Cynthia Pelayo

The October Selected Poet is Cynthia Pelayo

Please feel free to email Cynthia at cinapelayo@gmail.com



I’m waiting for the Sandman.
I believe he’s somewhere near; this is what the folk legend said;
But I am rather sleepy; I’d prefer not to wait too long, before going to bed

My feet have danced with demons,
My body sliced by the gates of hell
I do hope the Sandman arrives soon, before monsters cast me down a well

These nightmare voices speak of shadows
At night, they form a chorus and sing for me
Cover my eyes in dream dust before they drown me in the sea

It’s been seven days now, maybe ten
I’ve waited for you dear Sandman, but I must be off to bed
I’ve driven myself to the ocean, and I won’t jump, but I’ll sure be pushed

As such, they’ve always wanted me dead


All of my dreams have been dreamt
The Sandman said no more sleep
Dust remained in this world for me
Fantastic lands, and soaring through
Air in my great nighttime world no
Longer exists for me – youth ceased
Limbs ached, bones cracked,
Skin bore the wear and age of time
Disease and death approached
Ole Lukøje showed me to the window
“On that great horse is my brother;
Ole-Luk-Oie. He will tell you a tale,
The last tale and he will send you on
toward your last sleep.”
The skeleton galloped along, coming
For me.


The new house held an immeasurable chill
But this was not a new house, the structure
Raised in 1911, was built for another family
Not the little boy’s family, so he wondered now
Of Trespasser’s violations, of punishments
Night fell swiftly, and tucked itself beneath
Unpacked cardboard boxes and empty rooms
Behind corners, the boy spotted hints of shadow
Mother insisted these movements were sparks
Of imagination, creative alternatives to reality
This was their house now, she said, their home
Yet, a thick gloom spread, and the boy cried
Hallways that held closets full of wicked gaunts
Bedroom windows overlooked destitute houses
He knew, this cavernous house was not theirs
This house, this land is where night terrors began
Behind walls, he sensed it move, watching
Lights clicked off below, Mother said it was time 
Dream; “I’m not going to bed!” He stamped his feet
The house rumbled softly with displeasure
“It’s late. I’m tired. Good night. Go to sleep.”
Doors slammed, and the little boy was left alone,
In this darkened house that was not their house,
This was the house of those far away and dreaming
He listened as walls and windows spoke to him 
Pained groans, sinking floorboards, window glass
Tapped by knotted branches of eternal trees
Wood ached beneath the steps of the unseen
The boy dashed to bed. Calls for Mom unanswered
Shadows approached the bedroom door
The owner of this house entered the room
The boy peaked out from beneath tangled sheets
A small man, held an umbrella in each hand, light and dark
“Beneath each umbrella, there are pictures,” he spoke
“One will show you pleasant worlds and wonders
The other, will show you indescribable terrors.”
Ole Lukøje, the Sandman, measured his devices
And when the umbrella opened the boy slept

Cynthia (Cina) Pelayo is the author of short story collection Loteria and the young adult mystery and suspense novel Santa Muerte published by Post Mortem Press. Her short stories and poems have appeared in Danse Macabre, Flashes in the Dark, Seedpod, Static Movement, and more. She is the Publisher/Gravedigger of Burial Day Books and is a member of the Horror Writers Association. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, a Master of Science in Marketing and a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. You can find her on Twitter at @cinapelayo or at cinapelayo.com.