Subterranean Message ©

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written August 16th, 2009

Listen here for my reading of “Subterranean Message.”


The wind exhaling warmly from these fissures
Suggests that we are dealing with one or more
Living creatures, something, at any rate,
Of immense proportions, possibly underground cities,
Utopias, distopias, bunkered suns, a world
Where the drum of our feet makes a constant thrum,
Like the curl and the crash of very distant breakers.
They know about us, there, these sub-sub people,
But they only seek contact for salubrious mandates,
Their interventions confined to human fringes,
Those hovering dangerously between dimensions,
Where the fantasies of waking and of dreaming
Miscegenate and breed.  Sometimes they come to us
As squat, droll creatures with troll-like humanoid bodies
And the plumed heads of birds.  Yet their language
So closely resembles ours, it is as if some aspect
Of our loved ones speaks from a covert place,
But speaks of things so shocking, so absurd,
That their sayings defy the logic of surface love.
Still, there are times, times of crisis,
Times hovering near the fringe,
When we hear the earth tolling, deep, within our chests,
And harassing us in the language of buried birds.

Mutant Angel ©

By Roy Dean Doughty

Written November 5th, 2008


Listen here to my reading of “Mutant Angel”


The sky is clear, but so moisture laden that the stars
All eerily blur, each one drawing around itself
A circle of burnished calm, a fullness bulging
With sleep, from whose fecundity a realization comes.
A claw has drawn three paths across his shoulder,
And he has awakened into a night,
Which contradicts the rumors of bright day,
With this vague evidence.  The claw proves
That the two kingdoms, one blue, one not blue,
Have hidden from him a third dimension,
Neither of dreaming nor of waking,
But wedged invisibly between the two,
A space that breeds this thing possessed of claws.
These parallel striations mark a specific place
Where a union has occurred between himself
And a realm that outdarks dark.  And they mark, too,
The juncture where a single wing now grows —
So thin, so long, so leathery, like a creature whose blindness
Allows it to hear more deeply into the silence,
And to rise, lopsidedly, impossibly, where thought could never go.