Reading the Signs in Fallen Branches

An uncharacteristically stormy summer night
Crawled in without warning
Rattling the window frames
And wrenching leaves from wind-whipped trees
There is some not-insignificant meaning
Behind this surprise visit
Though, not much more is known
Aside from the unknown
And the intrinsic knowledge
That existence has to mean something more
Somewhere, sometime  

(taken from the poetry collection, Standing on the Threshold of Madness.)
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Graveyard Feline Morning

Walking the rows
Of aged and sunken stone
I came across a large patchwork feral cat
Laying at its feet
Was the still, small body
Of a young rabbit
The feline scampered away
Along the leaf-littered path
And disappeared
Into the surrounding stones

I picked up the still-warm body
And found it still alive
I cradled the creature in my arms
Stroking fingers through its soft fur

Several rows east
Sat upon the edge of a tomb
I found it had died in my hands

I placed its limp body
Upon the grave of a dead child
Marked only with the words ‘Little Tommy’
And that’s where I left it
As I wandered away
Through the crooked stones

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Axe & Scythe

Driving through endless cornfields
Grain silos sprout from their midst
An overcast Midwestern afternoon
Grey clouds stretched for miles
The old farmhouse sits somewhere around here
Sags on its weary piles, long abandoned
Once home to a hardworking, honest family
And as the story goes
The First Nebraska Bank sent word
Of seizing the well-kept house and grounds  
Father, mother, two lovely little girls
Sent into a state of irreparable shock
Days of cellar-distilled whiskey
Has rendered him spent of body and mind
Until one fateful moonlit night
He took a scythe to those cherubic daughters
And an axe to his weeping wife
Finally, taking his own life
By hanging from the rafters
Nothing left
But the creak of wood
And the south-pointed toes of scuffed boots
Swaying softly in a phantom breeze

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Stumbling into this diffused dream
Gilded rays of light
Caress forgotten skin
The forsaken do their time, naturally
And I have drowned myself in the fountain of youth
Many times over

Her lily-sweet breath
Expelled the water from my lungs
Those delicate fingers
Dressing wounds in clean bandages
And her lips pressed soft
Against the flesh of my cheek

Awoken to a nightmare
Laid bare upon cold stone
A heart beating in a clawed hand
And losing more blood by the second

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I Am One with the Dead Trees & Razorblade Winters

This tomb is much too cold
As all three-and-a-half hands point south
And the pages on the calendar
Curl up and die with the dead leaves
This mind has been fractured one too many times
Though, I use the insanity to my advantage
Scrawling words on makeshift parchment
While watching buildings rise from the leaping flames
Old bones that grew disfigured
Now comfortable beneath atrophic skin
But the all-familiar thirst for blood
Never wanes

Never will 
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The Old Haunting Grounds

Those crooked tombs
Have been scrubbed and repaired
Stained-glass, covered with a casing of metalwork
But still, the nooks of old stone
Whisper their fond memories
Of clandestine fondling
And kisses stolen
Beneath the towering cross

The ancient oak
Gaping hole in its trunk
Filled with dead leaves and stagnant water
Bears witness to better times
Though, the hunt never really ends
The perpetual padding of paws
Upon rain-swept grounds
Hell-bent on the trail
Of a pretty girl

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An empty archway
In a garden of leaves
A sky torn asunder by barbed wire
Factory arms
A ticking clock
The decaying gull
On the stones by the rusted tracks
A violin hung in the tendrils of a grapevine
An empty bottle upon an ink-stained desk
The shutter click
Before time itself breaks
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Some desolate stretch of blacktop
The headlights barely cut through the rain and mist
Tall firs border the shadowed road
Thick and impenetrable
Guitars jangle from the car stereo speakers
And the tip of a cigarette glows orange
In the ever-darkening night

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Standing on the Threshold of Madness

Praise for Benjamin Blake and Standing on the Threshold of Madness...

"I was most impressed with Standing on the Threshold of Madness. These dark, brooding vignettes do far more than send a shudder up one's spine (although they do that again and again, with elegance and panache). Benjamin Blake has found a way to infuse into his horrific lyrics a keen sensitivity to human emotions, an understanding of the fragility of life, and a bleak portrayal of the evanescence of all existence. This is a volume that aficionados of weird poetry will want to read over and over."--S. T. Joshi

“Benjamin Blake relishes funereal lyricism with a spice of surrealism.” - Ramsey Campbell

"Language and imagery rule in this collection of dark visions. Blake has a distinctive voice, rich in surrealism, and he uses it to considerable effect." - Bruce Boston, SFPA Grandmaster Poet

“A plethora of dark and haunting poems that could be likened to a bone chilling symphony overall!  Mood enhancing language that will curdle the blood, and excellent, original imagery!” - Marge Simon, Bram Stoker Award winning poet

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Broken Camera Lens

The wind whistles over washed-out fields
I have spent countless days searching
Amidst tall dead grass
And dust-smothered railway shacks
For any trace of her
Alive, or otherwise

A raven watches
Perched atop a weathered fencepost
His gaze is cold and direct
Suddenly distracted by something on the stones of the tracks
Flashing in the noontide sun

The carrion eater takes flight
as I approach
A fragment of glass
Convex and iridescent
Inherently, I know it belonged to her 

This whole thing reeks of misplaced time
I am still no closer
This has gone on for years now

I don’t believe it will ever end 

(from the forthcoming poetry collection, Standing on the Threshold of Madness, to be published by Parallel Universe Publications.)
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Drained of corporeal life
Swamp lights dancing a slow dirge
I bleed out in the mire

Ascending, I make new vows
Time is now broken
Pliable to this fevered will
They will burn like November

No need for the rib spreader
A meteor-shower arrival
Will end in cataclysmic departure

Amid the flames and bone fragments
I will forever be the filament in this eternal beacon
Guiding the forcefully departed
To the crooked gates of Hell

First appeared in The Indiana Horror Review 2016.
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Chicago Typewriter

The snow is coming down fierce
As I weave through the midnight streets
Hands glued to the wheel, knuckles white
She's waiting at the docks
But the clock is counting down

Shoulder open the car door
Engine still running
The soles of my shoes slapping an echo
Out across the frosted ground
There's something crumpled up ahead
I fight harder against the savage wind
Slicing in from the lake

She lies in a pool of blood
Already starting to freeze over
Snowflakes landing on her pale cheek
Settling in her lashes
Mouth slightly open
And no life left in those azure eyes
There were more bullet holes
Than I could count
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