Poetry / Poets / Writers / Writing

Two poems by Kevin Sampsel


The ripping flesh, the startled eyes,
The way she scratches, tries and tries
To find what grows inside!
Pinpoints of pain down her arms—
The tips have broken skin.
What vicious spines, spreading wide,
Upon such blackened stalks!
She will begin to wear the fear
And remove the jagged lines,
To jump at all false signs.
Think naught of secret whines.
Think not—take special care
To know she tears alone
And twists her fragile spine.
A spot of blood, a pleasure known,
A flimsy inch of bird-like bone
Is plucked to quiet groans.
The wonder ends the groans.
The bend of neck brings closer yet
A beauty strange to sight.
Spines expand and slowly soften,
Change to feathers light
(The hue of blackest night).
With frenzied heart and fingers white,
The growth is stroked and eyes
Turn red. Pain spreads over skin.
Her soul is blackened pin by pin;
Her mind begins to fight.
By pleasure’s hand, fear is dead—
She is now purely sin.



Red moon howling,
Spitting dust storms
As a hero blunders
Up cliffs, down crevices.
Muscles strain now
Upon clean bone breaks
And lungs remain how
The universe intended them.
Breathing sounds coarse,
Unheard screaming escapes
With a deafening force—
Onward, she struggles
Against nature’s dull doling
Of the harshest coerced,
Of remnants now wholly
Transmitting their curse.


Kevin Sampsel grew up in East Tennessee. He eventually married and settled down in Norfolk, Virginia. His first book of poetry, Vibration and Swaying, was published in 2012.



One thought on “Two poems by Kevin Sampsel

  1. Pingback: The Blue Hour Magazine | kevin sampsel

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