poem

Prince of darkness

In a late hour, looking through a gothic window of the castle old

At a winter night, he heard an echo from the distant past

Dancing in the empty halls with a howling wind, merciless and cold

And saw a long way he had made back here… alone.

 

Surrounded by trembling shadows, in a fever of midnight gloom

He crossed the chamber, lit by dim torchlight, and sat on a silent throne

Unwilling any longer to constrain, he let the memories to fill forsaken room,

The room, that like himself had seen so many hopes, – long since gone

 

In defiance of old wounds, he recalled the day he was betrayed,

The day his tender heart was pierced by the arrow of disdain

And how then to endure, he allowed the weaker version of himself to fade,

Stepping on the path to the unknown – to find the source of devastating pain

 

How with valour he descended to the dark, where ancient demons dwell,

Fear, anger, pride – old enemies of his lurked in the labyrinth of mind,

How one by one he challenged them and drove them back to hell;

At last, the frailty he despised so much was forever left behind

 

A hard-fought victory that awakened him from a long and weary dream

By the will of fate was no one to be shared with, but silence of the night;

Alone, but not lonely anymore he looked at where he had been,

The verge of pristine darkness, beyond which he found light…

 

 

Artyom Shalamov       [January 2016]

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