Lori R. Lopez

The May Editor's Pick Poet is Lori R. Lopez

Please feel free to email Lori at: lorilopez13@gmail.com



I am a monstrous gale that cleanses land
A wildfire of air, scouring, devouring soil and sea
With wolfen howls, lashed by darkness to
Purify the earth, wood, flesh; the rock and brush
Sweeping debris, dead leaves and riffraff from
The surface of things

To collect in gullies and hollows, the bottom of
Lakes and streams, ocean floors. Each gutter
Dredged by humankind running deep underground
Sapping the planet’s blood and soul
Draining her lifeforce, harnessing her elements
Stripping her bare

Leaving only plastic. Beads, rings, bottles, caps
Littering any possible place, even the
Bellies of fish and whales. The lungs of every
Living gasping creature polluted by smoke and other
Nasty fumes, turning them toxic, cancerous
Insanely unhealthy

I am the Nightwind, the breath of Sleep
The negative speck between Dusk and Dawn
Once I was the scent of Evenshade
The gloaming’s magnificent starlight fall
Hear the crystalline drops splatter
Like hard-edged rain

Tears of sorrow. For now I must be the voice of
Castigation, the cold-steel tongue of Fury
Speaking myriad languages in wordless syllables
That hurl emotions spear-like to every corner
One long harsh scream to reach all that exist
And shake them

A wail of anguish so intense and immensely
Disturbing, it will wash away the pain and suffering
Shatter the bonds of greed and evil that choke
Our matter to the core. I am the storm of Night
And it is my solemn grievous duty to rescue
Revive, restore the Day

Before all chance is lost.


The spot was cold and indistinct, uncertain,
with no remarkable qualities. It was simply there,
and not really anywhere. Which made me wonder
if it could stray, shift slightly from the previous
location, or if there were no path but this.
I hesitated . . .

Having passed the enigma blankly, unprepared.
What was that? Startled, I turned to peer behind
in puzzlement. I had felt a chill. And far more,
I experienced a weird sensation — a flash, a charge
of strangeness, all at once. Blatant. Stunning.

Like jumbled visions and sounds. Chaotic faces,
voices, forms. Frightful expressions and screams,
lunging or plunging hurdles, heavy intense emotions.
It left me gaping, a little breathless and confused.
Down the Rabbithole, lost in the woods, outside the box
afraid . . .

Starkly, deeply, internally. In terror of what
I had just been through. And it was nothing! It was
madness! Pivoting, I saw no sign that something out of
the ordinary had occurred or been present. Absurd,
unthinkable that a random stride in my journey
affected me so.

For a crazed instant I fancied it was no place
as much as a moment, and what if it could happen at
any time, anywhere, to anyone? In need of answers,
I had to test the consequence of retracing my footsteps —
the mystery too bizarre, demanding truth,
an explanation.

Despite my fear, my utter reluctance, I ventured
back. It had little to do with finding an exact minute.
I tried to reverse and duplicate the action of treading
forward, yet knew I was not that earlier me who crossed
the threshold. I had become older. Wiser. Toughened.
A changed person . . .

Who could never be as unsuspecting, untroubled,
untraumatized again. I scoffed at the preposterous jest
of a situation that I couldn’t pinpoint or define in
physical degrees! It was clearly paranormal,
some feat of magic, or I was going insane and
required help.

Life isn’t always Multiple Choice. Being a loner,
independent by nature, possibly to a fault, I chose the most
logical or acceptable conclusion: There was an uncanniness,
an eerieness about it. Preternatural, and by that I meant
peculiar. Downright odd. I must have wandered
beyond the pale . . .

That division between what is and isn’t allowed —
and this was out of the reasonable limits. Clumsily
I had stumbled over the fine or dotted line into
another zone with a loose or alien code of
principles. I did not belong, and yet the cold spot
devoured my liberty.

I can’t say whether I was in the wrong place at the
right time or the right place at the wrong time . . .
I am there and shall remain, part of the uproar,
a piece of the bedlam and babble. That appalling
burst of shock and disorder when you set foot
upon its curse.

I could have escaped. My egregious error was
in returning to do it again. For that I shriek
and shove to warn the unaware. To chase off
the oblivious. “Keep going! Do not repeat my
fate!” The words are drowned amid other shouts.
We are legion . . .

We are borderline headcases and crackpots in
a Candyland loop-de-loop follow-the-Yellow-Brick


On Hinter Eve stalk the creepiest kooks,
whether deviantly dreamt or mildly foul,
their watchful eyes as round as Tarts.
They can turn their heads like an Owl.

The goons grumblemoan and whimpersnort,
yet lack significance as they abide
alone or in stagnant transparent huddles,
shorn of substance — neither hair nor hide.

Although some are quite another case:
stout of girth and bristle-coated;
stubby-limbed and grim of purpose;
rather bumpy and grumpy-throated.

That hinterzone wherefrom they come
is a land of legend, the peculiarest tales,
and none can imagine how far it extends,
for nobody goes but mad hounds and cur-tails.

You won’t even spy a Nightingale’s throat,
or hear a note for no bird is heard singing.
The air is so still that a needle could drop
and the noise would echo like a large bell ringing.

Well-known as the bumbles on a Bee or Wasp,
the route to Nowhere is paved by misery.
Cardboard Cut-Outs of Cactus point in silence,
while the path is treacherous, no guarantee.

Visible then unseen, woven of tears and bloodshed,
a trail of torment carves through the sand,
snaking in or out of fog and dark fairydust —
a misleading serpent; a sinister band.

The usual signs for Rest Stops, Food and Gas,
billboards sparse as Phone Booths and towns.
The barrens seem wild, abandoned by daylight;
tonight they writhe with glares and frowns.

When clock gears grind to keep pace with time changes,
the ball in the sky has gone from gold to gray,
maps and calendar pages tumble like weeds,
and walls of shadow-puppets refuse to obey . . .

This blacktop shimmers with eerie delusions
and circles back to places once passed.
Every stone at the wayside hides a creature —
each stranger and spookier than the last.

Hinter Eve may dawn every once in a while.
Twice a year some claim; others aren’t as firm.
A third time when Blue Moons mess up Astrology
and The Zodiac goes haywire for a collective squirm.

A mere twitch to those in grand urban towers,
far from the outermost wasteland and moor.
We vulnerable denizens who live too near,
inhabiting the ground, the earthen floor . . .

On this desolate Eve may suffer grave tolls,
being sacrificed to a fiendish horde —
feeding the Hinterbeasts to halt a fierce tide
from reaching, overrunning the cities un-toward.

I would move were I not so terribly poor —
to avoid the lottery of eventual bad luck.
Being swift or clever leaves much to chance.
The next Hinter Night, I might be a dead duck.

Lori R. Lopez is an eccentric award-winning author, poet, songwriter, and illustrator who loves hats, cats, and bats among other things (animals in general, blue moons, Halloween . . .). Book titles include The Dark Mister Snark, Leery Lane, An Ill Wind Blows, Odds & Ends: A Dark Collection, The Witchhunt, and Darkverse: The Shadow Hours. Verse and prose have appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines such as The Horror Zine, Weirdbook, The Sirens Call, Bewildering Stories, various H.W.A. Poetry Showcases, California Screamin’ (the Foreword Poem), Grey Matter Monsters, Dead Harvest, and Fearful Fathoms Volume I.

Vegan and an activist, Lori lives in Southern California, transplanted from Wisconsin then Florida then Spain. She dips her pen in a range of genres—primarily horror, speculative, dark fantasy, suspense—but there is usually some humor lying around someplace. Lori also co-owns Fairy Fly Entertainment with her two talented sons, and they have many creative plans as well as an offbeat Folk band called The Fairyflies.

Website: www.fairyflyentertainment.com