In the moon's cold shadow, where the wild grass grows
Do not stray, child, from the lamp lit path
Though the wild ones whisper in the advent dark
Pay no heed to the stirring and rustling of leaves
The song of the deep forest or the call of the glade
For the wind carries with it a treacherous promise
And deception lurks in the gathering gloom
There, beneath rafters of branches and tendrils
Lies the portal from beyond which no mortal returns
No moonbeams spill over the floor of the bower
Where the limbs grow tangled in apses of green
And hedges form palings of bramble and thornbush
Around the great dais of the Eldergrove King
There sits the Sylvan Lord in his vesperal chamber
Upon a fossilwood throne more ancient than time
His vassals assemble in moss-bedecked companies
And dance at his feet to the tune of the trees
Sha-ra-lee, sha-ra-lai, calls the trembling timbrel
While the revelers twirl to the beat of the drums
But none gathered shall ever depart this dominion
For their liege binds them all to his service and whim
So stay, child, stay where the lamplight shines
Though the music beckons louder from the murmuring wood
Tread not the dark path to the saturnine portal
In the moon’s cold shadow, where the wild grass grows
Justin Permenter is a writer of poetry and short fiction from Denton, Texas. Whenever he is not writing—which is far too often—he operates undercover as an International Student Advisor at the University of North Texas. His work has been published in Hypertext Review, Across the Margin, The Dread Machine, Spectral Realms, Scarlet Leaf Review, Literary Yard, and 365 tomorrows.
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