Poems of Screams and Fears

by Ed Ahern


Some fear is belly-rotting:

Will I be arrested?

Am I being fired?

Some fear is nerve-searing:

Is she alive?

Is she leaving me?

Some dwarf fear is blood-pounding:

Will I always be ugly?

Where will I find the money?

But the fear that is mind-roaring,

The worst fear, is not:

Am I dying?


What have I become?


There is a secret god I worship

The abomination of light and air.

She is the manna of known gods

Of lust and war and greed.

I genuflect before her

Tithing my hate and envy.

My adoration of her scarred face

Puckers me wizened and sour.

And I would flee her temple

Of acrid incense and unholy water

But do not know where to seek

The god who lives in her absence.


Over the years

Several women drew close,

Differing in marvelous ways.

But all, early on or later in the time together,

Were pushed away or saw enough to leave.

Remembered in swirls of abiding fondness.

Piquant almosts sprinkled on a bland existence.


The rules change at night

When coyotes prowl the gardens

And walled-in huddlers cringe

At shattered panes of glass.

No one steps into darkness

To answer dying animal cries

Or the screams of the stranded.

The rules change at night.


Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He has his original wife, but advises that after forty eight years they are both out of warranty. He’s had ninety stories and poems published so far, and two books.

One of the stories was at NEW POP LIT. Read “Aftertaste” here.

Ed’s website is http://www.swampgasworks.com

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