Aphelion Issue 275, Volume 26
August 2022
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When Grown Men Feared The Night

by Terry Lowenstein

Night, ancient relic
of primal dark,
hides well memories
of the past.

When twilight
offered warning
with curfews call,
all listened.
All ventured in.

Then Nyx drew her
veil across the sky.
She ruled the dark
trailed by stars,
attended by winged
creatures of the night.

It was she who gave
birth to twins,
Death and Sleep.
Her household was
a full one.
Doom and Disease,
Pain and Strife,
Sorrow and Old Age,
were all her progeny.

Through them
she ruled mankind.
Or so
the ancients say.

It was a time of superstition.
A time when night,
was feared.
A time when a shroud
of mystery cloaked,
the night.

And travelers?
Travelers took care.
Armed with a staff of
Mountain Ash,
they carried charms.
Charms to protect.
To ward off evil.
To ensure safe passage.

Daisies, four leaf clovers,
Sol terrestris,
these they carried,
as well as the
staff of life.

They were leery of strange places
avoided crossroads,
unless they saw
Hecate’s Supper.

Black puppies and ewes,
fish and eggs,
milk and honey,
garlic cloves.

Such were the offerings
to Hecate.
Thus they hope to avoid
the wrath
of one who's very sight,
drove sane men mad.

Demons of the night.
Terrors unknown,
how different the ancient world.
Little wonder grown men
feared the dark.

© 2003, 2007 Terry Lowenstein

Terry Lowenstein is a poet and freelance writer who lives in North Carolina with her husband, two daughters and two cats-Dickens and Emerson. Her day job is writing magazine and newspaper articles that include personal essays, travel articles and book reviews. A well published writer her work appears in anthologies, journals, magazines and newspapers throughout the United States and internationally.

Find more by Terry Lowenstein in the Author Index.

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