Monsters of the Evening Tide

The moon moans the night,
In distant hills a light,
The watchtower windows glare
Castle sentries launch a flare

Winter wolves storm fjords
With hungry mouths maraud
In frosty shadows hide
Monsters of the evening tide

Beak and claw and fang
On the bedroom windows bang
All the children fast awake
With holy water and a stake

Crash and peel the midnight-bell
Boom and doom the drums of hell
Electric fences hum and hiss
To keep away the Vampire’s kiss

All clear sounds with morning-prayer
I saved the town – the demon-slayer
To school I kick my shoes
While my tired monsters snooze

Patrik Gryst (Nom de Plume)

The Shore

We have travelled the same roads
You and I, though
In different shoes,

Yours without soles or laces,
Mine embarrassingly polished
Undertaker black

Weekly, I wash up to ask you questions,
You answer meekly,
Apologising for your numb plight,

You hide in the bathroom
Like some afflicted animal
Fearing an injection

We sit debating sanity
Oblivious to the febrile pantomime
In the corridor

For privacy,
You can close your eyes
Or draw the curtains around your bed

You are the drowning man
All I can do is wave
From the shore

Patrik Gryst (Nom de Plume)

The Winter Saves

The night-watch wait is over
To the lifeboats fast!
A roaring wave and overboard
Rescue ropes are cast

Heavy hearts are drenched in brine
Faith is now a test
Hands hard, they pull the line
But slack upon each crest

Unsaved souls cry out
Before the sea shuts lips
Those captured sink and cower
The rocks grind up the ship

Moon and morning silence fall
Life and boats make shore,
Nets bring in the silver shoal
With prayer and hope once more

Patrik Gryst (Nom de Plume)


lost in 1988
I pulled you back
on that dead day in March
bedevilled you spoke
in tongues atop
my sixties concrete ziggurat –
you jumped anyway
into Lethe
despite my ideology
I chickened out

I found you in Asylum
caged by Clozaril
you had travelled too far
into the past
for my healing powers
I could have stayed
but your lungs
already breathed water –
no need to rescue you.

Patrik Gryst

Schematagraph I

only now
at forty-eight,
older than you,
I wonder about those last days
former self shadowed
quilted under radiotherapy, knowing
you would
leave us behind

Lavender and Hollyhocks
Wireweed and Dabberlocks

only now
at twelve-twenty
later than I should perhaps
I notice a missing continent
the aching absence
recovered through psychotherapy, guilty
I gave you up
for dead

Buttercups and Saxifrage
Night-scented stock

just now,
your constance
caught up with me
I sensed you realised
another death
bound in serendipity, accepting
I would find moments
like this

Patrik Gryst (Nom de Plume)


I buried you in that thirties suitcase
In an overgrown corner of the garden
Near the rocket-capsule summer-house,

I crammed you in a sepia hell
Instead of burning you
Or abandoning you like orphans

Two decades aged my Dorian Gray portrait
Before I rescued you from corpse-worms
And declared you North-pole

You captured my heaviest hungry heart
Crystallised my darkest thought
Into a starry night not unlike Van Gogh’s

I kept my ear out for whispers,
Echoes of the dreams you fuelled
Rescued me and compelled me north

You tapped out a Narwhal’s song
In unbroken semaphore
Until landfall and the midnight sun

Patrik Gryst (Nom de Plume)

Outer Cirles of Hell

held up like a token
of gothic madness;
that teenage night
reading Muldoon’s astral projections,
I set sail for a peripheral sea

Never making landfall
thrice capsizing,
sinking into pelagic dreams.
Like spilled black ink,
my phantasmagoria
permeated waking life

Hospital corners or
Anafranil couldn’t calm
incessant numbers, or
raucous monster-tides;
I made a mescal-pact
To climb the volcano

with a demented Lowry –
of course he bailed;
the crater an irony
of moonlit extinction;
darkness alchemised to
sunlight on safe havens once more

Patrik Gryst (nom de plume)