Perihelion - October 2002
Shadows - Alex Crosse
Dragon Head - Alia Sheikh
(page 14/16)


At nights I walk the darkened lands,
My sword at my side, my shield in my hand,
Across the plains, where the castle's shadow falls,
My honour bound duty, to protect its sacred walls,
And the lives of those that I hold most dear,
From the creatures born of imagined fear,
Calming those who run from their mind's own eye,
And so to the world's darkest depths I fly,
And there, among the concrete forest I seek to find,
The shadowed demons that stalk the mind,
But as I walk the darkness follows me,
And in each shadowed place I see,
A world of hidden dangers,
Long lost terrors from long lost ages.
Each alleyway a lair of fear,
The demons of old are drawing near,
A primal terror the darkness holds,
An imagined evil within its folds,
Its tendril reaching from the night,
Surrounding me in choking fright,
But I stand firm, my fears at bay,
Darkness rising, I shall not fall this day,
Onward I walk, honour my shield,
The darkness closes, my fate is sealed,
It was then that the dragon cried,
I clutch my ears but the sound's inside,
I turn and its towering form I see,
Silhouetted on the stone before me,
In the darkness great wings spread,
And up the wall the shadow fled,
It's great form, black against the sky,
I close my eyes and prepare to die,
But I feel nothing, just the gentle rain,
My eyes open, I am born again,
Something moves across my view,
My eyes follow and see anew,
A dark shape in a street lamp's glare,
I reach for my sword but it isn't there,
Above me a warehouse stands forlorn,
The times have changed, the castle's gone,
Now the streets are lit by tireless light,
Driving the darkness from the night,
I stand still ‘neath the street lamp's orange eye,
And stare tearfully at the star-less sky,
There is nothing left for me in this new world,
Now the cloying blankets of mystery have been unfurled,
But in my heart I knew my world could not last,
With imagination conquered, the age of darkness passed,
And of the demons of old, there is nothing left,
Just the shadows in the street...

Alex Crosse

Dragon Head by Alia Sheikh