Chris Collins is a Hudson Valley poet. His poems have been published in several print and online publications, including an anthology titled Mightier—Poets for Social Justice. Some of the magazines that have published his work include Black Petals Magazine and Drifting Sands.

He was formerly an adjunct professor of psychology, teacher of emotionally disturbed children, nature photographer and local politician and CEO of the not-for-profit Woodstock Comedy Festival.



It was dark and dreary all last night
so I went out myself to check
I heard some howling on the hill
gave me a chill around my neck

I took many steps and one more
when far into the woods I walked
then sat on a stone for some relief                                                      
with a feeling of being stalked

I walked back slowly to my house
each step was a burdensome chore
I freaked then ran fast as I could
once inside I slammed the damn door

I locked myself in and looked out
through a window on the front porch
there - a face on the cracked glass pane
lit up like a flame-throwing torch

the face I saw, the snarling mouth 
and fierce teeth that could bite so bad
scared me out of my wits quite fast
woke me out of the dream I had


I was sitting in my living room reading a
novel when I heard a click on the front door

I got up to check—the door was closed but
unlocked which gave me a bit of a

I looked outside but no one was there
I relocked the door at exactly twelve

Midnight meant little to me except that I was tired
needed to increase my energy and to take

I checked the door—went up to bed for the night—
and tried reading the philosophic words of John

Resting and reading in my bed that night
I was calmed by the classical music of

Then I heard the latch click sharply again
Twisting my mind into an enlarged emotional                          

I went downstairs—checked the front
Door once more—and checked the time on the

It was three in the morning when I looked out—
saw a shadow with a masked face and heard a fierce

Fearful I was—but stepping forward I opened
the creaking door wielding a rock-weighted

I hit the intruder hard and fast nearly
Knocking him halfway down the

I hit him as hard as I could—he bled and I                                    
was surprised that he was wearing a black

I stepped back to investigate but with little
expertise, I realized I was nothing like the great                      

Then he grabbed me—spun me around
and wrestled me down—hit me with a flower                   

It woke me from my dream in bed—and I
made a firm commitment to replace that old


Resting and naked before falling asleep, I suddenly remembered that I left the
gas grill on tonight. I and ran downstairs, went outside—the door shutting behind
me without a peep

In a minute I realized my nakedness and quickly shut off the gas to run inside.
Damn, the door was locked leaving my ass in the sticky ice-cold mess.

Near twenty-three degrees, frigid air was biting my skin. I tried and tried
Prying open the rigid frosted lock despite my bone-chilled body out there

I pounded on the door and moaned but it never gave in, not at all.
It left me stuck on my front porch just shivering and shaking as I groaned.

It was after midnight, no fun, damn it—not a good idea if my neighbors saw
Me naked at their front door in the dark, because they might think “burglar” and lose it                  

As I moved about I realized the quickest solution was to try all doors and windows
But that proved futile; nothing worked and I feared an attack by some feral beast.

Back on the porch, I fell, got cut, and bled. I was alone. I drifted and barely conscious,
lifted my head, screamed in the dark for help, and suddenly woke from my dream in bed