Ran across my first poem the other day, written on the signal bridge of the USS Juneau in 1978. Oh, I’d scribbled little ditties, maybe run through some stream-of-consciousness stuff that might have been construed as poetic, but never before had I sat down and decided to write a poem—a real actual poem by me. Probably why the first line is “Garnered on levels unspeakable with dread….” Ha, poetry ain’t all sweetness and light, you know, especially for angsty youngsters. Beware, words that rhyme to follow:
The Mastodon Spikes of Qualic Ten
Garnered on levels unspeakable with dread,
The Mastodon Spikes of Qualic Ten—
Remember the seething with spells of beyond?
The casualty bleeders in thinbone attire?
We flew into Hell on steeds built of fire.
The Caverns of Darkness, stalagmites of hate,
The dwellers recoiled as we threw down the gate.
Into the Maw of the Mutant Kings,
The horror of ancients—we hear the dead sing.
But onward we go, past the Krilligs and Trogs,
Our fury is mighty, they have no recourse,
One look at our eyes and they flee to their source:
The Mucus Brain of Eelious Quinsor,
That dastardly bastard of evil intent.
For him it is late, no time to repent.
The battle is brutal, the furious storm,
Our weapons are flashing,
He crawls like a worm.
And onward we go to the depths of the deep.
We hear all the mutants—
They slime and they creep.
Our courage is waning, still down we must go,
For if we should stop, the terror would grow.
We leap and we smile, to hell with it all:
For if we should go, so others will fall.
Our mission intent, as our purpose is true,
We keep to our course—as an arrow we flew.
But then from the shadows of darkness it crept,
The Century Eater, that horrible thing,
The Repulsive of Icki, with a sulfurous stink!
The cards had been dealt, our fate was below.
There’s nothing to do, so downward we go.
The minions of evil, in cackling laughs,
Think that we soon shall be in two halfs.
But our weapons unleashed, we fall to the fray,
Berserkers of old, we lust for our prey.
The wounds we receive are nothing to those
Of the Century Eater. Its putrid blood flows.
So onward we go, past the carcass of one
They said was forever, but now it is done.
To the heart of the madness, where treasures are kept,
No mortal had been, no human had stepped.
We seize the two prizes and leap to our steeds,
As the Hordes of Xarinza object to our needs.
But through them we go on our way to the top,
For now we are free, we never will stop.
Past fire and brimstone we fight our way out,
And then through the gate we go with a shout.
And now we are back from where we have been…
With the Mastodon Spikes of Qualic Ten.