The Black Rose


She grips a black rose

a little too tight

the thorns bite

piercing skin

She welcomes the pain

and her blood flows

a scarlet river

down the stem

© All Rights Reserved A. F. Stewart

NaPoWriMo Day Four


Nightmare in Red

Window Red

Nocturnal encounter impending
Involuntary, shadow rendezvous
Garnet eyes peer from your dreams
Haunting your thoughts and soul
Titian tinted visions in ambience
Maroon shades stir from dark places
And your crimson heart thrashes
Repulsion chills your ruby blood
Eternally, perpetually, unbound

Instinctively, your eyes flutter
Never aware, no longer alone

Remnants of a bloodstained echo
Entangled in shreds of soft red vapour
Draped across your scarlet screams


© All Rights Reserved A. F. Stewart


The flavor of blood is evident

in meat—no matter the kind of meat:

turkey meat

chicken meat

pork meat


meat—no matter the amount of salt

it won’t cover up



chewing each fibered

morsel tender, carful

not to bite bones—grinding

meat in clenched

teeth, swallowing—



the meat came from somewhere else—

someone else hacked it—

we didn’t have to watch, so we chew,

forgetting until the metallic iodine

salty blood hits the tastebuds and we chew




ignore the plasma on the tongue, pretend

it wasn’t once

a bird

a cow

a deer

an elk




that would cluck or suck-

up slop in the fields


forget it once had


a face

a mother

a dream—



while giving thanks

sitting around thanksgiving

tables with thanksgiving

forks thanksgiving

knifes digging into thanksgiving


thank the soul with the life

stolen from it—its carcass

slipped between

lips to a grinning





© All Rights Reserved Caroline Adele O’Brien




shattered window glass and swinging chains


ccc ra ck!


snake slithers through vines—abandon—sssss

winding path to crocked

house and leafless trees

blood on porch—dribbles and drops

the wayward night with rumbling crack!

door creaks drifts on dangling hinges—rrrrrrrr




chandelier swings in ruddy night—lit

whispering candles


they cry out

wailing—the blood-born moon

And in the foyer, listless—wrist vein



droplets weave through vines

candles flicker



© All Rights Reserved Caroline Adele O’Brien




Come one, come all: please, step inside.

Daring Matilda juggles knives.

Just fifty-cents to watch blades glide.

Come one, come all: please, step inside.

Don’t mind the blood, Sir. It has dried.

This is the show no one survives.

Come one, come all: please, step inside.

Daring Matilda juggles knives.



© All Rights Reserved Caroline Adele O’Brien


The Blood-Moon Rises

The blood-moon rises. Dogs howl.

Drown out the cry of the night owl.

Out from his coffin, creature crawls:

This beast obeys the nightly calls.

And through his fangs, bellows a growl.


His cloaking cape, his monk-like cowl,

Caked in plasma, from his last foul

Feast, slurped from veins in bathroom stalls.

The blood-moon rises…


Out from the tomb, he’s on the prowl.

His fangs protrude over his jowl.

He stalks his pray through winding halls

The doomed female cries, shrieks, and falls.

Teeth sink inside her flesh. Eyes scowl.

The blood-moon rises…



© All Rights Reserved Caroline Adele O’Brien



Her eyes drank in the sight of her favourite hue, that vivid primary that burst with energy, that crackled with verve and being, the essence of kisses, roses, luscious fruit dripping juice. It was her joy, her bliss, this primal red.

Red, Crimson, Scarlet
The colour of life and love
Ruby wine churning

She inhaled the scent of it, the vision of it, and the satin touch of it. She smiled, wanting more, staring as the beautiful red dripped off her hand as droplets of blood. She giggled and took another bite of the freshly plucked heart.

Raw claret falling
As stains and impulsive death
Blood sipped, ingested

© All Rights Reserved A. F. Stewart



Emerald scrubs melt in jade light

Room shifts fuzzes all around

In my hazed out trembling sight


Needle enters I have drowned

Gushing liquid through my veins

Ears fill throbbing squelching sound


Weighted limbs tied up in chains

Surgeon inhales beryl mask

Scalpel raised each muscle strains


Slices in begins his task

Plenty blood to fill the cask


© All Rights Reserved Caroline Adele O’Brien



Kintala | The Raven’s Court

Kintala –

A gust of wind swept over it and a rush of heavy black wings lifted from the chimneys. 
The Ravens kept their silence, roosting in their nests, a court of jesters wearing the colours of mourning. 
Their eyes missed no secrets and their wings shadowed them with darkness. Every night they took flight. 
Their wings of coal like liquid night. 
They hunted while the living slept. 
Their prey did not hear them until the talons of fate caught up in their fur. 
Death came swift and silently. 
It was dressed in feathered robes of black. 
Its talons gloved in the jeweled ruby tones of life. 
As the dawn sky cracked open the night, death flew home to savour the sweet taste of life in its talons. 
It landed on the cold gray stone. 
It watched as the night leaked into soft light. 
The song it sang farewelled the night of death with a haunting cry.
It watched over them. 
Its dark gray stone walls were cemented with their secrets. 
Shadows stood veiled in its windows. 
It breathed slowly and ominously. 
The walls would not give up the blood of their despair. 
The windows shuttered the grey of their shame. 
The doors kept the dead and living captive. 
It was their keeper: this court of stone. 
They called it The Raven’s Court.”

© All Rights Reserved Kim Koning