• Katherine Ball


By Katherine Ball

Inspired by “Uknown presence” (1981) by Bev Doolittle

Eyes scan the darkness,

Searching, straining


It to uncloak itself

The weak light of the stars

Like spilled salt

Scattered upon dense black cloth

Far above, too far

Soft as an exhale

The spindly fingers tap lightly down his neck

A steady rhythm

Like the subtle beat of a drum

The cold caresses pale slivers of exposed skin

A vast army at rest on his arms and neck

Stand straight, saluting, suddenly ready,

Ready to battle the infinite blackness

The air tastes blue and cloudy

Like the shock of cold water

Lungs fill and deflate quickly,

Soft, rimy balloons

Fear curls in the blood like smoke

Twists the sinews of his bones

Infiltrating sections of his mind

Till nothing else is left

A warm exhale billows,

A tense snort, stiffening limbs;

Man and horse silently connected by shivers.

Imagination triumphs over reality

Terrors of the night cannot compare

To phantoms in dreams

Wood and steel

Powerless against creations of the mind;

Fire leans dutifully forward

But soon withers

Against the seeping energy

Of the darkness





He cannot fight the unknown

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