Lori R. Lopez
Sordid and austere, ill-wrought beyond compare,
A creaking morbid mass feared and loathed by name —
Grayer than the sky, a mood of withering glare,
Uprooted from her soil, on barge and wheels came.
Of timbers born afar in dirt untouched by tool;
Quenched by blood and rain, cut by foreign hand.
Constructed out of spite, with lack of lawful rule,
An act of ruthless might, the claim of stolen land.
Erected to outlast disputes of mortal lives;
A stain upon a hill, overseeing those displaced.
Inside her walls contained, as mold corruptly strives
To smear a coat of black, a noble line disgraced . . .
Fine reputations tainted. Honor sacrificed.
Integral traits allowed to rot and lie in waste.
Choices cast as if Dice; values underpriced.
Corruption bleeding into cracks, wicked-laced.
Repository of bile and uppercrust greed,
The basest morals amid blue-blooded ranks.
A despicable coffer guarding their creed —
Absorbed like smog by plaster and planks.
With a dark atmosphere of pernicious shade,
She moved to avoid the Demolition Ball —
Well past the swings of an Executioner’s blade,
Condemnation posted on her outer wall . . .
A dry document nailed. Wet crimson strokes.
Declared by ink and paint, a vengeful complaint
Voiced by villagers, a league of wrathful folks —
Her fate decreed harshly, for she was no Saint.
A den of grudges and doom, appalling gloom.
Lair of spurious conceits and skullduggery.
Ghost-draped antiquities crowded each room
Like dismal dusty parlours of perfidy.
Naught could prevent, neither will nor deed
Her sly transcendence, possessed by treachery;
Rolling lane to lane with torpid speed
At the peak of night, stealing toward the sea.
Thick and moonless dusk, upon a legless jaunt,
Under cloak of fog a mad-manor slipped . . .
Carting roof and floor, every wisp of haunt;
Just her basement left, from her belly ripped!
Malediction-primed, shifting stairs and nooks;
Toting joints and corners, windows and towers;
Jiggling cups and cabinets, unshelving books;
Quaking portraits and busts of frozen glowers.
The Eleventh Hour, in a grand depart
Down an unpaved road, beams and rafters jarred,
Fled a house without home and no space for heart.
She escaped on a boat from a lumberyard.
As disease will spread so her specter grew,
Turgid waves of rancor and disregard
While crossing the brine for a distant milieu,
To arrive intact, one piece and unmarred.
Yet leaning from stiffness, grunting with age,
Her eaves acquired birds bleak of feather.
Skulked a Grim House through shadow and Sage;
Scouting new berth in the teeming Nether . . .
Encountering a ghost town barren of limit,
The journey halted on a dead-end street.
Not home sweet home but an approximate,
And she groaned with delight, her aim to eat!
The menace would settle for a lofty perch
Where a malignant mansion could visually scour.
The dwelling conducted a rapacious search,
Demanding a toll, its countenance dour.
Such dire malediction exists to this day,
Inhabiting hamlets and draining their soul . . .
A tomb with an appetite, cryptic and fey,
Dining on innocents — gobbling them whole.