A Journal

"I'm going to come back to West Virginia when this is over. There's something ancient and deeply-rooted in my soul. I like to think that I have left my ghost up one of those hollows, and I'll never really be able to leave for good until I find it. And I don't want to look for it, because I might find it and have to leave".----Breece D'J Pancake, in a letter to his mother. 

Lorcan Black





Nightfall: darkness, vast
cold spaces and such eerie
whiteness overlaying everything.

The moon, with her face of basalt,
rolling her one bald eye over a kingdom of ice.

The hours here bleed and drip
and gather like mercury,
consuming the darkness with its glitter of ice-flakes.

The last pony jitters and shakes.
It knows it will be eaten.

And when at last hope is gone,
vanished in a white void-
that animal's screams shall batter
the bald elements, the faces of glaciers,
a whole barren landscape of blankness and ice.

Now the snow falls and thickens
and reflects the sky faithfully.

Within hours that one bloom of blood staining
the virgin snow shall be masked
like Death:
vicious in its visor of ice.


I have no idea if it is day, if it is night-
silver stars suspended in blackness,
the moon shifting over the snow.
And the ice creaking like low thunder.

O God,
give me just one green thing.
I have forgotten why we are here.

The other two succumbing,
lying silent, side by side in the tent-
their breath weak as a baby’s.
The sky scatters another show of confetti.

The flap of the tent has frozen open
letting in snowflakes, ice-flakes
old spirits
of the infinite-
a whole heavy world.


My last breaths are mist
pluming before me.

Frost tastes like death,
slowly rolling over an eternity of snow.
I have wrapped up my letters, my diaries-
whatever shall outlast me.

The tent is an igloo.
I have forced the flap shut.

We listen intently for each others’ breaths.
I dream of a garden:
the majesty of the Wych Elm
strangled in a tangle of ivy,

the mirage of my wife in her well-tended garden.

Soon we shall be statues of ice.
The last breaths blackening our lips.

I pray that heaven be green,
not this desert of ice.
Not this frosted ruin- the white mountains,
the moon, ice splintering in the crevices.

Look how the snow falls-
so effortless!

Freezing and falling-
sculpting a tomb, and a tomb,
and a tomb.



Lorcán Black.png

Lorcán Black is an Irish writer living in London. His work has appeared in The Stinging Fly, Fjords Review, Blue Lyra Review, Assaracus, Apogee & The Chiron Review, amongst numerous others. His favourite souvenirs from various travels around the world are memories, which can’t be replicated. He is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee and his first collection, Rituals, is forthcoming from April Gloaming Publishing early 2018. He is Editor in Chief at Anomaly Literary Journal.