The Devil’s Strand,Or The Isle of Ghosts
By John C. Evans
There is an island out there in the fog,
Colder than bone,
Where the sea salt ends,
And the bare rocks shoulder the forgotten tombs,
Of Fisher Kings whose likeness has gone out of this world,
And into that other realm,
No man hath returned from.
I have marked the sepulchers,
Pitched high above yonder shore,
And can vouch for sterner folk,
Who have marked them closer.
Their faded entrances flicker from time to time,
Like tiny black eye-slits,
When the lightning comes,
And the red lanterns die.
After a bad storm,
Once the clouds have cleared,
You can see them-
You can see all of them,
Pressed together against the slick tide,
That curls about the shoal’s jagged face-
Indomitable and foreboding.
If in folly some wayfarer tarried hence,
And walked betwixt those crowded crypts,
Surely he would join the damned,
And rot in Ahab’s coral dungeon.
Ten thousand souls,
Culled from hell,
Line the gray road,
Wiser men callest folly.
Yet to this date,
There are some few,
Who venture forth,
Into the demon’s gloom,
And come so nigh the devil’s strand,
Good lad’s quale,
To behold their forebear’s deathless home-
Crueler than cut steel,
And thrice colder,
Than a corpse’s company.
Such is their black span.
Such is their brooding wandering,
Once the mists are laid by,
And the dead stir from their silent vigil.
John Evans is an avid student of Medieval Literature and the writings of J.R.R Tolkien. He is a member of Doctor Cory Olsen’s Silmarillion Seminar and has been a proud supporter of Legendarium and the Mythgard institute. Along with these interests, he is the founder of the folk rock band Wrecked Haven, an amateur political theorist, and life-long writer of prose and poetry.