Holiday Letdown

Christmas as a holiday is now past news.
Sheets of Carol music tucked inside the piano bench
Saved for another year’s celebration.
The lights are taken down, checked,
And stored for next year’s display.
Christmas memories, cherished ornaments
Stowed in cardboard boxes for next year’s tree.
The house is back to its pre-holiday perfection
Its festive atomosphere hidden until next year.
The holiday, now put away,
Hidden among the attic antiquities.

Lee McQuinn
162 – 122819971215

Tasty Snack

It’s midnight here
the moon is full
tilting back my head
I give it a wolvine roar!
Then running fast
I seek out and search
the scent of blood
warm, contained
it tingles my nose
until at last
I find it there
crouching, terrified
behind the garbage can
I sniff with my snout
gums curled back
to taste the bloody air
a tasty child morsel
ahhh, smick, smick
tasty… yeah, tasty!

Penelope Shedrech

Speak Easy

In suspicious expectation you follow the music
its big band vibe calling you from street
Neon sign’s glow amid the fog
you follow unsure quite why, but you do
you open the heavy door to a scene
out of history books you would assume
a speak-easy of olden day’s flair
hopping to the beat of a brass quartet
a place where smoke lingered
over long stemmed cigarettes
hung from thin, manicured fingers
nail tips dipped in auspicious red
and red pouty lips enticingly matched
to dare one to taste perchance to dance
to the lindy tune, the quick-step,
or to grandly waltz into the memories
of the years, the decades, the century
now gone by way of sweet sentimentality
until the old clock above the bar
strikes at the fatal hour
the flames rise up, the band quiets
the smoke fills and dancer vanish
yet, still the smell of stale cigarettes
and myriad perfumes fill the air
in the echo of the silent night
standing alone in the empty lot.

Penelope Shedrech

Baby Mine!

I came back to haunt you
surely you know by now
I came in your dreams
draped you out, tied you up
a twisted steel noose
around your neck
acid upon your face
I came back to haunt you
a thousand times
I held you at bay
spread eagled, I dipped
and stabbed my way
screaming all the while
the blaphemies of damnation
upon your sex, upon your head
for killing me dead
while I slept peacefully
within the circle of your womb
incubating, growing, living…

I came back to haunt you
surely you know by now
you called out my name
screamed it out in the night
“Baby Mine!” you cried
but I, lying dead, could not reply.

Penelope Shedrech


She the pillar tall
Stood as a light
Reflecting in splendor
Each life she touched
Each soul she ignited
With fires of Your love
She was as a beacon
Unto all around her
Her effervescent cheer
A ribbon of joy
Around the gift of hope
She is loved by all,
Our Grammie.

Penelope Shedrech


It stood abandoned
a relic of times past
a haunted shell
weathered, cracked
by ageless time
stories of history
held fast within
fine craftmanship
long gone in death
built to withstand
the onslaught of time
it rises grand
it stands firm
as the storm howls
hollow windows
screaming songs
of past pagentry
the old manse
now empty stands
the ghosts of dance
fill empty halls
with hollow groans
and creaking bones
for tonight it opens
the dance for the dead.

Penelope Shedrech

Night Life

It’s All Soul’s Eve
and don’t you see
spirits are waiting
expectations are soaring
waiting for lord Satan
to open the ironclad door
they’re waiting to roam
in search of the damned
new souls for their harvest
a toehold on the living
entering in through hatred
living for one night they laugh
for it is your soul they’re after
your soul they want to reclaim
bolster yourself in the word of God
arm yourself with heartfelt prayer
let not Satan’s minions reach you
arise with the morning within the Son
be found there, alive and smiling
for his army will be defeated
driven back behind their door
until next year you are secure
It’s All Soul’s Eve
best beware!

Lee McQuinn
C. 1988