Retrospect And Forecast by Clark Ashton Smith

Turn round, O Life, and know with eyes aghast

The breast that fed thee – Death, disguiseless, stern:

Even now, within my mouth, from tomb and urn,

The dust is sweet. All nurture that thou hast

Was once as thou, and fed with lips made fast

On Death, whose sateless mouth it fed in turn.

Kingdoms abased, and Thrones that starward yearn,

All are but ghouls that batten on the past.

 

Monsterous and dread, must it forever abide,

This inescapable alternity?

Must beauty blossom, rooted in decay,

And night devour its flaming hues always?

Sickening, will Life not turn eventually,

Or ravenous Death at last be satisfied?

 

by Clark Ashton Smith

The Ghoul by Gareth Owen

One dark and wintry evening
When snow swirled through the air
And the wind howled like a banshee
I crept silently up the stair.

I sat in the quiet of my bedroom
And opened with baited breath
My Zombie-Horror Make-Up Kit
That would frighten my sister to death.

FRIGHTEN YOUR FAMILY! AMAZE YOUR FRIENDS!
WITH OUR DO-IT-YOURSELF MAKE-UP KITS.
BE A WEREWOLF! A VAMPIRE! A ZOMBIE-GHOUL!
SCARE YOUR NEIGHBOURS OUT OF THEIR WITS!

Sowly my face began to change
As I carefully applied the pack.
I grinned at my face in the mirror
But an evil stranger leered back.

Long hair sprouted wild from my forehead,
My nose was half snout, half beak,
My right eye bulged angry and bloodshot
While my left one crawled over my cheek.

My fangs hung long and broken,
My chin was broken with sores,
The backs of my hands were mats of hair
My fingers grew long, bird-like claws.

I heard my sister opening the door,
Heard her call, ‘Hello, anyone in?’
I took a long, last look at the thing in the glass
Distorted and ugly as sin.

My sister was running the water
I could hear her washing her hair.
I heard her call out as a floorboard creaked.
‘Hello, is that somebody there?’

I released my zombie howl
As I crashed through the kitchen door,
Then I saw this ghoul in the window pane
And passed out cold on the floor.

by Gareth Owen

Limer-eeks by Ann McGovern

A werewolf named Wendy is fair,

So long as the sun is up there.

But when the moon rises,

She puts on disguises –

With Fangs and a lot of coarse hair.


 

A ghoul and his girl, for a lark,

Went strolling one night in the park.

They stopped under a light

And the ghoul cried in fright

EEK! Quick, dear, get back in the dark.


 

It’s said there are spooks who find fun

In undoing things that are done.

They go to foot races

And untie shoelaces,

Then watch people trip as they run.


 

There once was a demon as green

As any there ever had been.

He would hide in the grass

To watch people pass,

Convinced that he couldn’t be seen.


 

There once was a pale apparition,

Who suffered from grave malnutrition.

Said Mom, ‘You’ll be a ghost,

If you don’t eat your toast.’

Answered he, ‘That’s just superstition.’


 

– all limericks are by Ann McGovern