Yellow Moss

Yellow Moss

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

The gates of the ancient prison creaked
And the chains clanked in the breeze,
When we pulled in with our caravan,
As we camped among the trees,
The kids went off for a quick explore
And were back before nightfall,
They said, ‘There’s all of this nasty stuff
Leaked out from the old stone wall.’

They said it looked like a yellow moss
But it had a putrid smell,
It clung in lumps to the chains, in clumps
That were hung in every cell,
‘Do you think it grew on the prisoners,’
Said Ted, with his eyes a-glare,
‘I’ve got a terrible feeling from
The damp in the cells in there.’

‘It’s only an empty building,’ said
Darnelle, but her eyes were bright,
‘I heard the prisoners whispering
As they must have done, each night,’
She let her imagination reign
Or that’s what we thought she did,
I learnt to listen more carefully 
When she said that she had, our kid!

So later, when they were both abed
I took Clare by the hand,
And led her into the ancient Gaol,
To that misery of man,
Our footsteps echoed on cobblestones,
My voice came back like prayer,
Bouncing back from the old stone walls
In tones of a pure despair.

The moon came filtering down that night
And made patterns through the trees,
While beams shone in to the cells where once
Old men prayed on their knees,
And Clare would shiver where candlelight
Was once the only ray,
To keep the spectres away at night
Until the break of day.

I kept on wandering further in
While Clare would turn around,
‘Let’s go,’ she said, ‘it’s a scary thing,
We walk unhallowed ground,’
But no, I walked to the furthest cell
To the meanest cell of all,
And saw the bones, and the yellow moss
In a pile against the wall.

A beam came down from the rising moon
That lit up the pile of bones,
And there for a moment, all we heard
Was the sound of muffled moans,
A shadow rose by the weeping wall
Of a man who cried ‘I’m free!’
Who dropped the chains of his earthly pains
As he strode away, through me.

And all I felt was a deathly chill 
As he passed right through my form,
My mind was frozen, my heart was still
And I felt I was unborn,
But then the morning arrived at last
With a terrible sense of loss,
For all one side of my face was gone,
Covered in yellow moss.

David Lewis Paget

© 2016 David Lewis Paget


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Featured Review

David.. as always, I love the way you tell a descriptive tale inside a poem. Your narrative poetry is perfectly metered and I admire your work, especially your twists of the supernatural and suspense. Knowing there is another world than what we all see with the naked eye is a motto I see expressed cleverly and coyly in your pieces. You added some wonderful atmosphere here which draws the reader deeper into the story:

The moon came filtering down that night
And made patterns through the trees,
While beams shone in to the cells where once
Old men prayed on their knees,

Atmosphere is great,
..Misty

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I can say it was purely descriptive but never boring. This poem is a mixture of many sides of your talent in writing. This should inspire lot. thanks for sharing it with us!

Posted 4 Years Ago


The darkness surrounding this poem hold it throughout your writing. Your ability to put so much description into your writing shows how talented you are. I fee very involved with the storyline, as I too experienced chills.

Posted 4 Years Ago


David.. as always, I love the way you tell a descriptive tale inside a poem. Your narrative poetry is perfectly metered and I admire your work, especially your twists of the supernatural and suspense. Knowing there is another world than what we all see with the naked eye is a motto I see expressed cleverly and coyly in your pieces. You added some wonderful atmosphere here which draws the reader deeper into the story:

The moon came filtering down that night
And made patterns through the trees,
While beams shone in to the cells where once
Old men prayed on their knees,

Atmosphere is great,
..Misty

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I enjoyed the tale. Nature had strength and can lead us and teach us. I liked the story line leading to strong ending my friend. Thank you David for sharing the excellent poetry.
Coyote

Posted 4 Years Ago


You make your characters and the atmosphere and places seem real...what a gift you have...I can smell the damp walls of the prison and see the yellow moss growing there...No one can write with such depth...you are a great poet.


Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

David!! so happy to see you had posted anew!
curiosity has undone the man ..i must know what happened to Clare!? i am not sure who the characters are and what their relationships are ..the weave of ghostly and the real make it difficult for me ..perhaps it is your purpose ... these lines are a slight hiccup:
"‘It’s only an empty building,’ said
Darnelle, but her eyes were bright,"
i have read them several times and can't quite fit the rhythm .. fantastic story .. i love old prisons, castles and haunted places that seep such yellow stuff ..but i don't think i would challenge the deep places ...i would take Clare's advice and get the hell out of there ;0
and again sir ..glad you are posting anew!
E.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Another one ...I guess your muse has returned as your writing is becoming deeper and more intriguing. Keep them coming.. Valentine

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Unique David. Your style rings true in this one, but your words utter stories differently now it seems. I enjoy this newness. As I have always enjoyed your writing. I pray you never stop. You are still as much of an example for me today as you were yesterday.

Fantastic work.

Phoenix

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A detailed and eventful piece that caresses the mind to wonder along and see which moss will leave it's stain on us! well done, good read.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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581 Views
9 Reviews
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Added on August 15, 2016
Last Updated on August 15, 2016
Tags: prison, moss, chains, cells

Author

David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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