Memento Mori & Five other new poems by Ken Allan Dronsfield

Memento Mori

Memento mori (Latin: “remember (that) you will die”) is the medieval Latin Christian theory and practice of reflection on mortality, especially as a means of considering the vanity of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits.

Safe in the exhale of
a black-capped chickadee.
Chilled beyond reason;
winter shadows creeping.
Consequences paled in
a shimmering twilight palette.
Displaying a solemn presence;
within a covert soulless shiver.
Blisters upon the heart
from a moon’s burning desire.
Skip into a mountain meadow
with a lasting frail contentment.
Laughing at the line ‘to
the strength of ties that bind’.
A desperation’s triumph to the
expected memento mori.
Awaken the dismal knowledge,
remember, you too must die.
Wait for a springtime kiss as
crocus blossoms quiver in the wind.

The Absent of Present

Has anyone seen me? I know I used to be here,
perhaps there, somewhere. I feel so lost, much like
bones withering away in red clay. But in a breeze.
I feel like a cat nine tail, standing straight and tall
then bent over in marsh winds waving to all at the lake,
lost fantasies rise skyward. Passion blooms; life après.
Depth of a cranky shade of listless yet excited bliss.
Blessed by the thoughts and prayers of strangers, love
enhanced by a whisper. But has anyone seen me?
Elders cry for the children, begging souls to return home.
Keep of life’s clock, turn the key and spike the pendulum
humming a sonnet in rhyme. Am I a musical note?
As the demons and hunger invoked sincere repentance
for thieving loaves of bread. Whilst all distressed lives calmly
exhaled their last before the hot ovens inhaled the dead.
Tossed into an unmarked grave! I feel the chills of those
evenings long forgotten. Repent your worst, tarry to knit your
burial throw, but please, look into the corner, next to the bin.
Perhaps I’m there, or just maybe, I’m in the dybbuk box?


In a kingdom full of force
I was violent and you an effect
unheeded warnings about neglect
I sought refuge from the source.
Pay attention to the delusion as
not all doors remain closed!
Doors are exceptionally restricted
unprejudiced, however seething.
Because I elude to the unhinged,
I know a storm is coming and
I kindly bow and praise the flames.
I shiver in the excitement of death
pay attention to the breaths rattle,
do the thoughts make you quiver?
A revelation of piety now begins,
that unholy praise and contempt
I feel it, see it and taste the tears,
as the goosebumps rise, nervously
excitement drifts high to the strata
I kiss the butterfly for I am insidious.

Into the Burning Man

Blasphemy courted with anecdotal perversity
limitless chatter echoes through the canyon
all now weeping at the sight of blind hypocrisy
catching the dancing orbs with a butterfly net
seeking a peace but tripping through garbage
sands stained with the blood from star shards
music calms the beast, but on the jungle roars
pinnacle of life, enchanted in an icy cold desert.
tutelage from shamans; swaying to a spirit drum
casting of vows into pious devotional candlelight
earthy spirited flutes touch the heart and soul
bodies float down into the heart of white flames
albino raven’s perch upon high sandstone glyph’s
my vision now doubling objects indiscriminately to
the many I wish to see, and those which I do not.
The images are now imprinted upon my eyelids
overlap, confusing, awkwardly, as a child’s collage.
Yet, I can now see beyond the darkness, beyond
the terrors, beyond the bright white crystal sparks
a burning man now tosses ink onto the parchment.

A Nebulous Wretch

Blank stare of a nebulous wretch,
careless screams a mirrored glare
listless dreams of your life dissolving,
like black licorice melting in the sun.
Strong embrace to a lonesome calling;
days move quick, the breathing slows
looking in the bathroom mirror, I see
death is there, looking back at me.
Hollow eyes, and skin a pasty pallor
some days, my form is unclear, hazy
whilst his sharpens through the glass.
Soon, I know he’ll stand here beside me
staring into the mirror as I slowly fade.
He’ll take me by the hand and lead me
to that unseen place where souls wander.
Ready to take that journey, he’s here now.
Blank stares, and a nebulous wretch waits;
the black licorice melts away, and I follow.


Your life is your life;
don’t be clubbed into submission.
There are ways out;
there is a light somewhere,
it may not be much light,
but it beats the darkness.
Be on the watch as
the God’s will offer you chances.
Know them; take them.
you can’t beat death, but you
can beat drowning in life…sometimes.
The more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be for you.
You are a marvelous creation;
the God’s await to delight in your success.
All those before you will test your endurance.
How much do you really want to win it all,
despite confusion or the worst odds?
And know, it will be better than anything
else you could imagine.
If you’re going to try, then go all the way.
There will be times you will be alone
with your demons; but know, the night flames
will flicker high lighting your way.
If you can trust yourself, when all others
doubt you; if you can wait, and never
tire of the unending climb. Then rage on;
fight against the dying of your candles;
scratching your way into the twilight!

Ken Allan Dronsfieldis a disabled veteran, prize winning poet and fabulist from New Hampshire, now residing on the plains of Oklahoma. His work has appeared in The Blue Mountain Review, The Burningword Journal, Scarlet Leaf Review, Poppy Road Review, Outlaw Poetry, The Blue Heron, The Song is…, EMBOSS Magazine and more. He has three poetry collections, “The Cellaring”, 80 poems of light horror, paranormal, weird and wonderful work. His second book, “A Taint of Pity”, contains 52 Life Poems Written with a Cracked Inflection. Ken’s third poetry collection, “Zephyr’s Whisper”, 64 Poems and Parables of a Seasonal Pretense, and includes his poem, “With Charcoal Black, Version III”, selected as the First Prize Winner in Realistic Poetry International’s recent Nature Poem Contest. Ken won First Prize for his Haiku on Southern Collective Experience. He’s been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize and six times for Best of the Net, 2016-2018. Ken loves writing, hiking, thunderstorms, and spending time with his cats Willa and Yumpy.

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