once upon a monster moon

by Lori R. Lopez

Under the city’s canals, amidst a secret web of conduits

Hide many a wonder in the disguise of darkness,

Veiled by shadow and a discreet demeanor, a shyness

And stealth so close to the perception of order and calm,

Sheltered in the bowels, between the plumbing . . .

There lie the conjurings of a chaotic nature,

Traces of random birth and a brooding archaic flair

For the dramatic, for monsters of gargantuan dimensions,

Untamed by a perfected sense of balance, the beauty

And less frightful symmetry that dominates the age of humans —

Before they tipped the scales with the lofty disdain of kings

And colossal nerve of gods below the surfaces of Albions.

The past is buried and still thrives, awaiting its return to power,

The resurrected glory that had too long been deprived.


These furtive enormous beasts forced to skulk in lowly confines,

In the depths of nightmares, tonight will rise.  They will creep

And defy the barriers, the cautionary borders that humans

Have wrought and they have obeyed like subservient brutes

Without their own dreams of grandeur; without a ray of kindness

Or crumb of consideration for their suffering and the self-loathing

Reflected by the screams of sleepers glimpsing the nightmarish.

Here live the haughty in their oblivious delusions that they are

Above all else; impervious to the feelings, whether rancorous

Or the abysmal sorrows of the reviled, the freakish and leper-like

Uncouths who abide below, bitter rejects or so horrid they cannot

Be imagined; so ill-conceived they cannot be fathomed by any until

Comes the Monster Moon, once in a binge of madness and rage,

When harsh reality is visited upon the surface by the wretched . . .


A lunar twilight when darkness pours forth through the cracks

And grates, into the soul-rending sheen of a newborn moon

Masked by an inken shade so pitch-deep that it breaks the heart

To not behold, as if cloaked in blindness.  Do not despair,

For it is merely a phase to be endured, like pulling the covers

Over one’s head when the closet door creaks open, or talons

Scratch the floor beneath the bed.  Hold fast to your disbeliefs,

Your fear-clenched tight-fisted denials of truths that have been

Consumed like pablum or porridge, mechanically spoon-fed

By indifferent nannies and preoccupied parents since the birth

Of Time, the first measure of Mankind’s dawn and inevitable dusk,

When the world seems unsafe . . . yet to another perspective

Is the most tranquil — absent the clamor and glare of day.


For darkness is a cowl worn against public scrutiny and scorn,

Against being ignored and uncherished, not being embraced.

The lonely and shunned, the unworthy and disrespected

Can lick their wounds in its shineless spotlight of ignominy,

Where the truly miserable and depressed may weep and rock

Themselves to sleep with a lull-a-bye drenched in gloom . . .

Horrendous howls of woe so poignant and pathetic,

They travel like the cries of mournful grieving whales

Transmitted by the liquid atmosphere of the ocean,

For obscurity is as palpable and conductive.  But during

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.


Tonight they slither forth and slink, or stomp and growl

And prowl the mead, the woods, the vales and coves . . .

The streets and squares, rooftops and cellars steep

On their reckless unruly splurge of wild rompings

And clompings from one end to the other of High Society,

A world that denies them their place, refuses their right

To exist, as if looking away might uncreate them by wishful

Thoughtlessness, yet here they are in their full magnitude.

Within gruff exteriors, ignoble hides, may beat the hearts

Of the gentlest souls, for not all monsters bite and maim;

There are those who would merely like to be loved —

Hugged like a teddybear, the kind with claws and teeth,

Yet smiles as broad as their overgrown frames.  It is, you see,

The other type to watch out for, and they are licking their lips.