The Winds of Sesqua Valley, by Ann K. Schwader

Sesqua Valley_www.leecopeland.comArt by Lee Copeland: – click to enlarge

The winds of Sesqua Valley sigh tonight
Among the leaves of cemetery trees,
Whose roots reclaim each wanderer by right
Of that dark heartbeat pulsing like a sea
Beneath the shadow-spell of Selta’s glance,
As trueborn children gather for the dance.

Meanwhile, one exiled spirit lost among
The echoes of a world grown too mundane
To hear beyond itself awaits — in vain —
His summons home.  A summoning unsung
By all but dying stars above that tower,
Where Sesqua’s hierophant sequesters power.

The winds of Sesqua Valley cry tonight
From Selta’s summit . . . or some outer place,
Untouched and uncorrupted by the light
Of our raw spark.  Swept round by this embrace,
Each dancer’s steps delineate a Sign,
In equal parts infernal & divine.

Against a void grown leprous with the glow
Of mortal lives, an exile lifts his hand
In answer — though the last who understand
Departed from this wasteland long ago,
To dwell instead beneath primeval skies,
Adoring Khroyd’hon with their argent eyes.

The winds of Sesqua Valley die tonight,
Dismissing those who wove their threnody
With foot and flute to speed the failing might
Of all mankind has been, or hopes to be.
Elsewhere, a dreamer exiled from their ways
Takes up his pen of ebony, & plays.

Ann - author photo EgyptAnn K. Schwader’s most recent collection of dark verse is Twisted in Dream (Hippocampus Press 2011). She is a 2010 Bram Stoker Award Finalist. Her dark SF /cosmic horror tale When the Stars Run Away was recently published in Dark Fusions, edited by  Lois H. Gresh (PS Publishing 2013). Ann lives & writes in suburban Colorado. Her website is

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Poem illustration by Lee Copeland.

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12 responses to “The Winds of Sesqua Valley, by Ann K. Schwader

  1. Being new to the whole Lovecraftian Mythos and all, I didn’t get this poem at first, but nevertheless, I loved the rhythm and rhyme and the feel of the poem. When I looked up the references I didn’t understand, it made more sense and now I want to read Pugmire’s creation! Well done! I will definitely include this in my round-up for Jan. 2013!


  2. This is going to sound crazy, but when I read Wilum’s works, they make me want to dance, and I think this poem perfectly captures that spirit because it made me want to dance too. I makes sense in my head even if it doesn’t outside my head. It’s a compliment, I promise.


  3. After a third reading of this, I had to go through it a fourth time, reading it aloud to myself so I could most fully experience the poem’s rhythms and imagery. Wonderfully written.


  4. This is great. I love Pugmire’s Sesqua Valley and to see a poem that reverberates the full character of that valley is great.


  5. I’ve loved your remarkable poetry since I first encountered it — and very little contemporary poetry interests me. Bravo.


  6. That was absolutely amazing. The imagery in your words is sharp and genuine and evokes a wonderful sort of dread. Brilliant poem by a truly talented artist.


  7. As Hopfrog said, this is extraordinary. As a fan, reader, editor, writer, poet, and Lovecraftian, I am in awe of Ankh and her many, many talents.


  8. This is extraordinary. You are one of our finest poets, and to have ye sing of my creation has me strangely emotional. Thank you, dearest Ann. AND!! Lee got Selta’s twin peaks EXACTLY RIGHT, just as I envision’d them!


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