Heaven’s Welcome

The dusty dirt rests stale on feet

in search of warmth that Death deafens

while worms maroon upon the shore-

they wait for Death’s beckon.


Onyx water reflected her shore

and sheet for bed: the black of sky-

a world of no sunrise or set

is where I come to die.


I searched around, no light I found-

mistakes cannot be hard to make;

for I belong in Heaven’s clouds

that dark does not reciprocate.


The mist, she curls along the shore

and mocks the air I once could breathe;

No seam from which the sun to rise,

no god for a reprieve.


But, look!

A shadow of dominion come!

The mist shrouds him in dirt and sky,

the ferryman upon his skiff

from Hell where souls do lie.


Surely he knows the fault at hand,

that here is where I must not go.

My fate destined for someplace else:

above, and not below!


The vessel glides up to the shore,

no sound when she ropes to the dock.

The man onboard, stiff as a sword,

his eyes as pale as chalk.


Those eyes!

I must disclose about their gaze:

they shone from the stone skeleton-

a marble gaze, searing unfazed

my gray heart caged within.


You see, I protest sanguinely,

there was a mix-up at the gate.

I am a man of honor true,

there must be some mistake.


Silence, she buzzed her anxious song

and shackles to my feet were bound.

I cried out to my god for help

and dragged along the ground.


Charon forced me into his boat-

his gaze was drawn on my shackles,

while silence buzzed her anxious song,

his smile maniacal.



The screaming, the screaming, oh God!

Please save this heart from tortured mind!

The ferryman cackled at me

as his skiff secured my bind.


He pushed the boat away from earth

and then the dirt, it disappears-

mirrors of tar and us afar-

through the still tears he sheered.


Why, oh why, have you let me die?

No wrong in life did I commit!

The man I killed deserved it sure,

he won a game I didn’t.


The wails and sobs, like sleep’s facades,

pushed me straight down upon my knees

and there befall, of course I saw,

a ghostly hand of pleas!


The hands of prayer appeared onboard

as if the skiff was God’s prairie,

the blackened Styx a coffin fixed

of dreams now stationary.


Faces and arms of ghostly form

grasp at my heart from the abyss,

yet Styx, her river undisturbed

under Death’s final kiss.


No harm did I in killing him,

it was an act of righteous tact-

‘eye for eye’ the saying won’t lie

his win compelled attack.


“The execution of a king”

was what the grieving women cried

when wrong was I strung up in rope

and so unfairly died.


Screams and pleas make pure ears bleed

and ghostly hands torture my knees

and Charon laughs his hollow laugh

at all his hellish deeds.


Then fire! Oh!

The flames erupt on water rough,

the endless stretch of sky and lake,

and from the pit that I now face,

my heart the screams do rake.


Souls moaned the boat towards damning glow,

the flames there rise with dreadful woe.

All that exists are heat and shrieks:

My fate of death unbearable!

© 2017, Annalie Buscarino. All rights reserved.
The author has granted WritersCarnival.ca, its affiliates and syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.

Author Notes

A man's journey through death takes an unexpected turn... happy reading!

4 Comments for “Heaven’s Welcome”

Craig Lincoln


A lot of imagery here you put you portray your subject well. I found the flow of the poem however a little bit stilted as some of the rhymes didn’t quite work eg in stanza 7 dock and chalk don’t really work also in stanza 8 skeleton and within. there are some others as well which I am sure you will pick up on. Also you jump between 4 and 5 line stanzas which upset the flow. A little editing and this piece will be very nice indeed.


Thanks for your feedback, Craig! I’m definitely not satisfied with the flow of the poem. I had edited from a simple AB format to a meter of iambic pentameter. The stanzas with five lines all have exclamations, which I had intended to contribute to the voice of the speaker. It’s a work in progress, thanks again!

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