Reflections by the fire

Lighting the stuffed pipe I shook the match until its burning tip extinguished into nothingness. “You know” I began, puffing a few times to get a good cauldron of embers going before continuing “I was writing a story just the other day, or I guess you could call it a poem.”

“Oh? What about?” Asked my friend who was sitting opposite me in front of the fire place basking in its warm glow.

“Romantic love, loss, heartbreak and regret. All the usual you know.”


“But funny thing, I remember writing about such things ad nauseum in years past and it flowed effortlessly from the pen. Whether it was any good or not I can’t speak to objectively. But the point I’m stressing is the ease of working with heartache as a subject. It was the paint and the page was my canvas. I had it in abundance and filled up the canvas end to end.”

“Yes, I know. I’ve read all of them.”

“You have my eternal sympathy and gratitude. But with this particular poem I found myself at a loss for words. It was like pulling teeth getting the sentences on the page. I think I know why. It has been so very long since I felt the way about a woman in real life as I described in my poem that I couldn’t naturally produce it. I’m forgetting, old friend. I’m forgetting what it was like to love someone so deeply that losing them is like a nuclear winter. Losing the one you love is the pestilence which destroys your harvest…forever. But I don’t feel that for anyone and it’s been so so long. Would I even be capable of loving someone in such a manner?”

“Well…” my friend began.

-CL Fuqua

God made me

Why am I me?

Seeing so clearly

I know exactly the way I am

I know why those nearest ran

I can be the killer

Or maybe the healer

I have the blue eyes to melt your heart

I have the jagged teeth to rip it apart

God made me the way I am now

So did He leave me here to drown?

I wanna be wise as the serpents and gentle as the dove

But I only bite like a serpent and have no love from above

How long till God takes my life like a wisp of vapor?

This fruitless tree is better off being used for paper

Scrawl a warning over my body for all to see

Live as this vile youth and be cut down as he

But can I really be blamed?

For being merely untamed?

For all my faults and misgivings can you not see?

I am never more or less than what God made me?

-CL Fuqua

Death pulse

Look upon the one you love

See how her beauty resonates

Pay attention or you’ll miss it

Day by day her light fades

Until only a faint echo remains

Death creeps

Death seeps

Death pulsates

Death inculcates

The ones who raised you since you were young

Family surrounds you giving love

Teaching you all the ways to live life

But just wait and you will see the truth

One by one they disappear into the shade

Their instruction a parody against what’s real

Death is real

Death won’t yield

Death pervades

Death invades

Death surrounds

Death abounds

When will the endless entropy finally come to close?

Does the cycle of loss have its turn to lose?

I feel my spirit and life force inside me slowly slipping

I am not the youth I was just a day ago

And tomorrow I will be more decayed than I am today







The Horror Inside

From the outside its a nice house

It’s a well maintained house

But inside there are horrors

The things that merely creep on the edges of your mind

The shadows which you dismiss for the day’s business

This house is teeming with their unhallowed glories

Nonsensical figures of a cosmos bathed in nihilism

Classically gothic spectres of centuries gone by

Twisted physical deformity and violent fleshy transformation

Creeping crawling wriggling vermin scratching their way throughout

Inside this house are all the things which you timidly refuse to look upon

Except tonight

Tonight you will be entering into this house

You will be swallowed up by the horror inside

Have a Happy Hallow’s Eve.

-CL Fuqua

Serpentine polymelia

CasCades of infinite chaos mixing in a orgiastic maelstrom of decay and depravity.

Colors tHat should not be and light from nether beyonds colliding in the physical and metaphysical planes all in a godlessly glorious instant.

No moRe structure or pretense of form and coherence…


The serpentIne polymelia slithers on forever consuming

the clicking of clawed appendageS never ceasing or Resuming

It need noT nor want

doth feed rot yea Haunt

all one can do upon its appearing is hope to die


Moon girl

I remember the first time we met

And you do too I’d be willing to bet

The moon was suspended bright in the purple night sky

Cause I can’t come out to play before I watch the sun die

You smiled and I introduced you to my fantastical pearl

I smiled as you showed me yourself, my pretty moon girl

Your hair was jet black, face pale white, lips blood red

My first heart attack, No more fight, fell in love instead

I’d kill or die to be back in that first night once more

I should’ve walked away for all that was in store

My pretty moon girl never meant me harm

I ignored all my sense’s incessant alarm

So now the moon is all I have to remember you by

I can think of you as I look up at the night sky

What’s my pretty moon girl doing under the same starry night?

Maybe someone else like me is falling for her in ravish delight

No matter, I am dead as history inside and out

She shines on as I sit here in the past and pout

Pretty moon girl I still have space for you in my heart

As long as the moon hangs, my love will not depart

-CL Fuqua

Burning embers

Glowing ash trickling through the air one by one

Illuminated by black night floating into nothing

Vestiges of a great act of liberation

Bastard children of a sacrifice to a starving idol

The burning embers are remnants of a bridge

A bridge that once held meaning and moments

Now immolating into fire to light my way

The fire consumes and subsumes the grand bridge of our affections

It is just a pyre of smoke and flame here to light my path

Burning embers swirl through the blue purple night sky dancing around me

As I tread my fire-lit path away from what we were

Burning embers burning bridges to light my way away from us

-CL Fuqua

Iconic vision

“Come come I will show you!”

The elderly hunched-over woman said as she adjusted her head covering and took me by the hand to lead me into the Church.

“Oh really, it’s okay I can find my way around!”

“Nonsense! I show you, you will see the Saints. They are alive.”

We had been having a discussion prior to the evening’s service which the Orthodox Church refers to as “Pre-sanctified Liturgy” and I mentioned it was my first time actually visiting an Orthodox Church. I was fascinated by their customs and traditions from an academic point of view and finally convinced myself to attend a service. I elected for a quieter gathering as opposed to the full-scale Sunday morning Liturgy. It would ease my wading into the water as I came from a protestant evangelical background in which tradition and ceremony were concepts as lost on us as the dinosaurs. I mentioned my general respect for their long history of “saints” as they called them. I believed every Christian to be a “saint” but they have a tradition of pointing out certain exceptional examples and remembering them. I feel this was something sorely missing from protestantism and I said as much to the kind old lady in conversation.

“Oh yes, we love our Saints! They guide us and pray for us always.”

She opened a small locket which held a pictured “icon” of a woman.

“This is St Euphemia, I ask for her prayers always. I have loved her since I was still small and she loves me. Even when I sin!” She crossed herself as she said the last part. And continued to tell me of the Saint’s life and martyrdom in the 4th century. And then a fantastical tale of this very Saint appearing to a modern day elder who himself later became a Saint! Although in theory I appreciated their devotion to a remembered history of believers throughout the centuries I found some of these tales and exuberant emotions of affection for the dead to be quaint.

“Well that’s amazing” I said, “but where I come from religiously we don’t believe the christians who have passed away are still involved in earthly affairs. We don’t pray to them or for them. They have entered into God’s presence so they’re not with us anymore.”

She looked troubled by my words and repeated “passed away?” “not with us?”

This is where we found ourselves at the beginning of this story. With myself being ushered or dragged into the Church for the very first time by a little old lady I could’ve picked up with one arm. Upon entering I was immediately assaulted by the smell of incense hanging in the air and the beeswax candles being lit by the faithful as they said silent prayers in the soft glow of their light. The little lady crossed her self very reverently in front of a portrait I knew to be an icon and then beckoned me to follow her into the main sanctuary where the service was just beginning. I was surprised perhaps more pleasantly than I would’ve admitted by how dimly lit the whole church was. This was a very intimate and solemn occasion. Not a showcase for pop-rock church ballads churned out by whatever Australian church band was hottest at the time. Even as a young boy I never could quite reconcile the God of the Bible with the raucous performances put on by the bands on Sunday morning. Surely God wasn’t here for this, or if He was He must have earplugs in. But in this place now…In the smoky darkness with the quiet chanting of scripture swimming through the sacred space like incense itself…yes here, I thought to myself. Immediately a scripture was quickened in my mind:

“And Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.”

Indeed, God could be here. I felt the elderly woman tug at my wrist:

“Look here!” She quietly whispered as she pointed upwards to the walls of the cathedral.

In the dimly lit Church building were the faces and figures of many men, women and children of centuries gone by. Some held crosses, others were actors in various scenes some of which I recognized from scripture. So many faces. So many stories.

“You see? They are here with us. They are not gone. They are not dead. They are always worshiping God and we join with them. We pray for their help because they have become what we want to be. They love us and we here love them.”

I smiled at her and nodded as we settled in for the rest of the service. She was a pious lady and it was admirable, sure, but I had my apologetics neatly lined up like walls around the castle of my mind. Still…I found myself in a maelstrom of new experiences. A perfect storm brewed up by her childlike devotion, the otherworldly music, and ethereal atmosphere of this place all under the watchful eyes of these “Saints” looking down on us. On me. It was enough to shake my intellectual framework by the roots.

I went home that evening with a million new things on my mind. The totality of this new experience was more than I bargained for as a mildly interested visitor to a historic institution. I came to sight-see in a museum but found a living organism that instead examined me. All this was on my mind as I drifted to sleep.

I awoke to find myself drenched in impossibly white light so bright I feared my eyes would burn out of my head! But I stood up unharmed and noticed a radiant glow pouring out of myself. My clothes were soaked with the light. I heard the powerful roar of a multitude of voices chanting in a language that was foreign and innumerable in dialect yet clear as pure newborn crystal.


I looked up to see the source of the voices and saw what appeared to be shining stars greater in number than all the stars in the universe swirling in a vortex of ecstasy and praise for the Holy Trinity. I found myself being lifted and floating up to meet the stars and found they were not stars but people. Glorified men and women with new bodies glowing as my own was glowing. When they gazed at me I saw endless depths of love and devotion for Christ I did not think possible in man. This love and devotion was being offered up to Christ and in turn He poured perfected Love out like hot fantastic blood to all of us in an endless cascade of perfection. Amidst the furious flurry of heavenly worship swirling about in a violently holy tempest one brilliant shining star flew to me. I recognized her immediately.


“We are not dead. We are alive and we are with you.”

I shot up in bed in an instant breathing heavy gulps of air and wiping the sweat from my forehead. Panting, I whispered to myself in the dead of night:

“I need an icon.”

-CL Fuqua


Sorry for the absence as of late! To all 3 of you who actually read these poems/stories. I have been reading and trying to finish a book with the little free time I have and finally did yesterday. It was “The King of Elfland’s Daughter” by Lord Dunsany. He is the father of modern fantasy/world-building and inspired many of the greats such as Tolkien, Lovecraft etc etc. Highly recommend checking out his works which are all available in the public domain for free. I very much enjoyed this book and its unique take on magic, elvish lore, and fantasy as a whole. His prose is absolutely stunning. Enough about that though! I will presently be returning to creating more sub-par poetry/fiction for your viewing displeasure! 🙂