Ghost stories around a campfire are pitiful
compared to these ghoulish offerings,
where the very stones above us, below us,
on all sides, breathe life into the history
of murder, skullduggery (emphasis on the skull).
The guide reminds us that only a few centuries,
not eons, divides us from the beast.
When I get home and read the news,
safe in my stone house, computer on my lap,
I revise my opinion of those underground tales.
Not centuries, but moments between
the knife and the hand, the gun at the head,
the bomb strapped to the chest.
Jane Yolen’s 380th published book is about to come out. She sends out poems to journals on a regular basis and has quite a few in sf/fantasy magazines as well. She is a Grand Master of SFPA (Science Fiction/Fantasy Poets of America), as well as a Grandmaster of SFWA and World Fantasy Assn. She has won the Nebula two times, Mythopoeic Award three times, and been nominated (but never won) for the Hugo several times. Six colleges & universities have given her honorary doctorates for her body of work.