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so many tongues

that sweep at air

like witchless brooms,

speak no words,

tell no tales

amid the tenth

moons’ dirt filled

graveyard pale.


stoned bone lay down

to rest

over black petal roses,

perfumed with dust 

to smell no more.

groom with bride

where once,

forever and ever, 


weeded over words as

boxed hands grasp no more, 

joined no more, 

by the ring of the living

to chime in,

still alone,

still alone.


brownish bitter

once scarlet red blood,

dries, to leave behind

fading footsteps,

the dance of death.




knocks without a thud, 

as a doorman taps on

tunneled doors

to pry open

without a sleeve,

without a hand in sleeve,

calling to the cold and the half cold.


weeping willows wear

damp fleshy limbs so haggardly, 

as ghostly realms pay visit to 

pull under and take.

portholes for incarnations,

like steamed rain that

settles into the earth to nourish

the unnourished,

so to, a glimpse of the past, before reminds of

the tick tock of time,

the peering gawk of wingless crows unfed, 


watching as a snake uncoils its morbid morgue covered



speak no words,

tell no tales,

for deeply etched letters

guide memory like a lethal beacon,

bottomless these wounds fester drenching every drop of

deathly ruin.



warmed again in thought as

midnight coated cats snug

grass high awaiting the pounce of decay.


away sun, for clouds

are many to your lonesome one,

away to sleep

away dreams



at cornered streets,

crowded streets

like crowded rows

of inhabited souls.


gasp of breath

unheard and feared

to wake,

to realize one is more alive

in perished chambers

than a smothered moth

twitches so close to light,

all through this endless night.



outstretched mouth speak

unspoken words

of eternity,

a dilapidated haven,

a place of rest, for the restless

where ashes thrown above

a void, mince between

settled earth, unsettled birth

of blackened shadows.


others wax of a life as one

is unable to call out,

call out,


for our tongues have no

swords to defend.


speak no words,

tell no tales,

oh, speak them now

as the bell tolls from

beyond, to snuff out

these tales, these so

omnipresent tales of

yore where ghoulish spirits

circle more and more overhead

to omit

the wit of all.


speak your words,

tell your tales,

before the knocking

of the nails.

by peter james billing © 2020

narrated by Sinister McCobb

'The Knocking of the Nails' original poem by Peter James Billing has been selected as an Official Nominee in the
2020 International Edgar Allan Poe Festival & Awards.
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