The Mirror

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While I’m sifting through the plot and direction of Beowulf: The Midgard Horrors, I appreciate your patience. Here’s a piece for reflection … #FlashFictionSaturday

The Mirror

The mirror hung upon the wall,
A symbol in a darkened hall.
The path on which the living stall;
A madness lurking came to call …

No person knew from whence it came,
Or who had placed its wicked frame
Upon the space, no more the same,
As evil soon became its name.

A woman of an elder sort
Refused to leave her haven’s port,
Her roof beholding horror’s sport;
The mirror and its queer retort.

Her house was once a cheery home
Where merriment agreed to roam
But days as those had come and gone
And sullen silence summed the tone.

The frightened neighbors couldn’t see
The house was plain as plain could be.
Of wood and brick and cobbled plea;
They harbored vile insanity.

The ones who heard the story told,
The residents whose aim to scold,
Examined, coming to behold …
But their reflections shivered, cold.

The woman tried to usher out
The ones who came in wearing doubts
Continuing to plague and clout
Her manor with their frightened shouts.

Intent to hide and to protect
The mirror’s power, so abject,
The woman held out in respect,
Despite of what it would reflect.

She never tried to move it, nor
Allowed those passing through her door
To touch it; only to explore
The image seen, and nothing more.

The more the mirror came to show,
The more she felt the evil grow
Until at last the falling snow
Reflected through the window’s glow.

And though the knowledge caused her pain,
The woman proved she would abstain
From letting go for freedom’s gain,
And left the mirror to remain.

The residents from the poor to rich
Decided she must be a witch.
The rumors dug a sordid ditch,
Encasing truth, a pass to pitch.

A rally and a feuding horde
Became what rumors could afford.
But they relinquished flame and sword
And opted faith within their Lord …

They called the vicar down the way,
A man of pride intent to fray
The woman, putting on display
Her sins, his means to make her pay.

He reached her home and entered in,
An exorcism to begin
For what he thought must dwell within.
He chided her and named her sin.

The woman shifted, white and chalked,
As down the hall the vicar walked.
He didn’t listen as she talked.
Instead, the mirror’s face he stalked.

At last she’d taken way too much …
She cried aloud, “You mustn’t touch!”
But egotism’s ardent crutch
Ignored her and he did as such …

Religiously in his romance
With tempting fate and circumstance
He held aloft his sudden chance
To catch his image in a glance.

Because his hands began to shake,
The mirror dropped, but didn’t break,
The vicar made a grave mistake
And slammed his foot in anger’s wake.

The mirror’s glass flung all around,
Releasing evil in a bound.
The vicar screamed a horrid sound
And dropped before her to the ground.

The woman, seeing pride repressed,
Observed the man who’d been obsessed.
The vicar madly there confessed:
“Be gone from me! I am possessed!”

He jumped and ran out in the night,
A soul depraved and full of fright.
His actions had been done in spite,
And wrong surpassed his view of right.

A burden lifted like a veil.
The story that she came to tell
Is known to all; to all quite well:
The way she seemed to conquer Hell …

Her home, in warmth, became endowed
And welcomed freedom from its shroud.
The darkness parted like a cloud
Allowing what was not allowed.

There are two sides to every soul.
The mirror placed it in control
By making half of every whole
Of he or she whose life it stole …

The truth, too much for some to bear,
Diminished them with just a stare.
At last released into the air,
The daemon crept up slowly there.

The woman’s features, frail and thin,
Contorted with the monster’s grin.
And coming thus to dwell again,
The two of them embraced her sin.

No longer trapped behind the glass,
The woman’s warning came to pass.
And now the daemon would surpass
The others in the witch’s class …

“Beware this wisdom shining clearer.”
Prays the woman that you hear her.
“Darkness might be coming nearer
Next time you look in the mirror.”

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 in both Kindle and special edition paperback. James designed and illustrated the cover and interior art for his debut novel at SSP, where he works as an in house illustrator. He also has a short story featured in their upcoming release, Unleashed: Monsters Vs. Zombies. James has recently won two Prose Challenges at http://www.theprose.com. His poems, “More Gravy” and “The Raven Redux,” both took first place. He continues to write prolifically, supporting anyone who wishes to place their hammering fingers to the keyboard anvil, becoming a polished wordsmith in the process.

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

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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