‘Dracula’s Lament Before His Return Home’ & ‘Bring Back the Jig’ by Danielle Wong

soft cartel april 2018

Dracula’s Lament Before His Return Home

Mountains, green and rocky,
cradle the view from my castle home.
The steep, winding roads
that end in narrow paths,
deter all but the faint of heart,
deter all who have not yet learned to fly.
No wonder the rarity of visits I receive!
No wonder the rarity of visits for my sisters as well!
How wondrous it would be to fly off to other lands,
to visit other people and learn of their cultures!
Perhaps they would care
to learn how to fly.
Perhaps they, too,
would like to live a new life.

One came to my home.
His stench I could not stand.
My sisters, not I, found him the toy of their dreams.
The pandemonium they created
as they fought over his hair, his face, his body
overcame my own sense of calm nervousness
that comes from a stranger in my presence
after all of these years.

Too long have we been alone.

I fled my own home
and sailed the seas,
acclimatizing myself
to their culture and their sights.
The churning up and down of the sea
was worse than any turbulence I knew.
How I’d rather take flight!
But directions I had not.

One by one,
night after night,
they’d ask me to teach them,
for they, too, had issues with the sea.
I obliged
and what did I learn?
They accused me,
yes, me,
of murderous crimes!
Everywhere I went,
people fell with illnesses I’ve seen long before,
illnesses that befell my friends,
my countrymen.
And everywhere I went,
they chased me
saying I was to blame.

Oh! Wretched me!
How could that ever be?
Best to lose all I have gained,
best to return home,
fly home,
to the cradle
of those mountains so green.

Continue reading “‘Dracula’s Lament Before His Return Home’ & ‘Bring Back the Jig’ by Danielle Wong”

‘Upstairs’ by Danielle Wong

soft cartel april 2018

The doors opened
on steep stairs
that lead to a void
darker than any black hole.

The switch on the dank wall
stabbed her hand
while it slid through cobwebs.

She kept her hand on the wall
while she walked in the dim light
towards her favourite rocking chair.

There she sat, rocking back and forth,
safe from the world she knew,
away from the bright sunlight
that laughed while it absorbed all her energy.

No one wanted to follow her down there,
no matter how hard she tried.

She rocked and rocked,
in memory of a distant, small happiness.

Gently, she rolled the cobwebs off her hands
and wrapped it slowly
round and round
around her wrist,
tugging at the line of thread
that had followed her
from the stabbing switch in the cavern
known as the basement.

Silence surrounded her
and she could think clearly.

Silence surrounded her
and she could hear the nothingness of everything.

Silence surrounded her
while she rocked and wrapped her wrists.

Continue reading “‘Upstairs’ by Danielle Wong”