Faery Ride

I hear the fife and flute
the snare drum and the horn
of ram blown for battle
at dawn, and today I saw a murder
overhead and heard the babble
of distant seas with shores 
only lit upon by those things with wings.
Above in darkness a light so pure
and black radiates
from the heart of divinity
encapsulates me, covers my eyes
with a shroud, and though I peek
through it occasionally,
most of the time I find it still
when I squint my eyes to see the Summerland 
where old grows instead of you
as they dance the jig and reel
and drink the morning dew.

I was promised this land
as mine to rule, but oh surely
now this makes me a fool
for to rule the land 
whereupon gods stride would mean
one is a god instead of man
longing to hide. I fear the fife
and drum and horn of ram
blown for battle at dawn
and above the darkness is a light
so pure and black radiating
from the heart of divinity
and sometimes I swim in it
and others I sink and slink
away from the stain
on my unclean flesh
this ichor must make.

[Shayne K. Keen was born in rural Louisiana, where he lived in a small cotton-farming town until he was eleven when he moved to Monroe, his first exposure to “the city.” Some years later he left the South for Indiana where he stayed for a couple decades. After a brief time in the Chihuahuan desert in New Mexico, he came back to the Midwest where he currently lives in Northern Michigan on the shore of a lake with his partner and two wonderful cats. Shayne’s fiction has appeared in Caravans Awry (2018, Planet X Publications), A Walk in a Darker Wood (2020, Oxygen Man Publishing) and most recently his story “The New Human” appeared in Weirdbook Magazine’s 2021 Zombies! Annual.]