Clay F. Johnson

Writer | Poet | Pianist | sometime Alpinist | hopeless Romanticist

Remembering the Peculiar Effects from the Sugar Witch's Goblin Brew

Remembering the Peculiar Effects from the Sugar Witch’s Goblin Brew


Her brain-wrinkling seductions of sugar
Unravel the unawakened senses—
That first idle high from vanilla intensity,
Eyes melting with a twilight-gazed propensity
For bloodroot-butter of wicked strangeness:
Cream-filled flavors rich with witchcraft spices
Reviving a languid-bruised imagination

            Out of my own self-eclipsed shadow I awake
                        In profound sleep I dream of external pleasures

From shadowed phantom worlds to which I clung,
I now stand—alone—with most vivid confidence—
Flying through to pearly paths enchanted
I seek the seeker of once-lucid dreams,
For Her sugared lips once tasted, at once begun

The pale spirit of Her potion-magic
Blooms the closing of unclosed memories,
Strangling the inner eye of dark fascination,
Withering sad-hued petals of inspiration
Turn to dust with a whisper of a breeze—
But may the flowered swirls be re-blossomed
With witch-blistered bark tinctured by goblin-green pearls

            Though Her potion awakened my sugar-drowsed brain
                        No amount of bat’s blood can turn night into day

The strange effects from Her bone-bubbling warmth
Instill an anxious beating of the heart,
A palm-sweaty shakiness fit to kill,
Fit to murder any dull opiate
Meant for the most bitter of dreams and selfish sleep

In my sleepless quest for supernal climes
I reach the tortured peaks of trembling stars—
Breathless the air reaching the heart’s limitations,
Flitting wildly in wormroot-spiced palpitations
I no longer endeavor toward higher skies:
Drowning in fast-flowing scarlet-river rhythms
I now seek the sorceress of sleep-persuading eyes

Whispers low in witching rhymes of saccharine white
                        Voices wicked She sleeps by day and wakes all night

Her poet’s potion of dark-purpled nightshade,
Unpasteurized yellow-bell, old monkshood
Roots, yew-berry essence—necromancer grown—
Fang-frosted wolf’s bane with shards of self-torn
Amethyst creates a pigmented hue
Of the most shadowy of Gothic blue:
Hecate’s Queen of all Poisons

The concoction is thick with frog jelly,
Decay-rot of newt and shavings of dwarf-beard,—
Flesh-bitten globs still attached at the root
Make for a mold-flowered aftertaste—but
It’s the pallid eye of salamander
That sweetens its flavor, shimmering white
With an opal-lustrous alabaster

            Such creature-parts form the swirls of Her goblin-brew
                        Shadowing the pearls of Memory’s residue

Mistress of the stars that lights my midnight,
Whom I’ve sought in star-aligned alchemy,
Let me lose myself in bitter forgetfulness,
Without shadows of moonlight hopelessness
Or tortured memories that wander pale—
Undead to the heart’s imagination,
Cold to all but the layers of Her livid lips
Closing upon mine She stole that last sugar-rotten kiss

In profound silence I hear no deeper music,
Lingering I’ll soon collapse to self-surrender—
The liquid melodies of Her witchcraft still burn
My root-twisted heartstrings like absinthe, yet it’s those
Idle-aching rhythms I long to remember

© 2019 Clay F. Johnson