Horror Writers Association Blog

The Quiet One


by Ann K. Schwader

I’m delighted that HWA continues to support and honor poetry as one of the Dark Arts of horror. It was a thrill to watch the live webcast of the Stokers this yearand see the enthusiasm generated by the Poetry Collection award.

      The Quiet One

      Her neighbors rarely notice her at all.
      She tends her garden, keeps her cottage neat,
      & regularly occupies a seat
      At Sunday services, so there’s no call
      For them to venture past that soft gray wall
      Of silence. Past her prime, though vaguely sweet,
      She blends into the bustle of their streets
      & disappears. It’s only in the fall
      When stark October settles like a doom
      On fields & town alike that she reclaims
      Her elder self: the rituals she learned
      In other lives, the manuscripts — & tombs —
      She pillaged for the knowledge of such Names
      As would have once condemned her to be burned.

from Twisted in Dream: the Collected Weird Poetry of Ann K. Schwader
edited by S.T. Joshi, with foreword by Robert M. Price
photomontage cover art by Loretta Young-Gautier, interior illos by Steve Lines
(Hippocampus Press, October 2011)

(first appeared in Midnight Echo #5)

Ann K. Schwader was a 2010 Bram Stoker Award finalist for her poetry collection Wild Hunt of the Stars, and also won a Rhysling Award in 2010. Her novelette “Lost Stars” was recently reprinted in The Book of Cthulhu (Night Shade Books).

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