The Horror Zine
K. A. Opperman

The August Featured Poet is

K. A. Opperman

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But once a century, in the dying year,
When swirling wind reaps its branch-proffered tithe—
When trees sabbatically sway and writhe—
A huge, emerald moon mounts pale and clear!

A weird green fire glimmers in the air,
Like light mirrored from limpid, rippling pools;
And greenswards all erupt with white toadstools;
And wanton laughter flutters everywhere…

Faeries from forests glide, printing no tracks—
Venuses diminutive and lily-white,
With elfin features, and hair flower-bedight
Unkemptly falling over hollow backs…

They join their hands in a mushroom faerie-ring,
And dance their round, a wheel of tangling knees;
And chant ecstatic, lunar litanies;
And fan the fervor of their faerie fling!

And the green shine is glory on their breasts!
And the green shimmer in their hair is bliss!
And the green fire on their flesh, a kiss!
And they heed their green passions' green behests…

All this beneath the bright green Faerie Moon,
That rises only once a century,
Compelling all the creatures of the Sidhe
To roam once more…and its next night is soon…


Last Halloween at twilight strange and grey,
As haunted winds whispered of yesterday,
And crimson leaves blew on their aimless way,
As from an unseen door,
Out from the woods a wraith, grave-visaged, old,
Draped in a hooded robe hard to behold,
Came forth to seek amid the windy cold
Some way it knew of yore.

At night it wandered through the ancient town,
All wrapped in fog like some huge ghostly gown.
It found at last the house nigh crumbling down:
Outside, a lonesome flame
Had drawn it forth from death to seek again,
For just one night, a life amid mortal men—
But something seemed to vex the spirit then—
Something was not the same.

Whereas of old a candle’s guiding light
Would welcome home the wraith from autumn night—
A jack-o’-lantern grinned in cruel delight,
Searing it with despair!
Its woeful features crumbled from its face,
Leaving a screaming skull to take their place.
And of that wraith of old soon not a trace
Was left on misty air.


Give me your blood that beats so hot within,
Like crimson wine conflagrant with desire!
I hear its coursing din
Like cataracts of raging, vital fire!

Your pallid body, voluptuously supine
Upon a velvet divan deathly black,
Is an ivory scrine
For scarlet pleasures that loosen life’s rack…

Your sable mane allures with its perfume—
Your ruby lips are parted, breathing spells—
Your blue eyes star the gloom—
But blood alone my hell-deep craving quells!

Your alabaster throat, your choicest curve,
Is the sole chalice wherefrom I would drain
The elixir you would serve—
Your pulsing life straight from your fervid vein!

Give me your blood that thunders through you now,
Like lava seeking volcanic release
From beneath your trembling snow,
And drift into a dim, opiate peace…

K.A. Opperman is a writer of dark poetry and short horror stories currently residing in Anaheim, California. Unlike many modern poets, he writes exclusively in strict rhyme and meter—tools which he uses both to emulate traditional forms, and invent his own. His main poetic influences include Clark Ashton Smith, George Sterling, H.P. Lovecraft, Donald Wandrei, David Park Barnitz, and Donald Sidney-Fryer. He is currently working to finish his first book of poetry.