7/5/7/7. It can be about nature, seasons, or a manner of strong emotions. I’m going to compose one here:

Beneath the water
Unimaginable things
Hid with Grendel’s kin
Waiting for their next morsel
Any taste of flesh would do

These are a fun and easy way to express yourself poetically.

Now you try one!

Before we go, I’m sharing some pictures of the inside of Beowulf: The Midgard Epic special edition with illustrations. Enjoy!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1945263075/ref=sxts1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481820920&sr=1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65

James Matthew Byers resides in Wellington, Alabama with his wife, kids, a dog named after an elf, and two tortoises. He has been published in poetry journals and through Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, where he received his Master’s in 2010. His epic poem, Beowulf: The Midgard Epic, is out now from Stitched Smile Publications, LLC. He also has a short story featured in their upcoming release, Unleashed: Monsters Vs. Zombies. Recently, two of his poems won Prose’s weekly challenge.

Find James Matthew Byers at:
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/MattByers40
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Mattbyers40/
Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/JamesMatthewByers
Wordpress: https://jamesmatthewbyers.wordpress.com
Prose: https://theprose.com/JamesMByers

Huginn and Munnin (A Midgard Sonnet)

Yes, I promise … Beowulf: The Midgard Horrors will be return. I wasn’t ready to get back into it just yet. I’m still celebrating the release of the special edition Beowulf: The Midgard Epic paperback with illustrations from Stitched Smile Publications!!! (Here’s the link … )

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1945263075/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481325855&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=beowulf+the+midgard+epic&dpPl=1&dpID=51mNBmU7MPL&ref=plSrch

So for FFS (Flash Fiction Saturday) I’m adding another entry into what I have dubbed “The Midgard Sonnets.” Ready yourself … You now walk the realm of Midgard. Adventure awaits!

Huginn and Muninn
(A Midgard Sonnet)

Beyond the arc of time and space they came
The gods designed to govern o’er the earth
And God on High had brought them thus to fame
Creations from imagination’s girth
With Odin watching through the very eyes
Of two he sent to cover every land
The ravens soaring high in Midgard’s skies
Explored and did as Odin would command
In memory and thought, they came to dwell
One, Huginn, flitted wings and sang a tune
The other, Muninn, recollected well
As both rejoiced beneath the light of moon
Upon his shoulder they would perch and wait
Until their next release through Asgard’s gate …

Enjoy!

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Prose.

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This week’s poetry blog has a special purpose. I’d like to invite you to https://theprose.com/ … Prose. This community of creatives offers paid challenges, support, and a plethora of talent willing to share and comment on your work. If you are a budding poet, writer, or have any interest in creative literature, give this site a try.

This week’s #ProseChallenge has seen many amazing entries thus far. Your goal: select any classic poem and redo it, adding modern sensibility to the piece. I decided to take on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” I’m including the link here for you to check out. https://theprose.com/post/117068/the-raven-redux

The winner gets spotlighted, as well a $100.00. The runner up gets 1000 Prose coins. These can be used to purchase items from Prose’s bookstore. Get active! Get involved! And remember, when sharing your challenge entry don’t forget to use the following: #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit

As always, happy writing!

Oh! And a big p.s.

Beowulf: The Midgard Epic in special edition paperback with illustrations is out now from Stitched Smile Publications!!! Currently it’s # 1 in Scandinavian Literature! Adventure awaits!

https://www.amazon.com/Beowulf-Midgard-James-Matthew-Byers/dp/1945263075/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481214209&sr=8-1&keywords=beowulf+the+midgard+epic

The Dragon’s Wrath (A Midgard Sonnet)

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This week’s flash fiction explores what woke the dragon that eventually took Beowulf’s life. I’m collecting a series of sonnets to become a companion to Beowulf: The Midgard Epic, which is out now. The Midgard Horrors shall continue next week. Enjoy!

The Dragon’s Wrath ( A Midgard Sonnet)

The dragon rose from off its pile of gold
Enraged at finding someone had disturbed
A single cup, removing from its hold
The item, there unleashing wrath uncurbed
An unsuspecting thief had come to steal
Embarking on a dare from those around
In greedy admonition, his appeal
Preceded his own fear beneath the ground
A kingdom doused in blazing, heated flame
Began to burn and crumble into ash
The people cried aloud for but one name
A hero primed to face his final clash
So Beowulf arose, his fading breath
Ensuring he would battle to the death