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"Came Calling" by J.S. Doherty

One night while we slept

Dreaming of forests

And inhabited attics

And circuses

Impossible spaces

Tilting platforms

Sad, beautiful strangers

A dark meteorite

Weary of travel

Came crashing

Through our roof,

A guided missile

Steered by God's unwavering hand

We slept on

Restless in the heat

And found it the next morning

Set deep in crushed floorboards,

Kitsch flowers and vines

Blackened on the wall

The people came.

It seemed routine to them

A house with a space rock

Lodged in the hallway

They brought equipment


Finding it could not be lifted

They shook their heads,

Finally bemused, they left

And did not return

It became furniture

And we awkwardly stepped past it

As we went about our days,

Sometimes it whispered

And crackled in the night

Once a faint face formed


On its tarry surface

Looking far into the distance.


Years later

I wake to find myself


A pale ghost

Haunting our little house

And suddenly afraid

I call you

Hear my thin voice

Die in the night air

Like a spark

Never to be heeded again

I know then that

I stand before the visitor

Suddenly huge, impossibly dark, terrifying

The long and secret process of becoming, finally complete

Its whisper has become certain and clear

"This is the dream",

It says,

"This is the nightmare"

J.S. Doherty is a writer, musician, and technologist from Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he balances a hectic home life with a range of creative projects and regular visits to the ocean. He is currently working on a collection of new poems due to be completed in 2023.

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