Purification by Ash Krafton #CoffinHop


by Ash Krafton


It was the most beautiful of snow falls–

serenity fell in a hush

thick flakes shushing onto branch and bush

to lie undisturbed, spreading a sweet clean shroud over the still outpost

and the silence was a prayer that smogged out in a thick layer.


Even the wilds were subdued and still–

no bird nor forest-dweller broke the smoky, breathless twilight

or the cold bright morning that followed

when all that remained of the extermination

was the heart-aching beauty of crystalline stillness.

Cobalt shadows and fiery sunrise played upon the uneven field of white

gentle shades echoing the intense blazes that had long burned out.


If a single survivor remained to witness this singular scene

surely he’d have sworn upon his life

that the village had been touched by God’s hand,

littered with angels’ down, a wintery blessing

But the spoilers are gone, the outpost departed.

Silence lies undisturbed, a town denied sound

by the advent of untimely season’s end.


When Spring comes–if Spring comes–

the snow will melt, a quiet memory

revealing the men now dead and gone.

Dragons had cleansed the land.

Ruin of body and town

char and blood and terror and grief

extinguished, interred,


and gone.



I wasn’t kidding when I invited you to hop with us.


Fleet-Winged Fate by Ash Krafton #CoffinHop

Fleet-Winged Fate

by Ash Krafton


In showers of flame the dragons will rise,

wielding claws and teeth and armor-like squame.

Beware and prepare; they bring our demise.


Within an old book the grim prophecy lies—

future predestined by man’s wicked fame:

in showers of flame, the dragons will rise.


The last storm approaches. We’ll look to the skies,

dreading the dragons that no man can tame.

Beware and prepare; they bring our demise.


Too late we shall wail with repenting cries.

If we hide or fight, our fate is the same.

In showers of flame, the dragons will rise.


Judgment shall summon the gods in disguise

and our sins will feed them—they feast upon shame.

Beware and prepare; they bring our demise.


Man’s treacherous heart should not be surprised.

He moves his own hand; there is no-one to blame.

In showers of flame, the dragons will rise.

Beware and prepare; they bring our demise.

Hop with us.


It’s not so much a request as an ultimatum.

Ashes to Ashes

From dust, I am made.

connected to the earth

feet on the pulse of the molten core

electromagnetic communication that shudders

up through vents and cracks in fumes and frozen static screams

cancelling out the voice of the past

my long stone strides toward some starry respite

begging sanctuary from meteoric  missteps

our trek toward the horizon slows to a shuffle

hands of long-dead kings coldly clutch

my ankles, dragging me down

in retribution for the tragedies of eons past

like leaden weights upon my existence

We live out our lives in the wheel of time

and all our deeds are but echoes of the past and the future.

recaptured recycled reused and reborn

the earth yawns and I am wholly swallowed

The cycle begins anew

and to dust I shall return.


I came across an old book,

one that never was very popular–

ignored by the architects of our faith

who must have considered it

a poorly cut stone–

an odd fit–

not proper for a foundation.

Ancient words describe the child Savior:

a realistic child,

a brat

who played with other children,

broke the rules,

and sassed back to adults,

striking them blind with the fury of a child’s tantrum.

He fooled around on rooftops,

made clay birds fly,

and raised children from the dead

so they could defend him when he was wrongly accused.

A hellion!

I know it’s not Gospel Truth,

but it’s what I want to believe.

Black Hole Heart

His is a black hole heart and my smile breaks on his event horizon.

Not one for outpourings of affection, he is closed and staunch

stiff and difficult to embrace. Laughter, I think,

is alien and mirth would be turned away at his threshold.

When first we met I assumed his gravitational constant must be greater

than any other man’s to anchor his feet so firmly, to weigh his steps and his words so.

Truly, a singularity.

I, a creature of light and air, a wisp, saw these things as a terrible darkness

and yet, I was not impervious to that gravity.

His eyes, drowning deep, drew me in

pulled me apart

reduced me to the basics of my essence

The existence of a black hole is proven by that which is not seen.

cruelty greed infidelity ridicule

None of these treacherous traits have I ever observed–

proof, therefore, of his noble heart

the galactic center around which my every world dances

Infinite Hollow Space

He owned a tiny green box

a shoebox of memes

All that was he fit neatly inside

the only proof he’d ever lived

memories and moments

achievements and ends

sorrows and self


How can a lifetime

be packed away in so small a space–

a shoebox to hold a life

and forever be thusly defined?

If you could stack every snapshot

pack in every laugh, every tear, every smile

the box would help you forget

Its weight a substantial comfort

holding dreams of an infinite space

It’s not that kind of box.

He traded his tomorrows for just one today

only to never again and never again and never

Swallow your breath

Drop the rose

Close the lid and don’t look back

A small green box

of cold marble stone

hollow inside

like me

Dorian in Flames

Arms wide I reach toward the tide

I, Dorian, trapped behind the flame

and, though I burn with dark desire,

no longer shall you know my name.

Lifetimes ago I walked these streets

when gaslights broke the seamless night

and gentle death no man would greet–

those lepers caked by chanchre’d blight…

When high above the running sewers

the well-bred souls drank bowls of wine

and far away from desperate moors

the nobles in their castles dined…

Poor men, like rats, forged meager meals

of scraps dropped from those linen’d laps.

What deeds have greased time’s well-worn wheels

across the night sky’s starry maps?

Can evil works speed men along

to claim their just rewards so soon?

And are we judged but by our wrongs,

each step one closer toward our doom?

I swore I would not be held down

by those with coin or friends or power.

I would not kneel before a crown

or let my spirit be devoured.

I would conquer time and death

although it meant a soul for sale.

A single oath, a well-timed breath–

the pact was sealed. I did not fail.

Familiar trapped in tints and oils,

the artist’s brush a countenance made.

A canvas spread to take the spoils–

each hurt, each wound, each scathe displayed.

Thus beauty, charm, and grace preserved,

the freedom to pursue my whims

unhindered by the threat of night,

this darkened heart, redemption dimmed.

I could not push things far enough.

No threat of pain could hold me fast.

So farther, farther I would go

and begged each danger be the last.

I thought my soul to be preserved

within that painting, safe and still.

What magic had I once deserved?

What reason for the chase and thrill

when other men were doomed to fail,

succumb to, each, his conquering worm?

The slow repose beneath a veil

of time and lies and flesh infirm–

I rose above those well-bred souls

and loomed over their crowns of greed.

I helped them dig their graveyard holes

and used their screams to sate my need.

I toppled and turned upside-down

the towers of aristocracy,

insinuating hateful roots

to choke the roses with my weeds.

But once I turned to look upon

all that my wretched hands had wrought–

the beauty of the world was gone,

those gardens wrecked and turned to rot–

that’s when I knew my heart was black

with sick revenge for sins unknown.

The why’s, the how’s, the long way back

to sanity—all gone—alone.

And snaking deep inside my breast

the itching sting of fear and shame.

It’s done, this ride. I pray for rest

and pray that you forget my name.

I can’t undo all that I’ve done

and can’t give back all that I stole.

Touch flame to canvas… Death, you’ve won.

Be kind to that, my orphaned soul.

To Perseverance (ghazal)


I sought my refuge, day and night, while dreaming of a life empowered

A sacred sanctuary suite, spread high atop enchanted towers.


My weary steps shall find relief, my trek through desert, wilds, and plain

and I shall raise my face to clouds that drench me in redeeming showers.


I spy the spire, struck aloft, a gleam of polished well-fit stone

that pierces sky and stretches tall, with circlets of fresh dampened flowers.


So close, so close! I see the door, which swings wide open, greeting me

but every step I take toward brings me no closer to the tower.


What treach’ry, this? What wicked spell could stretch this path eternally?

My wish, my dream, just out of reach—I stand abandoned by the tower.


So still I trudge, and still I trudge, no seconds pass, no days or hours

and I shall turn to dust and ash before I reach my phantom towers.