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The Resident Poet Pages
In 2014, the Dracula Society Committee created the honorary post of Society "Poet in Residence".
The third and present incumbent is Matt Thomsitt, who is based in London and has been a member of the Society since 2013.
These works have appeared in our Society magazine Voices from the Vaults, and many of them have also been presented "live" by their author at Society events.
Please be aware that these works are the property of the author, and should not be reproduced elsewhere without permission.
My Daughter Sees Them
I fear I am too old and wicked to see fairies,
but my daughter sees them,
flitting like fireflies in the evening light. They
leave her long letters she finds
tucked in some little crevice,
words blurred from dew dripped moss, still
legible to her; soft, whispered fairy thoughts that
dance, as she does with them in
the violet night, their tiny fires
burnishing her hair, the moonlight
shining still in her great dark eyes even
through the yawning day.
My daughter sees them and she knows
their names, finds their marks
scratched on stone or bark with
cuckoo claw, or drawn with minuscule fingers on the
misted glass, their secret meaning
shining still in her great dark eyes, arcane
wisdom only the child of dreams perceives.
I fear I am too old and wicked to see fairies.
El Angel Caído
She pointed at the Fallen Angel
in the Parque de María Luisa,
and, laughing, said „Eres tú.”
Turning to me, taking my
face in her hands,
I fell a little
Upon Meeting an Apparition
When you meet an apparition,
There are rules to be obeyed;
The first, most difficult condition
Is Do Not Be Afraid.
Ghosts, like angry dogs, can tell;
They see it in your features,
And fear has an enticing smell
To paranormal creatures.
The second is, you must speak first;
A spook can’t speak until you’ve spoken.
They simply moan and scowl, or, worse,
They screech until your glass is broken.
Shooting I would not suggest,
Though it’s often recommended;
You’ll hit the cat, or wound a guest,
And they’ll likely be offended.
Exorcism just provokes ‘em,
Especially when performed by priests;
The rituals are long and irksome.
Phantoms are impatient beasts.
You have to ask them why they’re here.
It stands to reason, don’t you think?
But please don’t offer them a beer;
It angers them they cannot drink.
There’s bound to be a mystery,
Of that you have to be assured;
Some grisly local history
That really shouldn’t be ignored.
Pull up floorboards, pore through books,
Rap on walls for secret doors,
Ignore the wraith’s disdainful looks,
Go out in night clothes on the moors.
Don’t depend on scepticism;
That’s a really big mistake.
You’ll end up soaked in ectoplasm
After several nights awake.
Spooks require that you believe;
It’s fundamental to the plot.
It’s not the wind around the eaves,
Or whistling down the chimney pot.
Have brandy and cigars at hand,
They’re good for calming of the nerves
When things get more than you can stand.
Besides, by now they’re well deserved.
A crackling fire’s an idea too,
Though just before the ghost appears,
An icy wind from down the flue
Is bound to blow it out, I fear.
Don’t ever think of touching one,
As if some reckless non-believer;
It will leave your hand quite numb,
And floor you with a deathly fever.
Ghosts are heralds of bad things;
They warn of untoward events
And cataclysmic happenings
No mortal action can prevent.
So calmly pour yourself a measure,
Curl up by a warming grate.
Enjoy an hour or two of leisure;
Apparitions come out late.
They wait until you’ve nodded off
Into a light and fitful doze,
Then wake you with a sudden cough,
Or rustle of their phantom clothes.
Yes, ghosts are nearly always dressed.
At first this may seem disappointing,
But it’s really for the best;
At least it’s just their finger pointing.
In case of unexplained events,
Just to be safe, invite a friend;
You’ll need a witness to prevent
All rumours that you’re round the bend.
And when you reach the witching hour,
Best not find yourself alone,
Secreted in some spooky tower
Without your mobile telephone.
And lastly, take this guide with you.
It’s based on facts from ancient time.
It’s proven, verified and true.
And only £5.99!
I saw you walking down my garden path,
but you weren’t there.
I didn’t know it was you
till I found out he’d killed you
all those years ago.
Nobody told me. Why would they?
They didn’t know I loved you.
Sonnet 18 x 37
Shall I compare thee to a winter’s night?
Thou art more lovely and intemperate.
That’s blood there on thy lip, thy hair’s a fright.
It isn’t even twenty-five past eight.
Sometimes too hot the eye of hell doth shine,
And make me want to do things that I oughtn’t;
I know you have some wicked, dark design,
But somehow that just doesn’t seem important.
And thy eternal winter shall not fade,
Nor my obsession with thee, that thou know’st.
Though I’m still reeling from thy last tirade,
And stealing lines from other, better poets.
So long as I can breathe, or I can see,
So long I love, and all my love’s for thee.
Cockroach on the sill
Lured in by sweet promises
Renfield’s bitter pill
What If She's a Witch?
She’s sexy, smart, has a GSOH,
She rubs your temples when your head aches.
She’s flirty, flighty, feisty and fun,
You really think that she could be the One,
But stop, wait, think, before scratching that itch,
Have you considered she might be a witch?
The signs are subtle, not easy to spot.
Rouse her suspicions, you could land in her pot.
But before you are helplessly under her spell,
If she’s a witch, there are ways you can tell;
They like to keep cats with exotic names,
You’re safe if hers is called Tiddles, or James,
But Pyewacket? Nibbins? Blackmalkin? Uh oh!
And beware if it’s Sootica, or Gobbolino!
Nice girls like Abba, and dressing in pink,
But what if her clothes are all blacker than ink,
And she sings strange songs of hook-eared owls
That make all the local dogs start to howl?
But don’t go assuming all witches are hags
Who look like your least favourite uncle in drag:
The worst ones are sultry, seductive and svelte,
They’ll flutter their lashes and make your heart melt.
And just when you find yourself starting to swoon,
The clouds will swiftly disperse from the moon,
And the glint in her eye might just give you a clue
That stuff in the saucepan you thought was a stew
Is actually some kind of devilish brew;
She’s tossed in a fine fenny snake or two,
And some warm wool of bat, just a pinch will do.
And what’s that afloat in your whisky and ginger?
The toe of a newt, or a small lizard’s finger?
You’re getting confused, your words start to slur,
You sway on your feet and your vision is blurred.
There’s a posy of henbane there in a jug,
And is that a pentagram under the rug?
You hear yourself croaking, “Must hit the road,”
But you can’t, it’s too late to escape,
You’re a toad.
The Rat’s Lament
A Protest Song
Some animals have all the luck.
They get to be bad, they get to be cool;
They won’t be squashed by car or truck,
They won’t be nobody’s fool.
Wolves are lonesome, proud, aloof.
Spiders wriggle and jiggle, they say.
Cats can leap from roof to roof,
And then they get to sleep all day.
Snakes can make your blood run cold
With fangs that ooze their venomous sting.
Their mysteries are manifold,
And flies can.. well, they fly, that’s something.
But what of us, the lowly rats,
Creeping round upon our bellies?
We don’t look good in capes or hats,
We’re plague infested, dark and hellish.
We have red eyes too you know,
But we don’t get no crumpet.
We scrounge for scraps that people throw,
And get to like or lump it.
Our beady eyes won’t hypnotize,
Regardless of how hard we stare,
The swooning maid with silken thighs,
Or free her of her underwear.
We’re doomed to scratch and creep and gnaw,
And never get a line to say;
To scurry round on unswept floors,
And settle for an extra’s pay.
My oh my oh myomorpha!
Time for us to set things straight,
And even up the score for
Rodents, quick, before it gets too late!
Votes for vermin! Rights for rats!
And down with him that we most hate,
Yes, that damn bat!
Poet in Remonstrance
When they said “Poet in Residence”,
I didn’t think I’d actually have to live here.
Punishment, I guess, for my improvidence,
Or, perhaps for one too many beers.
It’s dank and spooky in this lonely crypt.
I think it needs a jolly good spring clean;
It’s very dusty and the carpet’s ripped.
It’s not unlike some bedsits that I’ve seen.
There’s no TV and the Wi-Fi’s really bad.
I scribble, scrape and scratch by quill and candle.
The smell of damp is sending me quite mad
I’m not sure how much more that I can handle.
And these three scary boxes, what’s inside?
Oh wait, my luck’s improving; Waken Brides!
Words of Comfort for Demeter
And for Tina
[This was Matt's response to Tina Rath’s penultimate poem as the outgoing Poet in Residence "The Girl Who Loved Graveyards"]
I Googled “toxicity of pomegranate seeds”,
And found that for worry there’s really no need.
In fact, they’re rather good for one;
Vitamin rich and decidedly yum.
Persephone’s companion, it seems, was not Death,
But Nigel, an emo from Aberystwyth.
His only castle the Dublin in Camden,
His clothes mostly black, and artfully random.
Her phone inadvertently flushed down the loo
Whilst What’sApping Helen, as sisters will do.
“Oh bugger”, she cursed, and other things worse,
Words too bad to be printed in verse,
While Nigel sat waiting, moony and pale,
Anxiously chewing one glossy black nail.
“Why’s she taking so long? Is she weeing for Greece?
Best get the bill, or they’ll call the police.”
They’d already missed the last bus to Hades,
Thanks to Persephone’s trip to the ladies’.
So they went back to Nigel’s in Finsbury Park.
It was dirty as Hades, and nearly as dark.
No girl can survive without smartphone for long,
Or listen to that many dark moody songs,
So Demeter, stop fretting and pick up your shears.
It shouldn’t be long now before she appears.