The Underland

By Kurt Newton

(From CHM #5 November 2020)

For you, my friend, it’s not too late,
these words are like a message in a bottle thrown
to those who fail to contemplate and understand
there is a place beyond the pale of what is known;
that place is called the Underland.

It is a hellish world of dirt and stone,
a dimlit place where grotesque creatures thrive
in dampened chambers fed by luminescent streams
of fetid waters that swirl and seethe as if alive;
a place that will most surely haunt your dreams.

I cannot stress enough the wisdom I’ve derived,
the consequence of each and every choice one makes,
the lesson not to tread where hatred dwells,
not to wallow in the pointless pain of past mistakes,
or one will find oneself alone in a living hell.

For me, my friend, it was much too late,
I was selfish with the riches I received,
and to love another I had neither time nor care,
and so one night, in a drunken stupor, the air appeared to cleave,
and I tumbled down a spiral stair.

I awoke in a place I could not leave
among the ruins of some former denizen,
there a hideous transformation took hold,
my skin began to twist, my bones to bend,
to match in appearance the corruption of my soul.

So let this be a warning, my dear friend,
who might assume nothing will come of your neglect,
who believes a clean conscience is achieved by clean hands,
a far worse fate than disease or death
awaits you in the Underland.

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