With sinking ships and cloudy skies, The docks at Dark Gate tell their lies, Where the frightened brought their boats ashore And gave the sea their last goodbyes. A storm from beneath took more than men; A result from Adam's initial sin. That monster lurked among the deep And sought to take the land again. Terror spread among their souls, The madness prompting all their woes. That demon came ashore before And haunted cities with their foes. Pendulum swing from a grandfather clock. One last sweep before time stops. The Sea Beast sees its time to strike. Dark Gate's doom before daylight.
Lately, I have had a bit of trouble with focus. It seems as if I have ten million things to do in the span of ten minutes. What better way to accomplish these than to ignore them entirely? Unfortunately, the quarantine has diminished my drive to accomplish tasks, particularly when the stress of completing Grad school has become a monster in itself. However, writing is something that has always been able to take me away from the worst. I also wanted to stay away from a reflection of current events. This poem I began a while back but recently finished. It began as a work of art for art’s sake, no underlying personal meaning whatsoever. As I’ve struggled with procrastination, I’ve also begun reading many short horror works, among them the works of H.P. Lovecraft. The man was a master in his craft, horror writing. It’s rather disheartening that the man was a bigot, but that tended to be a trend among gothic horror writers of the 19th and 20th centuries. I’m not particularly drawn to his ideas that humanity serves no purpose in the grand scheme of things; I actually take an opposite approach. However, this does not diminish the quality of his work and his ability to fill his reader with discomfort and terror. The idea of Cosmic Horror, the idea that some indescribable, undefinable dread awaits in the unknown, is a thought I often entertain to a degree. This poem is rather heavily inspired by Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. Of course, I had to provide some stamp of my own beliefs, which makes its way into the poem with the reference to Adam and the idea of original sin. This is my attempt at Cosmic Horror through poetry where I have used ideas and themes that tend to frighten me as well as a majority of others. I first hesitated at the idea of publishing this, as I did not want the reader to get some false notion that this poem reflected my current philosophies or feelings. I suppose this is why I give a bit of credit to the New Criticism… but not much because there are several issues with that approach to literature and I will not use this space to discuss my issues with New Criticism. Keep in mind that I began this work, and finished it for that matter, with a few ideas in mind: Art, A method of coping, Creativity, and my love of the works of one of the greatest horror genre minds of the 20th century.
A Note on the Photo: I took this photo over a year ago, possibly longer (I lose track of time and, with the quarantine… Well, you know). It was shortly after I took a few pictures of a lovely couple I performed a wedding ceremony for. Behind their house some distance, land was being cleared to make way for future development. The fog that day made it impossible to see the beginning of the land being cleared out and it looked like a wasteland. When I got the idea to post the poem “Dark Gate,” I decided to edit the photo to make it look like an old photograph, something from the early 1900’s to sort of reflect that gothic and cosmic horror theme.
This writing is the work of its author, Andrew Ryan Duckworth, and can in no way be reproduced, copied, or distributed in any form without request from the author.