When Death himself,
with all its terror,
comes knocking at your soul’s door,
fling it open with confidence,
and embrace the inevitable.
What is that sound?
Can you hear it?
Someone is out there,
see who it is.
You say no one is out there.
This cannot be.
Can you not hear that sound?
Let me see who it is,
and be rid of this puzzle
once and for all,
and be on my way.
Who are you to knock so?
No! You cannot mean this;
but truth must be right,
I cannot hear a sound.
keeper of the key,
reaper of death’s door;
’tis but my fear knocking.
As a wee bit of a bonus I add this to the mix.
Death with no Face
“I am your dream turned nightmare,
a hellish inferno, waiting;
waiting to haunt your soul
with raging madness,
to burn fear into your darkest days.
Your life is forfeit
In an abyss of blackness never fathomed.
as those before you have tried and failed,
I await your useless challenge
to cling to a life, rightfully mine.
When you sleep;
listen for my roar of laughter.
It will really be your insanity screaming.
I wait foolish one.
Or a tap, maybe.
A soft sound,
The door creaks.
It always has.
Night air feels different
than daytime air.
The air is thick with the light, clear shards of
where they've fallen
The floors creak, too. The boards
track each foot
The chair legs scrape,
at the floor.
The cup clinks on the saucer.
The water sounds
But you can't put it off,
Night air feels different
than daytime air.
When you stop breathing, you can
Life strolls the oceans of time
watery gunshot clouds reflected
in snapshots of motionless being
bursting with energy from womb
hard times come a knockin’
cracks of understanding erode
dusty pocketfuls of the past
receptacles holding insipid memories
the color of red earthen clay
molded by hands, shattered by age
hard times come a knockin’
rain in soul whispers drips from trees
pitting serenity of peace in grains of sand
unsettled flakes of cold freezing dreams
a thousand thoughts swirling around me
immersed in my struggling troubled soul
hard times come a knockin’
showers awaken steep cliffs of passion
intoxication of moonlight touches my brow
white roses stand up and sing in choruses
vestiges of sin move over to make room
for shadowed hands sharing the stars
warmth of the sun shifts and changes
reflection dulls insanity of screams
making way for encircling arms of love
life itself comes a knockin’
A foot in the door......
Another day in the life that can only be that of Julian Race!
I’m sure that at least some, if not most of you will have been in a similar situation before in one way or another and I also assume there are some of you out there who will have a sympathetic ear or two for the situation I found myself in recently. Let me explain….
I recall it was a Friday night and I’d popped off to bed with my steaming mug of Cow & Gate at the usual time of 7.30pm. I placed the mug on the bedside table and turned to retrieve my pyjamas from my trusty trouser press. Laugh if you must, but I do like to keep a sharp crease in my pyjama bottoms because if, in an unfortunate situation one has to evacuate ones premises in the middle of the night, you do not want the neighbours seeing you standing in the middle of the street sporting scruffy, creased sleeping attire whilst the reason for the evacuation is being attended to by the relevant emergency service. For reasons unknown to me, the trouser press had a particularly strong grip on my night wear, and try as I might, I could not free the pyjamas from their mighty jaws. After grappling with the machine for several minutes and trying out several wrestling moves which I had picked up from watching repeats of Saturday afternoon wrestling on the television, I noticed from the corner of my eye that my neighbour was peering over the fence directly into my bedroom window. I gave her a cheery wave during which I realised I was undressed. She actually waved back as the step ladders she was standing on slowly slid to the left and out of sight. I saw her prized blue Ceanothus Concha shudder above the fence indicating it had repaid her nurturing by cushioning her fall. I gave the trouser press one last “Boston Crab” and a Forearm Smash before accepting the fact that my pyjamas were well and truly trapped! Having no other option, I ended up having to sleep as nature intended but only after having left a well-intentioned note pinned on the outside of my bedroom door warning any member of the said emergency services that may in the course of their duty, wish to enter my room, should it be necessary, of my state of undress.
Having slept soundly, I awoke early on Saturday morning at around 08.15am and turned to see that my wife was still in a state of slumber, mouth wide open and that tell tale line of dribble running from the corner of her lips. As I regard myself as a “new man”, I resisted the temptation of nudging her with my elbow, unintentionally of course. I decided to pop downstairs to make my wife and myself a well-earned cup of tea. As I passed, I tried unsuccessfully to unclamp the trouser press to retrieve my pyjamas, so was forced to go downstairs minus any clothing.
Fortunately, our kitchen window is not overlooked by the neighbours so was perfectly safe from any prying eyes, apart that is from any potential burglars that may possibly be in my garden and in the process of robbing my shed of any potentially worthwhile objects. I popped the kettle on and surveyed the garden, I was in luck, no burglars at least I could mow the lawn later if the weather buck’s up! I put the tea bags in to the cups and when the kettle had boiled, poured in the boiling water, mindful that any splashes could prove embarrassing to explain at the A+E department of the local hospital. I tried desperately to erase the vision of that old seaside postcard of the matron saying to the newly appointed nurse “I said prick his boil nurse” and reached for the milk. As I did, I heard the doorbell ring. I looked at the cups, at myself and then at the front door. The bell rang again. I called up to my wife but there was no answer. I put down the cups and grabbed a “large” tea towel to wrap around myself to avoid exposing any parts of the skin and cause any embarrassment. As we have an integral garage, I nipped into the garage and shouted to whoever it was on the other side of the door that I was on the way. I unlocked the metal door and opened it just wide enough for me to hide behind it without exposing myself to the visitor. Yes, I called. I then felt a thump at the bottom of the door and saw a shoe wedging the door open and preventing its closure. I noticed from the shoes design that it was 80% more likely to be a man on the other side of the door which, given the circumstance was better for me than say a court shoe or stiletto. Yes, I called again, and a boyish voice replied, “Double Glazing”, can we have a chat about your windows? Now, being a totally open sort of chap who does not have any deep-seated views and has always been open to others interests, his question was not one that disturbed or agitated me, it was just rather inconvenient. I’m not sure it is convenient for both of us at this particular time I said looking down at my imposition. It’ll only take half an hour or so replied the visitor; his shoe still firmly wedged in the door. He called out to some of his colleagues who were I assume at my neighbours houses who, it seemed had either spotted them approaching or were still fast asleep. I made a mental note to bring this up at the next neighbourhood watch meeting as clearly these visitors had slid through the net and the usual 3 rings on the telephone line had not occurred! I heard a lady’s voice reply to the salesman’s call and I heard footsteps coming my way. I insisted that I did not think this was a suitable time and pushed on the door in an effort to save my dignity. The door just flexed against the persons hefty shoe. Can I give you a leaflet instead called the owner of the shoe, and one appeared through the gap in the door?
Well, I don’t know if you can recall that Saturday 27th April 2019 was a particularly windy day and storm Hannah as it was named had touched down during the night with 82mph winds recorded somewhere in Wales. I was mindful of the possibility of flying sheep but clearly this was not a concern for the salesman. As I took one hand off the door to retrieve the leaflet whilst the other was firmly gripping the tea towel shut, Worditch, which is where I live, must have beaten the 82mph recorded wind speed in Wales as a gust of wind caught the garage door and blew it wide open causing me to be thrust backwards by the sheer wind force. The tea towel I had used to protect my modesty resembled a flag flapping in the wind behind me, whipping me sharply on occasions which I had to ignore whilst also avoiding any facial expression indicating the pain I felt during this crucial time. My initial deduction was correct as it indeed turned out to be a man at the door and for a split second, I was grateful. I had visions of myself in front of the beak pleading my case. “Well m’lud, I can explain everything, you see it all started with a trouser press….” Reality hit home and I noticed the man who was once the other side of my garage door well and truly on my side of the door. He was staring down at my nakedness, I don’t know if it was in admiration or pity as it was a particularly cold and biting wind. Nonchalantly, I said, well, you may as well come in then but strangely enough he declined the offer. He fumbled in his bag, eyes affixed on my now naked groin and passed me a leaflet which in all honesty would be placed into the recycling bin later that day and after he had disappeared.
No one else appeared at the door and I heard footsteps hurrying away from the house. Without looking, I closed the door firmly and replaced the two sliding bolts firmly into their clasps. I folded the tea towel back into it’s crisp creases and placed it back on to the kitchen work surface beside the kettle, added milk to the already prepared tea and ventured back to bed.
Now I have to offer a couple of pieces of advice to readers who may in the future find themselves in a similar position and recall my dealings with the situation:
1: This is a particularly risky way of getting a Double-Glazing Salesman’s foot out of your door!
2: Always ensure your trouser press is fully serviced regularly by a competent professional!
Suffice to say, to date, there have not been any repeat visits or requests for further discussion regarding the quality and or replacement of my double-glazing units. In addition, praise has been overwhelming at the bi monthly neighbourhood watch meeting as the early warning system adopted by the committee has been somewhat redundant of late and visitor numbers, especially by the double-glazing fraternity had reduced considerably!
©Julian Race 09/07/2020
The Dirty Drunkard
The cold night wind had started to roar,
The rain too had started to pour
People might have started to snore,
A sudden knock came at my door.
Through my window, I peered,
I saw a hunchbacked figure
Thinking twice I rose,
On opening the door, he said, “I am Mr. Oak.”
A drunkard he was,
Too dirty and smelly he was,
And smiling, he said,
“My wife is Mrs. Red.
I have lost her somewhere,
But I don’t know where
I met her there, behind that pine tree,
And now they say, ‘there rests she.’
Sharp at nine,
I will lay there dead,
With my Red”
He started to go
Scratching my head,
I went to bed.
The next day night,
I went there with fright.
There I saw two graves, Oak and Red,
Dated a decade back.
I don't answer
doors or phones
I don't even peek from curtain cracks
I'll read a note or listen to a message
there is no one
I want or need
intruding in my life
The sunset went to bed earlier than expected.
Meghan spent the day meticulously cleaning, cooking fancy food, and rearranging the furniture in the house.
She wanted to set the perfect vibe before her date, Jeremy, arrives.
She was anxiously looking forward to the night for a compassionate union with him. She loved him very much, and she wanted them to be one in body and soul, breathing the bliss of an intoxicating fire together.
For the first time, she felt this unique longing for him. She felt different, wanting a man to crawl under her velvet-silky skin since she’d moved away from Sin City, and changed her identity a decade before.
A sound of oven beeping brought her back from dreaming. The final food preparation was smoothly completed; delicious dessert was finally ready.
After setting everything on the dining table, she went upstairs and took a shower. She dried herself up and put on some lotion. Then, she sprayed a hint of perfume on her chest. Finally, she changed into a soft and silky short dress that glowed her radiance. She finished with her long hair ponytailed and tied with a two-prong hair comb.
She wanted to set the mood right for them to rejoice when her lover would arrive. The fragrance of anticipation filled her heart.
She glanced at her bedroom. A brand new pair of soft bed sheets were changed. The room was dimmed with candlelight, and champagne was chilled in a wine chiller, with two crystal glasses sat next to it.
She happily signed and felt it had a magical touch and feel. Everything was set and decorated perfectly.
”Tonight, it has to be the perfect night,” Meghan said excitedly, as she waited for Jeremy to finally arrive.
The anticipation was killing her softly.
They had been in a relationship for about a year before they decided to take things to the next level, meeting at her flat and creating an everlasting memory.
The knock she’d been waiting for came an hour later. She rushed and opened the door with a big smile.
”Hello, love,” said Jeremy as he swept her off her feet and gave her a warm kiss on her soft lips.
She returned the favor by letting her long fingers dance on his neck, her lips still etched to his.
He then gave her a dozen red roses, which he hid behind his back.
She took him straight to the dining table so they could eat before the food got cold. They sat opposite to each other, conversing about their days and sipping red Merlot wine, and barely bitting into the delicious food.
An hour went by before they thought of having a dessert. The discarded that idea, and he carried her upstairs to the bedroom. He slowly put her down on the bed and started kissing her gently. She felt the fire burning inside of her, and she laid back for him to take charge.
She closed her eyes and dreamed of their dance. When she opened her eyes though, she was staring at a shining knife, which he was about to pierce it into her chest like a dagger.
He looked down into her shocked and terrified eyes. He smiled with a grin of satisfaction.
”You thought we were going to have a happy ever ending night, didn’t you Jill?” Said Jeremy, pushing her down firmly on the bed, and choking her tightly by her soft and fragile neck.
”You don’t remember me, do you?” He said.
He continued angrily.
”How could you remember me? You ruined my life and just vanished into the thin air. I am sure you settled your score thinking that I’d be dead before we’d meet.”
”But, one lucky day, I found you while I was wandering around on the web. Thanks to social media, those pictures you posted on Instagram while vacationing in South Africa were killer ones and my favorites.”
”On those photos, I loved your throbbing smiles and sensuous poses.”
”Don’t be surprised. Yes, it is me, Phyllis Clarke. Remember, the young boy you let rotten in jail for fifteen years? Yes, fifteen long damn years.”
“No worries, you will soon be forgotten just like as I was. Tonight, the wait is over, and you’ll pay severely for your past transgressions.”
He let the shattering fear sink in her baffled mind before he continued.
“You see, we all have to pay for our sins. I’ll make you pay yours tonight. I can’t wait any longer until we meet in hell; eternity is for losers.”
“This is no vengeance but punishment. Pure punishment for your dread deeds.”
Her mind was spinning out of control. She couldn’t imagine being murdered by the same person she’d run away from when she was a teenager. He put her through hell back then and ruined her life. Now, she didn’t want to allow him to inflict the same agonizing pain on her again.
She wiggled frantically and began fighting back. She wanted to get gain balance. She refused to give in and die by his hands without a fight.
She decided, “Not tonight or any day.”
As she moved and kicked him around, he started paper cutting her arms and thighs. The soft bed soaked in blood.
She had to do something to get rid of this lunatic and menacing man off her.
At that moment, she realized it was reckless of her being on social media. Her life was a secret for a long time. She was living in the shadows. She was invisible since she changed her identity and moved away after he was incarcerated. When she decided to join social media, she’d never thought of any harm to come with it, because she was tired of being invisible anymore.
Besides, how would she expect to be haunted by him after all these years later? He wasn’t supposed to be out.
As different thoughts ran through the fibers of her being, she kept looking at his beautiful face. She couldn’t help but admire what he had done to it. She couldn’t yet believe that while she was on the verge of taking her last breath, all she kept thinking about was his new face. Whoever did the plastic surgery, they did an exceptional job.
She dodged that thought and began screaming and begging for her life. He punched her on the mouth.
As he held her down securely, she struggled to free herself. She was losing hope, but she remembered she had a long two-prong hair comb. She reached into her ponytail hair and pulled it and jammed it into his neck repeatedly.
She knew she wasn’t a match for his strength. So, she focused on driving the sharp object into his neck as fast as she could. On the fifth stroke, he moaned and collapsed on top of her. His soulless weight sunk them on the bed as blood was gushing all over her face and chest.
When she pushed him away off her, he made the last wheezing sound and took his last breath.
“We won’t be meeting in hell anytime soon,” Meghan said and walked towards her phone on the nightstand to dial 911.
’don’t open the door
the knocks are
but no matter
how many times
hit the wood,
i won’t open it.
i won’t go to the
i want to know who it
but common sense
know you’re home’.
so i’ll wait
in the closet,
counting my breaths,
until they go away.
it could be anyone.
a door to door salesperson,
a man with a gun.
they’re not leaving,
i’m not moving.
i won’t be safe
letting you in
a tender knock
at my door.
i know it's you, my love.
i’ve been waiting for you
my heart jumps.
but i freeze.
i‘m sO afraid to let you in,
i’m sO afraid to let you see,
i‘m sO afraid i’ll fuck it up,
i‘m sO afraid to be myself
and that being myself
means keeping it