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  Cover Issue 14 DUTCHMAN'S MOON


Tonight the waves break with a silver sheen
For like a phantom clipper in the sky
Forever drifting, peaceful and serene
A crescent Dutchman's moon is sailing by
I watch the far horizon from the bow
Framed by the forestay and the headsail gaff
And catch the salt spray thrown back from the prow
While from the fo'c'sle rings the hearty laugh
Of sailors swapping tales and sharing grog
A spectral figure cloak'd in silver light
Holds fast the wheel while free flung halyards flog
The mainmast's furrowed sail as if to smite
The canvas for not mastering the wind
From out the long ago unspoken dreams
Play out across the trade winds of my mind
Break heavy on my thoughts until it seems
That I should drown in downpours of regret
For like the Dutchman to the sea I'm bound
Exiled by piercing eyes I can't forget
No sighs might sate, nor bitter tears confound
This thirst not even blackstrap rum can slake
Condemned by deeds that cannot be undone
Cursed by th'unquiet phantoms in my wake
Caught in the webs my spider lips had spun
Thus am I damned to haunt the lonely deck
Till ragged sails flap oe'r my rag-clad bones
And anchor chains drop from my barren neck
To rest beneath the waves with Davy Jones
Where starfish drift in silence through the deep
And mermaids deck the dead with coral blooms
Where stately reefs loom tall like marble tombs
And this poor Dutchman's soul at last shall sleep




Michael Pendragon is an American writer, poet, editor, and publisher of the literary magazines: Penny Dreadful and Songs of Innocence & Experience (1996-2005). His writings have appeared in Terror Tales, Morbid Curiosity, Enigmatic Tales, The Dream Zone, Masque Noir, The Blue Lady, Edgar, Frisson, Charnel House, Nasty Piece of Work, etc., and were recently featured in The Horror Zine, Sanitarium, Disturbed Digest, 69 Flavors of Paranoia, and Danse Macabre. An archived online version of "Penny Dreadful" can be accessed at mpendragon.com, and a sample of his work at thehypertexts.com. He also has a novel ("Much of Madness") and several short story and poetry collections ("Night Things," "The Dead," "Beyond the Veil," & "Into the Night") available at amazon.com.

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