The Ride of the Dullahan

I witnessed the ride of the Dullahan one night
as I was staggering back home, having consumed
several pints at The Harp in County Sligo.

He came galloping down the narrow cobblestones
on his black snorting steed, urging it onward and
into a foaming frenzy with a whip made from
a complete human spine, its sinews still attached.
The dark man held his wide-eyed severed head outstretched,
the sickly green glow of the smooth skin of his face
slashed with a wide grin, lighting the way before him.

I watched in sheer terror as he opened his mouth
and I screamed and pressed my hands against my ears,
lest the name he was about to shout would be mine.

I fell to the ground sure I was about to die,
but as my head struck the cold stones and my vomit
mixed with blood that gushed from a deep gash in my scalp,
I spit out a front tooth capped with bright yellow gold,
and Death’s Herald went thundering into the night.

[The poet, author, and gentleman songster, Steven Wittenberg Gordon, MD, resides in Kansas with his wife, children, and a poorly trained Airedale terrier.  He maintains a part-time medical practice, is a member of the Codex Writers’ Group, and is the editor of Songs of Eretz Poetry E-zine.  Visit him at]

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