This blog's poems are from my published poetry book Star Steeds and Other Dreams: The Collected Poems (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2009) and are © Dr Karl P.N. Shuker, 2009. Except for author-credited review purposes, it is strictly forbidden to reproduce any of these poems elsewhere, either in part or in entirety, by any means, without my written permission.

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Friday, 16 December 2011


‘The Last Spring’ is one of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg’s ‘Two Elegiac Songs’, and listening to the strains of its profoundly sad but hauntingly beautiful melody inspired me to pen the following poem.


Softly through Space passed the shadow of Morning,
Down through the spirals of starlight and dreams,
Gliding unseen on a shaftlet of primrose,
Dappled with dewdrops and lavender beams,

Softly descending with wings arched and streaming –
Gossamer crescents that soared through the skies,
Sparkling like rainbows as Heaven shone brightly,
Captured by Time in her beautiful eyes.

Yet there lay something that clouded their radiance,
Hiding within them as ever they shone,
And for an instant its shadow engulfed them –
Totally evil, but then it was gone.

She was the Queen of the Dawn and the heavens,
Golden as Light and as endless as Space,
Crowned with a diadem hewn out of amber,
Holding beside her a rose-clustered mace.

Onward she journeyed, through cool shady woodlands,
Lighting their gloom with her soul’s golden ray,
Till e’en the trees bowed in silence before her,
Each one entreating their Empress to stay.

For they knew this was her final appearance,
This was her ultimate day upon Earth.
Never again would she come into being,
This time for her there would be no rebirth.

And as she knelt ‘neath a bower of green shadows,
Snowy anemones murmured her praise,
While in the distance the clouds hung like phantoms,
Shading the skies in a grey, silent haze.

Then, far away, came a strange, surging rumble,
Choking the world with its venomous breath.
And, as she stood, Morning knew whom it called for,
Cold were its tones, for its image was Death.

Yet from her eyes, veiled by Heaven’s blue curtain,
Shining like stars from her beautiful face,
Only a solitary tear trickled slowly,
Downwards to vanish, and leaving no trace.

Now, through the heavens, a spectre rose upwards –
One that her eyes e’er had hidden from view –
Billowing far like a mountain of Evil,
Shrouding the sky with its sickening hue.

And as this hideous wraith filled the heavens,
All of the planet was flooded with tears,
Wept by the mortals who lay in its shadow,
They who created this phantom of Fear.

Gone were the woodlands, each stifled by vapour
Spewn from its lungs as it hovered in Space.
E’en the anemones shrivelled and perished,
Slain by a fiend without flesh, without face.

Yet, neath its cowl – like a shimmering mushroom –
Echoed the grim, eldritch laughter of Doom.
Morning was gone, and anemone petals
Drifted down slowly to cover her tomb.

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