FROM THE SECRET DIARY OF LUCY WESTENRA
The little liar got it all wrong.
The bed of fertile earth was mine to grow,
as he lay in his lair, and Lord Arthur,
the fool, dreamed of my pure inanities.
A lord, a doctor, a cowboy, a count,
each thought he alone could rule me.
I played them like the peasants they were,
the last with a hole in his empty heart.
Now I lie back in my silken nightgown
and wait for darkness to tempt the moon,
my breaths rising and falling with the wind,
the crucifix tucked beneath my pillow.
Now comes the storm to spread wide my windows.
No come green waters to sing in my ears.
I rise, float free, ascend to divine lust,
I the master of my darkest dreams.
Author's Commentary: The inspiration for “From the Secret Diary of Lucy Westenra” was a re-reading of Stoker’s Dracula, where my favorite scenes were the ones were Lucy goes wandering down by the sea to meet with her demon lover.
I KNEW A WORLD ONCE DEEPLY IN ITS WOUNDS
A candle, a sail, a vigil,
I kept the hours gently and well.
Honey bees festooned the breeze
and I was the strength and faith of days.
Then one morning, I blindly waved a wand
of dandelion seeds. They tumbled down a wind,
drunken, each suddenly lost, alone,
and time awoke, wound up the sun.
The air gasped like a smothered candle.
Treetops grasped at fleeing angels.
Something came accusing the rose,
and the afternoon sighed with butterflies.
I plunged deep in the trees and gardens
and pulled out webs and roots of wounds.
Everything bled tears or dreams or words,
and the cricket’s call shivered through the stars.
I followed a child’s cry and found it was my own.
Still, I remember how that final sparrow
sank deep within the November winds
with the purity of all broken wings.
Sean Lause is a professor of English at Rhodes State College in Lima, Ohio. His poems have appeared in The Minnesota Review, The Alaska Quarterly, Another Chicago Magazine, Illuminations, The Pedestal, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Atlanta Review and Poetry International.