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Poem: "The Vampire Funeral" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "The Vampire Funeral"

This poem came out of the October 5, 2010 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a beautiful photo prompt from moosl.  It was sponsored by xjenavivex as part of the 2010 Holiday Poetry Sale.  Happy holidays to everyone, and thank you!

I'm really pleased that I get to share this poem with you; I've been hoping someone would sponsor it.  When I saw the picture prompt, I noticed that the vampire mourners seemed genuinely sad, not an emotion often attributed to standard vampires -- and there they were in an ancient, elegant, ruined place.  So I wondered what kind of vampires they might actually be, and they turned out to be very different indeed.  Again, this one isn't exactly horror because the vampires aren't violent (though one might count it as such for other content) so I tagged it "fantasy" as well as "horror."

The Vampire Funeral

The cemetery shines in the moonlight,
white snow draping the ground
and frosting the broken stones.
Gnarled oak trees scrabble at the sky
with their bare, black branches.
The walls and the columns are merely fragments now,
the cathedral fallen to rubble long ago.
Only a few narrow arches remain,
their apexes pointing at the frozen stars.

The marble crosses do not bother the mourners,
many of whom are older than the religion
that the crosses represent.  There are no graves
as such, only names chiseled into stone.
There are no corpses here either,
simply ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
They carry the remains of their Eldest
in a little bronze urn embossed with mystic symbols.

There was no need for him to be destroyed.
He was a gentle creature, a sage,
a teacher of the young and newly made.
No violence had ever stained his sustenance
until the hunter pulled the purring girl from his grasp
and hammered a stake through his heart while she screamed.

The grieving vampires make their slow promenade
through the graveyard, sorrow falling
as cold and sharp as the snow.  They will not fight.
They will not seek revenge.  They were never made
for such things, and they value life too highly
to spill it in anger.  It hurts them
when the humans make such accusations.

They scatter the Eldest's ashes into the tender hands of the wind
and watch the last of his magic flitter away into the night.
Some of those motes will find enlightened souls, and settle,
and in time call someone to turn the new one toward home.
For now, they must go and seek those sown on an earlier evening,
and hope that time and the world have not put out
the light of the moon in the younglings' eyes.
One by one they slip away into the woods, each holding
in their heart a flame of peace still sheltered from the coming storm.

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Current Mood: happy happy

13 comments or Leave a comment
fayanora From: fayanora Date: December 18th, 2010 05:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Awesome! Pretty cool idea, peaceful vampires. I'm vaguely reminded of the White Court vampires in the Harry Dresden books; they feed off of emotions, and one House in particular feeds off of lust. But they're kinda nasty too, even though their victims tend to die with a smile on their face. So this is definetely different from that.

Though, I am also reminded of the book I Am Legend. I haven't read the book, but I hear good things about it. The last human alive on the planet goes around killing vampires, but in the end it turns out the vampires are peaceful, good people.

Another interesting vampire mythos is the mythos of the anime/manga "Moonphase." (See icon.) There are some nasty vamps in there, too, but... well... for one, vampires in that universe breed like humans do. The main character is, in fact, a 14 year old vampire girl. But they can also make humans into slaves by sucking their blood, and somehow over time this Turns humans into vampires. I don't remember the details. But one of the vampires (blonde, female, wears glasses, reminds me of that one icon of yours) frees herself of her enslavement and is a really nice person. (As is Hazuki, the main character I mentioned.)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 18th, 2010 06:20 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

>>Awesome! Pretty cool idea, peaceful vampires.<<

Yay, I'm glad you like this!

Thanks for the fascinating examples of other unusual vampires.
endlessrarities From: endlessrarities Date: December 18th, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's a nice alternative to the usual vampire fare!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 18th, 2010 05:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

That's what I was aiming for. Yay!
je_reviens From: je_reviens Date: December 18th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow. This was pretty amazing.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 18th, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm glad you enjoyed this.
eseme From: eseme Date: December 20th, 2010 02:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I also enjoy an alternative to the usual vampires. This is lovely. I really like the image of sorrow falling like snow.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 20th, 2010 03:01 am (UTC) (Link)


>>I also enjoy an alternative to the usual vampires.<<

I've written so many vampire poems by now that I tend to look for an unusual angle. That's leading me into some really interesting places...

>> This is lovely. I really like the image of sorrow falling like snow.<<

Thanks. It was the beauty of the picture that first captured my attention, so I wanted to work that into the mood of the poem, something lovely and sad.
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 16th, 2015 08:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

vampire ash

Where does the inspiration for vampire ash possibly turning some humans come from?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 16th, 2015 08:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: vampire ash

That picture of the vampire funeral. I was reading it and the idea just popped into my head, that the ash could act like spores or spawning.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 9th, 2015 02:08 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: vampire ash

The link isn't working?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 9th, 2015 02:11 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: vampire ash

Try again, I found a new source for the image.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 10th, 2015 07:21 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: vampire ash

13 comments or Leave a comment