Hymns of the Harbinger

Also available on youtube under the same name if you can stand my speech impediment.  the channel is wtfzipcode and it should be a picture of an hour glass. 23 minutes.


I have heard all the tales of the elders
I have heard all the cries from the crib
I was there when the seas first sundered
and whenever the ground will rip


I dwell in the canyons and caverns
cliff tops and mountains alike
I eavesdrop on those in the taverns
each and every night.



As frostbitten fields melted away
with days still short, cold, and grey
two village boys amidst their play
find thawing corpse now turned decay
they told their tale to Travis Theron,
whose wife was once whispered a witching hell-spawn
a skeptical ear and spiritless yawn
assumes nothing more than half-eaten fawn
stumbles across the source of the tale,
wide-eyed and gaping, so quickly turns pail
lets out a painful throat-cracking wail
cries out the name of lost Abigail
his daughter gone missing, since late last fall,
graceful and fair, waifish and small
she lay gripping so fiercely her tattered old doll,
her body pierced and punctured, likely a maul
holding her tightly ‘till day fell with haste,
hauling her up, against him he braced
cheek to cheek, his broken heart raced
a long trip to town the tethered two faced


Three days long passed since the foul fated field
offered its cold, yellow-eyed yield
deep in the crypt where her coffin is sealed
weeps her father, who prayed as he kneeled
he barters and begs, screams that it’s fake
hoping that soon he’ll rise and he’ll wake
pitifully fast a frail mind will break
when it receives an inkling of ache
on quiet nights you can hear third hand
of a fly on the wall in that sacred land
drunkards half slur of Theron’s command,
that God deliver unto where he stand
it’s hard to trust he who can’t mount his horse,
unable to point to the original source
through absence of Theron, those rumors gained force,
whispered through town in air of remorse


As days turned to months, back came the frost
the crypt of young Abigail ivied and mossed
not seen for seasons, his image was lost
in the house of Theron, he trembled and tossed
his crippled neighbor, whose husband burned,
her decrepit old body withered and turned
and for her vacant house, a family now yearned,
at least it was said, unseen and unlearned
it was told they moved in in one night,
yet no candle inside to bare light
children sneak and peer in with delight
and the townsfolk glance ever slight
no face to be seen, shadow or meal,
which only filled the townsfolk with zeal
surely they’re home, or someone would steal
‘least would the townsfolk, morals far from ideal
as the frost once more melted, eyes so keen
claim to see a child, behind bolted bent screen,
and that through the nightly fog, his mother can be seen,
but blind to his father, known not wide or lean,
the townsfolk so quickly told tales in a blitz,
saying at midnight you can hear the child’s fits,
while on the shingled rooftop, dear mother sits
a grain of salt, they’ve lost their wits
backwater folk so often embellish,
taking the tame and making it hellish
basking in gossip and so quick to relish,
in all of the tales of old tucked-away Wellish


On the first day of spring, a priest went to eye,
that forsaken crypt where young Abigail lie
and to his horror, yet unknown as to why,
the bed of young Abigail sat ajar from a pry
he sprinted to Theron, to repeat what he found,
but his stoic face refused any sound
reserved to a stare, Theron turned back around
he shut his door, and muffled whimpers from a hound
exhausted and baffled, the priest went and stumbled
to the decaying stage where his day went and crumbled
it didn’t seem right, the debris was all jumbled,
stepping inside left him shocked and humbled
the coffin sat covered, with ‘how’ left unsure
the priest slid forward to an unseen lure,
being pulled and enthralled by a sight impure
from tucked away corner, a voice tried to ensure,
timidly stuttered behind weathered drape,
out crawled a girl, sweet Sarah Nape
explained to the priest, whose mouth fell agape
as he listened to tales of ghoulish grim shape
a child in the nude with eyes sunken and set,
tore through the graveyard as tailed by a threat
she followed to aid with his ill-fated fret,
but what she saw left her shattered and dripping with sweat
he burst through the shrine of that lost Theron girl,
and dropped into her coffin what looked like a pearl
up shot two flames, turned green as they twirl,
around the child’s head as his hair went to curl
the slab rumbled softly, then shifted to place,
stirring so swiftly without any trace
the child looked up, and she gasped at his face,
seeing her as well, he lunged to start chase
he opened his mouth unfathomably wide,
rearing more fangs with every short stride
his emaciated fingers stuck out to collide
with Sarah’s soft face, but instead leaped beside
his tongue, scaled and black, too long and narrow to be true
coiled around her neck, she swore it grew and grew
wrapping up her face, enshrouding all her view
and with rancid breath, his wretched voice blew
he whispered in her ear a tongue that cracked the walls and floor,
words never heard in any town before
this is all true, she cried and routinely swore,
but who can trust the fables of a well-used tavern whore?
she once boasted to bed a blonde lychanthrope,
for some grog she’ll find a stray dog to grope,
she’s often asphyxiated by escort’s rope,
too much brain damage for a young girl to cope,
console for an hour, then back to his chapel
long list of words for the priest to grapple
far passed famished, leathered hands bathe an apple
a knock, he turned to see a face that a freckled brush did dapple
the face of sincere Clarence, who knew Abigail well,
nestled nightly by her bedside, since the thaw he lived in hell
and of the night before, he held many a woeful word to tell
details of a dainty drab devil who cast a grisly, gruesome spell
that night, when Clarence approached his lost lover’s lair,
he quickly descended down dismal depths of despair
death filled his breath as he choked on the noxious, necrotic air
stepped into the hall and viewed a frenzied, fiendish affair
before Abigail’s tomb sat a cross-legged child bent forward too far
a posture thick Clarence thought queer and bizarre
the huddled child raised a red feather to air, tracing the prongs of a seven-armed star
then cocked back its head with its nose seeping torrents of tar
the tar and the child rose, and with them so did the tomb,
the tar circled and rolled, retrieved the corpse of Abigail to consume
black flowing sludge came to Clarence, teasing that it would entomb
binding his limbs, filling his lungs, he knew this was his doom
yet he came to the priest to shriek of his plight,
certain he was spared by a sudden, blinding light
when his vision returned, he found no sight of his fright
he examined the den of his lost lover, left empty and cold in the night
surely the psychosis of a lover with grief gone mad
for who could believe what sights Clarence claimed he had?
not much upstairs, the baker’s first lad,
but still, a new set of stories for the priest to add
the priest sent Clarence on his lonely, weeping way,
after some tea and a single-night stay
at first morning’s light, the priest found the silence to pray,
asking for answers in this harsh world of dismay
as he was accustomed, his God had no words,
gave him no signs, neither warming rays, nor chirping birds
seeking some solace, he went to tend to his herds
and as the sermon was ending, he was approached by two little Kurds,
they strolled by the overgrown house of Theron in the final moments of last twilight,
they felt something off, but couldn’t tell what, so they approached to see if all was right
through a dimly lit window, they spied something flailing with an unholy might,
but so quickly and easily young children excite
the priest shook his head while he felt his curiosity grow strong,
he knew that shortly the itching would lead him along
back to the house where the whispers belong,
in the house of odd Theron this tale will prolong


The priest straightened his shirt as the Sun touched ground in the west,
drank a glass of water before setting his mind to rest
up to the house he crept, and placed his face by a window to test,
the words of the Kurds, and what he saw he strained to digest
sitting at the table, Travis Theron had a smile from ear to ear,
and just to his left the priest turned his eyes, when through the foyer, he saw her appear
the ghoul of lost little Abigail, in all her gory glory, nevertheless Theron held her dear,
abruptly behind him, the priest heard a soft and feminine throat clear
a woman, who seemed thirty, but covered by a heavy coat,
wielding a wax-covered and glowing bejeweled horn of a goat
she gave the priest a wink, then with eyes rolling back, she chanted to float
the priest quickly begged God to give her strep throat
again on deaf ears, the priest’s words would fall,
the wind roared around her, her hair flew wildly, revealed a pristine doll
her eyes were wide, her skin was smooth, and her nose was button and small
her ruby eyes narrowed as her thin lips smirked, raining wrath as the priest stood tall
she lowered herself and brushed her right foot through the holy ashen pile,
flipped her hair back and walked to the door with seamless style,
but the little Kurds trailed, and watched all the while
as the wild wicked woman primped and puffed up her smile,
the two children bolted from the half-haunted address,
to convey to their mother, a woman of fine arts and finesse,
their breath was erratic, labored, and heavy, but they managed somehow to express,
the chronicle of that woman, her fire, and the pile of priestly ash, they fumbled to compress
at first thought a ruse until their eyes watered and wept,
for everyone knows that once dead, the dead lay and slept
but through their mother, their tale of terror traveled, tired townsfolk tried to accept
they grabbed their torches, as quickly a small town will do, tracking Theron while each street they swept
before his house, they see solemn Travis, with broomstick in hand and his back to a bin,
behind him stood that woman the children described, her eyes burning red as she grinned with sin
while his pupils turned black and he clammed up his skin,
she looked at the townsfolk and laughed as her crooked nails danced on her chin
she waved to Travis, as once more she took to the sky
then the door of house Theron creaked open to release mourning cry
and out walked little Abigail, with a rabid rat teething on her thigh
and that was enough, no more can a skeptic deny,
that the crypt of young Abigail, Travis corrupted and tainted
the townsfolk hesitated, for with the Theron’s they all were acquainted,
even there was miss Mosby, who in spring her house he had painted
they had made up their minds, sadly for Travis, so they pummeled him ‘til he fainted,
lassoed what looked like his daughter, hog-tied her and stomped on her head,
but they debated if they could kill her, for they knew she had long been dead
they could not stop the woman, who flew away and fled,
so they surrounded slumbering Travis, and in his face an axe they embed


The years blended together, melted to decades, and then to a long-lived lifetime
until was left only one who recalled the folly of Travis, and his unforgivable crime
Audrey McClair, aged one-hundred three, would often spout rhythmless chime,
often discarded in her old age, her scattered stories not worth any time
cursed are the old, who are so often treated like yesterday’s trash,
but after all, their stories do stream together and mash
the holes and the gaps swiftly spread like a ravenous rash
and at the ill-timed tip of a hat, their train of thought is gone in a flash
so when the nights grew longer, and the days turned to chilling curses of cold,
and just as each year, the tale of the Theron’s, again lady McClair had told,
again they ignored Audrey McClair, who in passing gave youth to the old,
“One day they’ll come back, they’ll come for you!” the lady McClair would scold


On the first day of February, old lady McClair started her final transition to dust,
as she had no family to speak of, the lads of Wellish dug her a grave, three days the time to adjust
on a night swift and silent, on her house came a bid, from a man who spoke like a gust
he seemed in his twenties by the crescent moon’s light, and forty the guess of his lust
they hid in their house, not seen by the day, and refused to attend Sunday mass,
but none could deny, if they caught them by night, that the two had a well-crafted class
when seen alone, if the man you sought, any discourse he’d scoff at and pass,
and pity the ear who leaned to the misses, who sprayed out sulphuric sass
the two soon became the talk of the town, and the children tagged their prey like a flea,
they followed the mister, on serpentine path, to a cliff scarred by the sea
they too trailed the misses, who stayed by the town, each night kissing a key,
what could it open, what could it be? Young children seldom agree
whatever it opened, no one could argue, that the secretive pair knew something awry,
for late one night, the two walked together, and a curious child played spy
and on the next sunset, right at the twilight, they presented his mother a pie
the child was certain that it was poison, but the mother insisted they try
it tasted like dirt, but they woke the next morning, so on schedule they visit the orphan so near,
just down the street, they knew her whole family, who just passed away last year
they were not alone, to their surprise, but they came to visit and cheer
the two odd night owls, who best not bake, comfort the orphaned dear
the tension was high, as the child knew they knew, but nothing was said of the boy,
maybe coincidence, he thought to himself, and filled his head with joy
the mother and child, with tasks to tend, left early for time to enjoy
as out they slipped, the child glanced back, and saw on the misses, a skillful smile so coy,
but who in their right mind would believe a confessed, sneaking rat?
although odd, the two seemed alright, the boy must just be a brat
consoling the orphan, the couple rose high, and the townsfolk scolded the gnat,
firm to his story, the boy was relentless, and at each howl the townsfolk spat
he refused to resign, he knew they were up to something, but he couldn’t say what,
the townsfolk rolled their eyes, as did the preacher, who told him to keep his mouth shut
he continued to trail, knowing they knew, but needed the secrets that guide their strut
he lost them one night, so he returned early, and saw the orphan leashing a mutt
curious inquiry produce no result, her words were secluded, just like the pair
he trailed her as well, staying in the shadows, to be seen he did not dare,
he inched to her window, and he felt a clasping hand, while he carefully stare
branded a pervert, screaming his truth, “don’t detain me, it’s them you want, I swear it! I swear!”
he sat on a bed for five lonely weeks, in a concrete and iron cell
when he heard his first visitor, he assumed his mother, and anticipated her smell
hearing the footfallss, they sounded too firm, and high hopes his vision did quell,
the man of the night, dead-eyed and dreary, all faith he would dispell
at last it arrived, time for his trial, the boy was carted to court,
committing no crime and soon to be free, he naturally played a good sport
but up on the stand, he looked for his mother, not knowing her life cut short,
with none to defend, or even clarify, so abruptly the facts distort
to his dismay, he held no defense, and the gavel fell with his chance
dragged by the bailiff, with every breath, he reiterated his stance,
and in his eye’s corner, a sight made him mute, for in his passing glance
the couple so odd, now known as saints, stared him down in an unblinking trance


On verdict night, the orphan girl was beheld balling a bag to her chest,
as she hurried through alleys to where that nocturnal couple lay nest
she thrice knocked their door, as to why none pondered or guessed,
she walked in their home, seeming so stressed
as to what happened inside, no spies are quite sure
yet when concerning the couple, it all served to allure
if you asked the boy, he would scream to ensure,
something dark, evil, and impure
but no one asked him, or gave it a thought
an obvious pervert, so easily caught
turbulent sleep to all the night brought
waking to find their streets filled with rot
corpses walked through each freshly paved street,
some without eyes, hands, or feet
finally, the couple was spied, in the blistering morning heat,
feasting on children, fat and sweet.


8 thoughts on “Hymns of the Harbinger”

  1. I can’t believe that I didn’t return to “like” after listening to you read it on YouTube, it’s amazing! I’m thrilled that you wrote this, it’s rather epic! I’m glad that you read it aloud, as you intended it to be. Had another listen this morning, still just as great!


  2. ajppobrien said:

    An epic. A great piece of work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ajppobrien said:

    I must admit, I never realised Hymns of the Harbinger was actually a poem. Because it was on your ” About ” page I just thought it was a statement or something. It wasn’t until I read a comment about it before I realised. Do you have this poem in your archives?


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