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The Blood of a Dead Poet

a long story-ish poem

By Caitlin McCollPublished 3 years ago Updated 3 years ago 4 min read
The Blood of a Dead Poet
Photo by Pietro De Grandi on Unsplash

Author's Note: This is the final poem that was in Concrete & Glass (part 2) : Twilight, a dark poetry collection. But, I didn't feel like it quite fit there with the rest of the poems so decided to release it separately. If you enjoy dark stuff/horror, I think you may enjoy this! ~ C


The man that lurks in the shadows, was once a poet, an artist of words.

He once was living, with blood in his veins, but is now no longer alive.

He spends his days lurking in the shadows.

When night falls, he leaves his comfort zone

To roam, in search of others that were once like him.

The man that lurks in the shadows, realizes

His victims do not fully see him,

Only a movement,

a flash in their peripheral vision

They think they just imagined what they saw,

But realize to late it is reality,

And quickly, silently, all their creativity flows out

As the dark red liquid flows heavily

onto the soiled floor

The man that lurks in the shadows, says to his dying prey, “You were once like me, a poet, an artist of words.”

He sighs, as his victims' eyes look blearily into his own, “And now you will be like me again, what I have been for centuries.”

The man that lurks in the shadows laughs,

“I was once you, and now you have become me!

Spending your eternity in search of others that were once like you. You will suffer in your need

You will thirst for release.”

The man that lurks in the shadows

looks down at his victim, his prey.

The victim with little strength, struggles to speak “Can I go with you?” they whisper.

The dead poet laughs yet again, and says ‘no.’

He continues in a raspy voice,

“All of us must find our own place. We can never hunt together. You must use your creativity. What you had in your life, you must use in death, that is the only way you will gain what you need”.

At that, the man that lurks in the shadows is gone, leaving his victim, his prey,

to struggle to their feet, and find their own way,

to lurk in the shadows

in which they will spend eternity.

The man that lurks in the shadows, his face wan and stretched with an eternity of struggle.

He continues on, in his never ending search,

For the liquid of life he needs to continue his torturous existence

The man wanders for hours, until a soft glow appears on the horizon.

He quickly makes his way to a large, green dumpster and crawls in, hiding in the farthest corner.

He sleeps,

but is aware of what is going on around him.

No one disturbs him that day.

The man that lurks in the shadows, as the day turns to dusk, crawls out of his temporary home,

He sees a young woman, a painter he senses,

an artist of images, walking down the street.

She is the only soul around.

In a flash he is behind her. She gives a little start, having seen something in the corner of her eye.

She turns to look over her shoulder, and sees nothing, but senses movement on her other side.

Before she realizes what is happening,

she is on the ground in a wet pool.

She falls in and out of consciousness,

aware the pale man standing above her is talking.

And as soon as he appeared,

he has abandoned her in the street.

She stands up, slowly, on shaky legs,

And heads toward a shadowy spot up ahead.

The man that lurks in the shadows,

on his quest for a more substantial meal

Realizes suddenly that he has grown weary of this, his eternal struggle for survival,

“If”, he thinks to himself, “you can call this survival.”

The man knows that he is no longer alive,

and wonders how he can end his eternal existence

He thinks back to the man that created him,

he was, the man recalls, a famous poet,

a man named Edgar.

He tries to recall what the man had told him

Of how he could end his existence as the bringer of everlasting death.

The man that lurks in the shadows wanders aimlessly for hours.

He climbs up a sandy bank, digging long, gnarled fingers into the ground for purchase

Standing on the top of the bank, the man gasps,

an ancient sound

He looks out for miles,

over a dark, inky black expanse of water.

He can hear the waves lap noisily against the beach in the silence of the night.

He remembers what it was that this poet,

this Edgar, had told him.

The only way to cease your existence, is to walk into the water, never looking down

“Look only straight ahead,” Edgar’s voice rings hollowly in his head, “look towards the horizon, and,” Edgar admonishes, “only go when you see a soft yellow glow on the horizon, it will not be painful that way.”

The man that lurks in the shadows,

Scrambles down the sandy bank

as fast as his old legs can move

He walks close to the waters’ edge, and then lowers himself to the ground.

He sits, still as death, legs brought up to his chin, staring out over the ocean.

He waits patiently, hours drift by,

Until he notices a pale yellow line slowly growing larger, where the ocean seems to end.

At first, the man does not move,

he is hesitant, unsure.

The man that lurks in the shadows

slowly rises from the ground,

Not moving his eyes from the pale glow.

He moves his left foot, and places it in the water, and then moves his right.

Looking ahead, never down,

the man strides into the water, slowly,

yet full of purpose. As he does so,

the man that lurked in the shadows whispers,

“This is the most poetic way to go.”

As the last of his head sinks under the waves,

The water turns dark crimson

With the blood of a dead poet.


Check out more of my poetry below!

performance poetry

About the Creator

Caitlin McColl

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Aeternum Tom Bradbury

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