A rich gathering of poetry with a dismal twilight atmosphere, a brooding nature, an eerie tone . . . Darkverse: The Shadow Hours encompasses such pieces written by Lori R. Lopez between 2009 and 2017, collected in three of her Poetic Reflections volumes along with humorous and serious verse. This ample compendium allows a more focused reading experience and mood — presenting poems that share speculative themes, flashes of horror, glimpses of madness.
Lori is the author of The Dark Mister Snark, Leery Lane, Monstrosities, An Ill Wind Blows, The Fairy Fly, Chocolate-Covered Eyes, Jar Baby, Samhain, 3-Z, and Spider Soup, among other tales. She has been called a storyteller, whether composing verse or prose.
The aim of her Darkverse series is to offer a chilling trek through unlit stretches where all manner of creeps and kooks may lurk; where graveyards and bogs and full-moons abound. The pages of The Shadow Hours illuminate those morbid uncanny perils and dreads that inhabit drab corners, the known and unknown terrors of the night. Vivid and distinct, her voice echoes our worst fears then delves beyond, exposing hitherto unimaginable frights.
Prepare to confront a motley array of ghouls and menaces that might just move under your bed.
Darkverse: The Shadow Hours was nominated for a 2018 Elgin Award in Full-Length Books. Look for an Illustrated Print Edition with quirky art by the author.
E-Book: 111,309 Words
Age Range: 12 and up.
Tonight they slither forth and slink, or stomp and growl
And prowl the mead, the woods, the vales and coves . . .
~ from Once Upon A Monster Moon
The New Moon’s dearth of light, on the eventide
Of a Solar Eclipse, these bottomdwellers shall awake
And parade with roars or sobs until the morning when
All accursed must retreat to their den of dismissal.
~ from Once Upon A Monster Moon
Deep in a vale where the Moon never shined
Lived a scurrilous sort whose stone heart was unkind
For he kept in his dungeon all manner of birds
In a darkness so dreary, there are no better words
~ from The Silence Of The Birds
Snug within my sanctuaries, my havens of light,
the retreats where I feel most sheltered . . . Safe
inside a fortress of invisible armor and courage,
I vainly endeavor to outwait the storms of the dark.
There is no vanquishing its deep desolate expanse,
which spreads in waves across the wilderness of
Cosmic Space. We may burn a candle, a torch
to hold it at bay — keep its borders at a distance.
Yet that is merely a temporary fix, for we know
it does not depart. Ever around us, never
diminished. Only light can provide the illusion
of security amidst the eternity that engulfs us.
A Darkverse lies behind each glim, present in
every hour, no matter what time the clock tolls,
what numerals it directs our eyes to believe, like
the nimble hands of a magician fabricating myths.
We accept the fable of day, of sun and warmth,
when the brightness is but starlight and we exist
in a perennial veil of cold stark night. We are
fools to think otherwise. Fools who dream.
Whether asleep or awake, our condition is a state
of perpetual fantasy, reverie, misapprehension.
A mirage; a figment of the realm that surrounds us
each moment of life or death like burial, a shroud.
The Darkest Hours
The Human Beast
A Lost Cause
the calm after the storm
once upon a monster moon
one step too far
burying the hatchet
The Glass Looking Back
That Which Scares Us
The Midnight Chorus
the writer’s demise
digging up my beloved
Unscheduled Stops, Part I
Unscheduled Stops, Part II
faces on a train
Keeping It Inside
a random thought
The Devil Calls
they stalk the night
horror she wrote
A Clown Lament
The Red Bus
The Black Widow’s Lullabye
Spider’s Mother’s Song
The Grim Nursery Rhyme
the silence of the birds
A Hard Rain
graveyard of ghouls
day of the dead
The Box Of Chocolates
a twisted fate
The Woman In The Moon
With The Moon’s Embrace
Through The Woods
peace and quiet
Dead and unburied
Occupant Part Two
a zombie in the closet
Unburying The Dead
A Monstrous Situation
the green-eyed monster
The Bed Bugs
Who’s Afraid Of The Big, The Bad?
More Trick Than Treat
House Of Chocolate
The Queen Of Hats
the root of all fear
The Agony, The Anguish
A Sympathy Note
The Mud Slid
out of sorts
a ruined heart
the bleeding heart
Horror Haiku Too
The Late Tour
More Horror Haiku
This Thing I Fear
More Horror Haiku Too
Bag Of Meat
Down A Dark Road To Death
madmen and monsters
The Ancient Mariner’s Ballad
Coast Of Gold
blood on the moon
A Good Thing
in the midst of moss
Meeting A Horror Author
the brightness of dull
No Fairytale Ending
the deep dark woods
Crime Scene Footage
The Bookworm’s Unliteral Literary Sonnet
to dream of nothing
The Hopeless Romantic
The Ballad Of Grim Garrett
birds of night
ravens and crows
The Corn God
one day it rained
Such Things Befall
ode to monsters
The Negative Side
The Flea Circus
something in the light
fearing the worst
Possible Dust Clouds
harpies and shrews
The Last Nerve
(From the Illustrated Print Edition.)
Honors & Praise
“A dash of irony, a heaping cup of wit and a pinch of glee are in the mix of Lopez’ diverse recipes for verses, combined with delightful titles such as “Leery Lane”, “Head Slugs”, “Bed Bugs”, “Hell’s Corner” and “Callous Alice”. Dare you taste this collection, you’ll come back for more. Buy it and keep it handy.
“Out of the deepest sleep arisen/crawling from earthen tomb/the corpse in his Sunday Suit/had trekked through a mistful gloom.” — from “The Box of Chocolates””
Marge Simon, Stoker Award winner, Grand Master Poet of the SFPA
“Darkverse is a collection of beautifully lyrical and narrative poems reminiscent of songs written in longhand, sung in soft whispers, in gentle tongues. I have a great fondness for “DarkVerse”, “Shadow Hours”, “grimmest”, “the calm after the storm”, and “one step too far”. A joyful, wonderful read!”
Christina Sng, Stoker Award & Elgin Award winner
“The Shadow Hours is the kind of collection that makes readers pause – look up – think – smile – feel – before going in for another. That’s awesomeness!
Since its title is Darkverse, #1, there is the hope of more to come. To that, I am looking forward.
I continue to be a fan of Lori R. Lopez. I’ve not read anything by her I did not enjoy. To call her a poet is insufficient. An artist of great talents … that gets much closer.”
Tamara Fey Turner
“I am a member of the HWA and [I] was sent this to read and review for the new awards. I read it. And recommend it. Why? Cause I enjoyed it. Great work. You have to give credit to artists in their genres.”
About The Author & Artist
Lori R. Lopez has been writing and drawing since she was roughly the size of a pumpkin, if babies were round and knew how to hold a pencil. They usually don’t, so perhaps we should stick with the facts. And be a little more crepuscular in tone, for this is about her dark side. If this were about her lighter side, there would be the obvious comparison to a balloon. It isn’t, hence the pumpkin. Oh well, let us skip to the details about her life. Or we could if she had one to speak of. It is pretty much all about the writing with occasional conversation, adventure, bedlam thrown in. And five kitties. Who are semi-feral and mostly live in a Catio built by her sons. None of that is especially scary or macabre. Or literary!
Right. Good point. We should probably talk about her poetry! Lori’s verse has difficulty deciding whether to be eerie, absurd, or existential. At times it all gets mixed together and she is helpless to prevent it, like tipping over a bottle of very black ink that spills and splashes everywhere on everything . . . Sorry about that. The lines can even smudge or blur between poetry and narration, as her poems often tell a tale.
But this is not entirely what Lori does. When she isn’t coming up with strange verse, she poses for photos wearing hats. Or invents rather odd prose. And when she isn’t doing any of those or all at the same time, she can be found doodling weird illustrations to go with whatever sort of lettered lines she concocted in a manic fugue of genius babble or her sleep — at least, that’s how it seems.
There really isn’t much more to describe or conjecture. Being shy, Lori avoids crowds except when author duties require her to be in the midst of one. You will not easily notice the timid lady as she won’t be terribly talkative in a group. She might seem a bit quirky and distracted, pensive about her latest project or a new idea that just sprang to mind. And then again, she may be focused on an urgent errand, a purposeful endeavor. Observe her like a creature in the wild, with care not to startle or spook.
Leave that to her.