Creative Work: ‘Haze’ by Ana-Alicia Burrows

Creative WorksThis week’s piece is a poem written by Bahamian writer and teacher, Ana-Alicia Burrows. ‘Haze’ is a narrative poem that explores what it means to be human and heroic through myth and legend. 

Haze

A new moon patrols the night sky
Searching…

Alone he sits,
Weary,
Criminal.

Fog rolls in, thick as haze
Covering the floor of the land with a ghostly grace

He embraces the hold of the mist.
It is enough to shield him, hide him from himself
For what right has he to such things as vanity
There is no beauty where there is no humanity
No true life to one who defies nature
Against everything he was, a sin cast into the world
No good could he possibly be
Yet no evil he felt, just broken, just misery.

A call screams through the white shadows that swim around his feet
Pleading past the poison of his beastly soul
Blood-curdling
Human
Female.

His heart paces, beats ahead of his feet.

He knows the woods at these hours was no place for a woman
For so much were the horrors that dwelled beyond the thickets –
Predators that lurked within the depths of the night
Sick men that roamed during the hours of twilight.
He knows he is no knight in shining armour,
But believes under the night and shining stars
Heroes exist
And he runs, fears he may never make it
But wishes

Suddenly, she screams no longer, voice swallowed by the wood
Silence halts his feet, bewilders him
But this is where the hunt begins.

The full moon swells past the cloud of the darkened heaven
Calls down to the soul of its tainted brethren.

Moonlight flashes, streams through his eyes
Energy focuses, nostrils flare
Hands become paws
Thighs, powerful hinds
Breath, growls
Man, beast.

A monster by the month’s celestial birth.

Everything clears – sounds, paths, scents
Ears twitch to the desperate breathing of the lady in the distance
And the monster calms, called by a power even greater
The will of a man, a longing-to-be knight, stronger.

Marked only by his roar he charges
Becomes like the wind –
Invisible, swift

Across the creak
Water splashes
Soaks
Trickles

The trail ends at the sight of a beautiful maiden
Eyes filled with tears, mouth open in silent terror
She kicks, scrambles, moves, tries to pass
While the pure wolves at her feet gnash

He bellows, enraged by his half-kin.

Spurred by his inner being
Out of the thicket he emerges
Talons bared, he swipes and leaps
The wolves still, frightened by his might
Then scatter from this new contender of a beast.

He approaches where she bleeds and is stricken
For she cowers in fear of what sure death he brings
He hadn’t known, hadn’t thought
For in the moment, in his heart,
He was man, a human being
No longer caged by the will of his cursed lycanthropy

He stops in his movement, realizing
Ashamed…
As he knows she will not accept him in any way
Not even as the man from whence he became.
For who could ever love a being beyond comprehension
Even if the mind was purer than most, the soul greater
Even if the man beneath had a heart proven truer

He retreats, back into the thick of the night
But cannot fight the longing and gazes back
To a place now bathed in moonlight

Something appears running, fast, a sword in his hand
Gallant as ever, handsome, perfect, whole…
A man.
The scene is as it should – a maiden and her true knight
A love that follows sense; that makes it right.
He picks her up, checks, and asks if she is fine.
She smiles, swoons. “From minds to yours.”
He brags, “I’m glad I made it in time.”

Fog rolls in, thick as haze
Covering the floor of the land with a ghostly grace.
The full moon swells past the cloud of the darkened heaven
Calls down to the broken soul of its tormented brethren.

There imagery present in this piece transports the reader to the very moment of this poem, so that they may get lost in it, and truly feel for the lycanthropic character. The myth of the werewolf has long fascinated humankind, largely because it forces us to look at ourselves and consider what truly makes us human.

Thank you for reading and we hope you will return for another engaging piece next week. If you would like to see your own work published on Words, Pauses, Noises, please take a look at our submission guidelines.

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