The Horror Zine
John T. Carney

The August Featured Poet is

John T. Carney

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John T. Carney


The mood of the dusk changed,
When the shadows fell,
And Night put on Her black-shrouded veil.

She went star-eyed and mourning,
Through the graveyard of the skies,
Mourning dead and black stars,
Her children,
Who stared vacantly back at Her,
Their smoldering stone skeletons,
Bleached and corpse-like in the blackness of the spinning void.

When I told my people of my vision of Mother Night,
They laughed and called me old fool, old conjurer;
The mad shaman.

The fools couldn’t see the omen of Night’s veil,
And its vault of evils.

They came the next night,
The Kings of Death,
Flitting from their caves in the craggy hills,
Swarming into our village in the small hours of dusk,
A village I had fled in fear some hours before,
Knowing the wrath of the Dead and their omens.

When I returned with a host of the Elders of my tribe,
We set about the task of the Holy Rites my people had long revered,
To honor our ancestors,
To bring peace to the dead who lay all about our once thriving village.

But they were not dead long.

At the first stir of undead life,
At the first flicker of Death’s eyes,
We fled,
Knowing that The King of Death had come into His own,
That he had claimed our land and our people,
That He had taken away even our very hope,
For a new life.

Now shadows stir amongst the adobes,
Black stallions roam wild amongst the hills,
Mounted by cursed things that sing horrific songs,
And emit beastly cries in the lone hours of dusk,
When Night’s mantle lies, ragged and torn, across the doorway of Her tepee,
In Father Sky’s cursed dominion.

Blood has stained the mood of Dusk and She has become a fickle maid of Death,
Walking, half-glimpsed, amongst the graves of my ancestors,
Her mood forever transformed by Death’s bite.
The mood of Dusk is changed forever from peace to haunted, bloodthirsty shadow.


Something moved; something shifted,
And under the boughs of the pines,
Nameless shapes cavorted blasphemously.

Witch fires sprouted along the backbone of the hills,
As nameless covens commenced their rites,
Their amorphous shadows pulsing with Night’s fevered tempo,
Their vulgar frames writhing in the hollows of the hills,
Where bestial forms croaked and rattled hideously,
Under Night’s watchful eye.

Under the full moon,
One could hear the werewolves’ cries,
As they bounded forth to join Night’s frivolities,
Venting their thirsts for blood on the unsuspecting witches,
And warlocks that dared to wander from their comrades along,
The dusty, forbidden trails of Dunwich.

Night wandered from Her Tomb in the sky,
Peering with eyes like the stars,
At the unholy revelry below,
As the Heavens fled through the void of space,
In Luna’s company,
Not daring long to linger at the doorway to Night’s tomb,
From which damned things spilled forth,
To cavort in the dance of the damned below.

As Night brushed the Stars from the Heavens,
And sent Luna speeding through the vault of Sky’s dominion,
As She cleared the Castle of Night of Her Children.
Something stirred; something shifted.

It was the raging Sun God.

Angered by His Sister’s frantic gestures,
He awoke with a fury,
Bursting forth along Sky’s rim,
With such fiery beams that the very evil,
Of the witches’ rites was dispersed to the elements.

The amorphous shapes became shadows,
Slipping between rocks and trees,
Whispering amongst the unholy boughs,
Lingering by the haunted sea shore,
Shambling, if they dared, in the full daylight,
Towards their cursed tombs,
Upon which daylight brought no peace.

Yet as the Day dragged on and the shadows once again fell,
Something shifted; something moved: something shambled.

It was forbidden Night and Her Children,
Stumbling forth from their tombs in the skies;
To afflict Dunwich once again with their curse.

Witch fires sprouted along the hills,
And the distant baying began once again.

Night hurtled across the sky to awaken Her Brother, Apollo,
Yet He had already fled to the World’s Edge,
In fear of his children’s evil.

Beneath the eternal conflict between Night and Day,
Something shifted; something shambled.

It was the Shadows,
Slipping out from between the rocks and trees,
Speaking in croaks and rattles between the black-faced pines,
Writhing and cavorting in the shadow-haunted barrows,
Cursing Dagon’s green-faced children,
Who knelt, with rotting, sea-washed faces,
Before bestial gods in the forbidden grottos of that shunned town,
Called Dunwich,
Sleepy Dunwich.
Accursed Dunwich

John T. Carney was born in San Francisco, CA on December 13, 1960 and has lived most of his life in the Bay Area. He graduated from Moreau High School in Hayward, CA in 1979 and from The University of Pacific in Stockton, CA in 1985.

He has had some several poems published by the International Library of Poetry in their various poetry anthologies and has also been published in small college literary magazines. His favorite horror short story is The Red Lodge by H. Russell Wakefield. His favorite horror movie is The Shuttered Room, based on a horror story by H. P. Lovecraft.

Death Head Grin has published his serial horror short novel entitled The Cat People which appeared from December 2010 on through the following months.

John's book, titled The Vampire Sonnets, is a novella combined with sonnets on vampirism.

Visit John T. Carney HERE

Vampire Sonnets