Tony Daly is a Washington DC area poet and short story writer of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and military fiction/nonfiction. His work has recently been published in Illumen, Lovecraftiana, and others. He also recently served as guest editor for Eye to the Telescope’s Summer 2023 issue on Trauma. For a list of published work, please go HERE or follow him on Twitter @aldaly18. 



I feel a chilling wind
from the snapping wolf’s teeth.
She’s gnawing away my reason.
My reason for continuing
down this treacherous path
where the Lord of Decay awaits,
biding his time for my journey’s end.

I’m like a rabbit dodging
with fear gripping my heart strings.
The wolf’s eyes are on me, 
always peering from hidden spaces
with malicious intent awash
in the desperate hunter’s gaze.
Lord Decay perceives my turmoil,
salivating at his inevitable victory.

My heel is sliced open
with blood free flowing.
The wolf howls with joy
at seeing my emotions
stain the unforgiving dirt
with splashes of liquid anxiety.
All the while, Lord Decay
waits with sword drawn,
knowing that I’m close
to feeling his cold steel.


In the cabin, in the bed, beneath the stairs,
drifting with rhythmic rocking
dreaming of sweet summer things
when silence of comforting scenes
was rudely interrupted by the lapping.

Closed eyes brought to mind
the image of a girl I knew in passing
whose lips parted sweetly
when eyes touched repeatedly,
but her smile faded furtively
because of the lapping.

Holding my breath, listening for scurrying feet
or heavy breathing—hearing nothing but the lapping
I counted sheep and told my feet to fall asleep
but my usual sleep I could not reap
because of the lapping.

My mind now dwelling on unwanted imagined things,
all because of the lapping.
A hole in the hull was leaking the sound
of the lapping
A fishman’s hand was slapping the prow
for the lapping
An ancient ‘vile was seeking my soul
through the lapping
My screams rebound from entombed fiberglass walls
but could not drown out the lapping, the lapping!

When, morning sun rose and still water dosed,
I finally drowsed for lack of the lapping,

But slightly thereafter, engines roared
with energies stored, ending my napping.


The banshee cried from my shadow
forever from my shadow
The little lost pup of a cat
sickly and lame
albino in nature,
skeletal but tame.

He cried of mother’s loss to reticulating blade,
of siblings lost and those who strayed.
He cried of darkness from without and within.
He cried for my attention – called to my sin.
Though he cried, I knew I could not give in.

For terror strikes from the shadows
like ink upon a page
and terror strikes from the shadows
with vengeance and rage
and terror strikes
until you finally give in
to the nightmare,
the innocence, the docile, 
from whisker to tail
it haunts
with darkness within
the self or the other
or perhaps yet another
but no bother,
cause from one to another,
there’s only darkness within.