Ludo Braca

Silver Thread

Following the silver thread
Measured in Olympian scale
Of hundred year spools
Won't always shepherd you
Out of the Labyrinth
But can lead
Somewhere subtle
And sometimes strange
If you can find it
Since unlike gold
It tarnishes
To blend in

Originally published in Fragile by Medusa's Laugh Press.
Nominated for a 2020 Pushcart Prize.

Watchman

We are the swimming gods
You fear in liquid space
The kind you imagine
You look like
But don't

Your parabolic frown
Gapes in awe
Apparent to us
As we open doorways
You can see

Going outside outer
Space beyond space
As you know it we float
Out and away to look up
Into waterless darkness

At things you can't see
That don't concern you
Since you are complete
A yellow sliver still
Living among fossils

Originally published in Maya's Micros by The Closed Eye Open.

Fire Ship

The sea expressed itself leaving us
Provisions saturated and impractical
Charts drawn in dissolving plot lines
Among a vanishing and mutinous crew

Overboard went treasured collections
And wealth as we set fire to the entire
Vessel charging the hulk at the crag
Smashing its planks back into trees
And those trees again into paper

Onto which fresh messages would be
Written and rolled into glass beacons
Collected into nearly new crafts
Designed for the same doomed voyage
While old friends revert into strangers

Originally published by Tiny Seed Literary Journal

The Castle Lives in Me

Shuffling and mumbling and finally disembarking
Granted passage by a long-dead man with a cane-branch
Creaking ferry condescending but never speaking
For the others those fellow travelers I'll avoid knowing
I wonder whether it would've been possible for me
Or for anyone to remain in that dubious place

With the torture chamber of blood-blackened wood and iron
The winding colony of faithless plots in secret passages
The curse of the Squire's daughter's lover
The crumpled butler deranged by loyalty into sadism
Oh and that locked chamber illuminated in crisp flame
Candelabras atop a most questionable and menacing altar

Now safe and exiled time has compressed behind me
And I'm no longer sidling down carpeted halls
Around cataphracts and peering portrait eyes
Such is my surprise to sometimes yearn
For the velvet melodies of those hoary floor clocks
And an angry sea quaking the bedrock with maledictions

Originally published in A Glass of Wine with Edgar by Wingless Dreamer.
Winner of Wingless Dreamer's Edgar Allan Poe Dark Poetry Contest 2021.

The Slow Mask

What you hadn't noticed was
Since it took over a year
For the slow hand to draw
A passable stone likeness
Over his own countenance

During the patter you missed the eclipse

Of warmth and sentiment
A misdirected golem hewn
Defensive and moved by family
Recipes of riverbed clay and yellow venom
Vitalized in ancestral tongues

Slimeslick

A slimeslick and widening funnel
Opens its glossy maw beneath us
No matter the traction and grip
From waffled rubber soles we're flailing
And finding it too much
To avoid vanishing downward
Along tarry walls we produce
Self-healing slashes in plastic
Mire as industrial lubricants glint subtle
Signals we don't have time
To fathom let alone resolve
Before getting swallowed besides
Even if we could overcome the monolithic
Effort would define us so instead
We slide inside to get a better purchase

Originally published by Cathexis Northwest Press

Flummery

She's of that disposition
Loquacious and rich
In antique fantasy
Divergent with the occasion
To cycle back into fashion
Like the hearty flavor of oat
Soaked full with double cream
And set sufficiently in honey
Gelling forever within
Batter-spattered annals
Far from modern
But not some fool

Originally published by The Inquisitive Easter