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The Book of Van den Braak

The Book of Van den Braak

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

I stared at the book on the table

Where it lay on the weathered oak,

The cover so black and tarnished,

Tanned in leather through coils of smoke,

Its ancient layers had long been carved

As petals of some grim flower,

Where an evil mildew spread its mould

From the walls of that ancient tower.

 

The book was set like an altar piece

In that ancient, flagstoned hall,

Catching the feeble rays of light

Through cracks in the old stone wall,

I hastened to look away, but yet

It gripped me in its glare,

Like some old German Grimoire...

Though no title page was there!

 

I reached for the cover and opened it,

The leather creaked with age,

As it formed with its rotting petals

Into a rose around the page,

The smell of the mildew wafted up

And the chill was damp and stark,

There was nothing but evil in that tower,

In the book of Van den Braak.

 

I leant right over the book and saw

A woodcut of a lane,

The trees were grim in their winter coats

As the snow gave way to rain,

The mud was thick on the barren leaves

That were mulched from the Autumn's fall,

And I felt it squelch right under my feet

As the wind howled round the hall!

 

The tower was gone, I stood outside

In the rain and the brooding dark,

Walking along a windswept lane

In the book of Van den Braak,

I saw the light of a cottage there,

Set back in among the trees,

And a woman wailed on the painted step,

My own, my dear Louise!

 

I ran towards her, through a stream

That babbled beside the lane,

Louise was crying and wailing there,

She muttered: 'I'm not to blame!'

I must have seemed like a phantom there,

I waved, but she couldn't see,

She said, 'you shouldn't have killed him,

I just asked you to set me free!'

 

A man ran out from the cottage door,

His coat was covered in blood,

He ran his hands through his tangled hair

And fell, to kneel in the mud.

He took her into his arms and cried,

She clung, and called him Mark,

And then when he turned, I saw his face,

I knew him - Van den Braak!

 

I must have been quite invisible

In the pages of that book,

Or they were a couple of phantoms

Making love as I stood and shook,

I walked around to the cottage door

And peered in out of the rain,

I lay stone dead on the hearthstone there,

A bullet lodged in my brain.

 

In shock I turned, I saw the tower,

I ran with all my might,

Back to the Norman Keep and Moat,

Back through the surly night,

The eyes of demons had followed me

From high in the trees of the park,

But I was ready for come-what-may

At the hands of Van den Braak!

 

Then suddenly, I was in the tower,

Leaning over the book,

When Van den Braak called out that he

Was ready to take a look,

I'd brought the book with the tenants' rents

Of those that lived in the park,

But I stabbed him high in the rib cage there,

And cut his throat in the dark!

 

I went to his German Grimoire

Fell once more through the open page,

Went looking for my Louise, by now

In the white hot throes of rage,

She sat and wailed on the painted step

And muttered there in the dark...

'I didn't ask you to kill the man,

Just free me from Van den Braak!'

 

David Lewis Paget


© 2012 David Lewis Paget



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Featured Review

How do you weave such magic worlds so real your reader feels he is there? I love this cautionary tale from the Master Storyteller! You are so stunning in your poetic arts and casting of spells. A hundred out of a hundred is such a paltry score~this needs at least a thousand out of a thousand!

Posted 5 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Seems some women are never satisfied...your writing certainly does...another convoluted adventure...you've quite the imagination!

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lovely as usual told in your wonderful style.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


what is it about your work that is so good?
besides the brilliant flow you are the master of mood, of characterisation.
Your amazing knowledge is woven subtle and covert into the fabric.
An indefinable tapestry emerges like a monet painting with no hard edges.
what a privilege to be able to read your work on writers cafe.


Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

The creaking leather cover that enclosed the molded ancient pages, which led to the fateful doorway into his hellish past - or was it to his future?
*pat

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

although this isn't my leaning as far as topic...this journey caught my attention and held it well. you put together an interesting story from beginning to end...

jacob

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I must say with every piece of your work I encounter I seem to be taken on a journey of some short and then brought back again. If you could permit me to say that I would like to become a better writer in the sense of poetry and I wouldnt mind asking for your imput as to how or Tate's imput as well. Message me if you wish.

-Writer *78*

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

How do you weave such magic worlds so real your reader feels he is there? I love this cautionary tale from the Master Storyteller! You are so stunning in your poetic arts and casting of spells. A hundred out of a hundred is such a paltry score~this needs at least a thousand out of a thousand!

Posted 5 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Excellent dark tale.. loved the magic you weaved with your words. You never disappoint.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Well now that is surely the Paget of old. Deep dark and true to the spirit of a man who can see past our present. History is an evil task master is it not.And yet mans sin is to live so short a life that he can't remember the pains of old.And so it is that they go to war kill each other by the score.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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868 Views
17 Reviews
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Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on April 1, 2010
Last Updated on June 28, 2012
Tags: leather, mildew, tower, Grimoire

Author

David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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