If Poe reviewed Dracula would the castle still be haunted
would ravens circle overhead and black cats be unwanted
would Poe name Stoker’s unnamed brides with stories to be told
conjure their names from darkness and to devil be betrothed

Morella is a shade of deadly nightshade called Belladonna, it is old
Ligeia  she of raven’s hair that glints more than dust covered gold
sweet Lenore, the queenliest dead, whose funeral song be sung
three brides who are not brides to God, three who died so young

Alone with demons dreaming is a dead Count in an oblong box
time is measured in centuries and not by the mere mortals clock
Castle Dracula sleeps by day and at night its masques are red
conquering worm slithers amongst unhallowed soil of the dead

If Poe reviewed Dracula would the castle still be haunted
would ravens circle overhead and black cats be unwanted
would love of English graveyard poets be there for all to see
spirits of the dead they circle dark kingdoms by dead seas

A dream within a dream by day a sonnet to utter silence
below there lies a valley of unrest in shadow of the siren
a descent into the maelstrom of undead all untouched by time
red lips they beckon unwise men as they whisper ” Valentine.”

© 2016 Gary Smith

IMAGE: A Family Mausoleum (unidentified, Pinterest)



Blood origin stains

Bucharest to Budapest corridor

I, a dusky cocktail shaker of Romani

Transylvanian Dragon

And a hint of Hun

Jewelry of choice

Pungent garlic garlands

Neckerchief hiding vulnerable spots

Wild wolves leaping

Through unshuttered windows

Where babies in baskets

Dream on the cold wood stove

Mother rarely sleeping

Until children of age

To self-protect

All those years

You stood outside

Waiting for me to be

Old enough for you

And I knew

How wrong

How good

Your lips felt

Secret bruise throbbing

Under my fringed shawl

Skin growing paler with each taste

Then one night

Unspeakable delight

Lying on icy stone

Never to return home

Eternal bliss with you…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Budapest abandoned house (FB post)




Seven years for his ancient tale before he cast his spell
in which three brides within it, they never kissed nor tell
many things are hidden, houses, names and Lordly tombs
all there in hidden view to make maiden Victorians swoon

It started with a dream they say,nightmare by any other name
in London, Whitby then Cruden Bay before being led astray
In a carriage coach to the Borgo pass black horses led the way
to Castle Dracula, found on no map, where Jonathan did stay

Alone at night, evil in sight, like it”s authors midnight walks
under gaslit streets, which Victorians sweep,ladies still do talk
a cold beautiful wife, once clad in white, betrothed to her beauty
preyed on his mind,to be unkind,like all then it became his duty

And his master”s voice,often heard, from both stage and letter
a knightened man, easy slighted man,whilst he was ink & blotter
and when all was told, and on Lyceum Theatre stage it did unfold
there was no praise, only cutting words, for the story darkness told

But who remembers them but footnotes , shadows on his stage
dustcovers time, and books that rhyme, written on his page
his was a darker tale,a hidden spell,like a ladies Lordly death house
a tale of a lady fine, who spoke of time, and hearing the attic mouse

He alone knew what he”d wrote,well excepting the treasured few
a letter his mother wrote, if I may quote ,” You have outwitted Poe ”
and a review that said ” In a century this tale will still be told ”
but what off the man,and his two marching bands,when he was old

To have written this, to have had this gift,and then to be alone
did he ever think,when he held a drink, of his dark lord on his throne
did he ever smile, in his devlish style, while shouting at the sea
it”s endless roar,from his voice it tore, his king vampire we do see.

(c) 2016 Gary Smith





*Told to me by my father but also based on The Vampire (Gypsy Folk Tales)

(Roumanian-Gypsy Stories)


Scroll down to hear a YouTube video “Nosferatu” by Blue Oyster Cult

(much more exciting than the poem 🙂   )


Young girls and children stomping vats of vine

Purple stockings licked, enhancing the wine.


Celebrate tonight, dance beneath a star

Work done for the year, head for home afar.


All the girls paired off but Nita has none

Her beauty renowned yet young men do shun.


Phuri Dai watches, her wisdom from age

Til a man appears, Nita now assuaged.


Young arms hold her close, a nip and a bite

Alto scream reveals blood on that first night…


He leaves at cock crow, old sage sees his feet

“Horse’s hooves, Nita, be careful my sweet.”


Nita denies this “No, I did not see”

He is her new love, this happens times three.


Needle and red thread she sticks in his back

Following him home down a dusty track.


He sits in a grave; trembling, she runs home

Night comes, he searches finding her alone.


“Tell me what you saw.” “No, I did not see.”

“Your father I’ll kill” “Saw nothing, kill me.”


He kills her father, returns to the grave

Finds Nita next night who tries to be brave.


“Tell me what you saw.” “No, I did not see.”

“Your mother I’ll kill” “Saw nothing, kill me.”


He kills her mother, returns to the grave

Nita asks for help from her Gypsy slave.


“Here is my money, I shall die tonight

Put a hole in the wall when it is light.


Please don’t carry me over the threshold

Dig in the forest under fresh leaf mold.”


The handsome young man returns in the night

“Tell me what you saw, Death comes at first light.”


“No, I did not see.” He gazes with lust…

The slave finds Nita, neck bloody like rust.


A hole in the wall, a body pushed through

Thresholds forbidden for undead so new.


Apple tree shadows Prince, hunting a boar

Beautiful flower, never seen before.


Prince plucks the flower, takes it to his home

Secure in a vase in his private dome.


The Prince fell asleep not knowing his dream

Would soon become real, invade his bloodstream.


The flower arose from the vase of bane

Turned a somersault, Nita, once again.


She kissed the good Prince, gave love and a bite

At dawn she became the flower so bright.


The Prince knew it not, he awoke so ill

Wise woman sent for, gave parents a pill.


The Prince sleeps that night, dreams of flying free

The same night and day this happens times three.


The father’s plan is to watch the flower

While hidden that night in Prince’s bower.


Parents saw Nita and caught her in snare

The Prince then awoke and saw she was fair.


He freed her in love, Nita the fair maid

Did not change back; alive, she then stayed.


Making a marriage, they drank and they ate

Nita now royal, happy with her fate.


Bore a golden boy, apples in his hand

Birthmark of a prince soon to rule the land.


Chohano, vampire, must see her at night

Jealous of Nita, he craves being right.


“Tell me what you saw.” “No, I did not see.”

“Your son I will kill” “Saw nothing, kill me.”


He kills her young son, returns to his grave

Finds Nita next night who tries to be brave.


“Tell me or I kill the lord you have wed”

“No! God send you burst!” Vampire falls dead.


In blood two feet deep Nita begs her man

To take out the heart, the churchyard’s the plan.


She claws at the dirt and digs up their son

Replacing the heart at last she has won.


She finds her parents, blood used as a bath

All are now alive, nightmare aftermath.


“T’a doi jivena kano mishto.”
(And they live there happily to this day)


YouTube “Nosferatu” by Blue Oyster Cult


© 2016 Poem copyright Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Public Domain Goth Art Pinterest