Revenant (pt.1) – A Blighted Vale

Revenant (pt.1) – A Blighted Vale

A solitary figure off the beaten path,
The air a palpable gloom
Be it mortal or shade of someone passed,
No longer in want of a tomb
Betwixt a shuffling gait and steady pace,
A sole impression leaves foliage displaced
This mark being the only telltale trace
It may be of flesh and blood,
And not trick of the moon

At a glance, one clothed in religion,
Or belief in superstition,
May perchance, mistake this form,
For haunting apparition
Till the snapping of dry twigs and leaves,
Ragged garments snagging trees,
Footfalls placing fauna ill at ease
This IS flesh and blood,
Allaying all doubt and suspicion

A weathered woman of years gone passed,
Exuberance of youth, long ago
Whose leathery hide, worn and cracked,
Lays bare a tale of hardship and woe
Though she’s endured this life cruel,
Her gaze still pierces deepest blue,
That belies a fire ‘neath azure pools
Her body a shell, scorned and wracked,
But the eyes, windows to the soul

This corporeal form, not shade,
But mere mortal deduced
Wrapped in cloth tattered and frayed,
Sway from limbs like hangman’s noose
Though the night’s biting chill, ill-favored,
She does not stumble, falter nor waver
Not till completion of one final labor
Then Death take hold the reins,
And shuffle the mortal coil loose

Through the tangle, muck and mire,
Every inch of pernicious terrain,
Punishes flesh, but heart’s desire,
Stokes the embers that keep her soul aflame
Aided by moon’s celestial lighting,
Quells the fear within from rising,
As journey’s end meets the horizon,
A blighted vale where devils conspire,
Where darkness and despair hold domain

Amongst the dead and dying trees,
A derelict crypt of crumbling stone
Its doorway opened, not with man-made keys,
But forgotten tongue from forgotten tome
This ancient ruin with obscured glyphs,
Gently brushed clean with calloused tips
Whispered words from cracked, parched lips,
Spill forth with unhindered ease,
Like oft spoken lines from cherished poem

Through parted lips, unfiltered words,
Hang heavy on the autumn breeze
An incantation profane and absurd,
With pressed palms and soiled knees
Then a deafening clap like thunder,
Splits bark and stone asunder,
Unblinking, her eyes transfixed with wonder
Beneath the cloak of night something stirred,
Within the smoldering debris

Amidst the rubble, a stifling plume,
Coalesced from ash and stone
Sears the throat with each breath consumed,
Seizing muscle and aching bone
Then a much welcomed reprieve,
Unfettering her senses and lungs to breathe,
As the expelled miasma slowly recedes,
And takes on an appearance that mirrors her own

From blackened debris this phantom figure,
Whose form and features, to her’s, akin
Its visage a reflection, not of her cold exterior,
But tempered rage contained within
Under its gaze, a violent shiver,
Her once steady hands, now a tremor,
Its eyes a cauldron of glowing embers,
Set ablaze with devilish grin


Watch for more works like ‘Revenant (pt.1) – A Blighted Vale’  by Raven Mirthwood as he starts publishing. You can find Raven’s author page on The Creative Exiles at Raven Mirthwood (



7 thoughts on “Revenant (pt.1) – A Blighted Vale

  • November 8, 2022 at 11:16 AM

    Raven, I was pulled in immediately to your poem and my eyes were glued to every word. You have a great skill with words. I truly enjoyed reading your poem. Well done, Raven, well done indeed.

    • November 8, 2022 at 12:09 PM

      Coming from you, I consider high praise. Thank you so much for the opportunity and the community you have all given me.

  • November 24, 2022 at 7:48 AM

    Raven, I enjoyed your story telling and horror poetry is quickly becoming my new favorite genre. I love it. Thank you for sharing and welcome again to our writing crew. Jamie

  • December 13, 2022 at 4:19 PM

    Ooh. Excellent I do enjoy a dark tale. I feel like the writer gets to use so many more emotional tools when writing about otherwise dark topics. This is no exception, your words are excellently woven in this piece. Great work. ~Paul


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