Seven Deadly Sins II: Avaritia

This poem was originally published as a Twitter thread. The previous poem, “Seven Deadly Sins I: Superbia”, can be found here.


Next dawn I reached a city
its walls were made of gold
Its people heaped with riches
and endless wealth of old

And towering above it
in contest with the skies
There was a ruinous castle
its windows full of eyes

My courage almost left me
when I my gaze let glide
Up to its very summit
and saw what hid inside

For from the rooftop terrace
a pair of eyes met mine
And those two eyes were yellow;
I knew this was a sign

And when it left the shadows
I could make no mistake
For from its wolf like body grew
a tail as from a snake

And as I stood there frozen
the fiend let out a roar
And avaricious thralls swarmed
out every gate and door

“Can you see that crystal?”
the demon frothed on.
“This thief has stolen it from you,
retrieve it or it’s gone”.

The people fell upon me,
drew blood and cursed my name
I fled towards the castle,
my lungs and veins aflame

I darted up the staircase,
and still the mob gave chase
Within my hand the crystal
was already ablaze

I fell onto the rooftop
and quickly shut the door
And suddenly stood face to face
with the fiend I’d seen before

“You’re Mammon” I said, trembling
and saw the monster nod
Its vicious smile grew wider
“You stand before a god”

“You people will obey me
because it’s in your blood
To strive for gold and glory,
so bow now in the mud”

“My favour lends you riches,
your pledge will give you wealth
And if you feed on others
I’ll also grant you health.”

“But if you still defy me
you know how this shall end.
Your death will be more painful
than you can comprehend.”

I hesitated briefly
then went down on my knee
“Please spare my life, and in return
accept this gift from me”

I offered forth the crystal
now glowing like a blaze.
The demon reached out hungrily,
a mad look on his face.

But in the very instant
he closed his claws around
the gem its light exploded
and magic had him bound.

Unsteadily I stood up,
and heard the people call
And realized my triumph
had not cured them at all

They screamed at me in anger
and gave the door a thud
And I knew Mammon had not lied;
The greed is in our blood

So I fled from the castle,
not once did I look back
Luxuria was out there,
and I was on its track.


This poem was written in response to a hashtag game series by Marc Tizura/@areyouingrenin. The theme was “The Seven Deadly Sins”, and this day’s particular prompt was Greed – Mammon. The Twitter hashtag is  – go find more flash fiction there!

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Seven Deadly Sins I: Superbia

This poem was originally published as a Twitter thread here. You can find the next poem, Seven Deadly Sins II: Avaritia here.


I found the village sleeping
or that was what I thought
But when I dared edge closer
the sight had me distraught

For all across the hamlet
the people were awake
Indulging in vain antics and
conceit of every make

Some locked in front of mirrors
some by indignant frays
And others yet were lost inside
a supercilious craze

And all this madness hailed from
the village center square
The music drew me closer;
I knew I must go there

I clenched the crystal tightly
and sent a prayer up high
Aware it was an angel,
though fallen, I’d defy

And then I entered boldly
into the market place
Heart racing quicker than my mind,
a stern look on my face

The villagers had seen me,
and armed they closer drew.
But then a cold voice stopped them:
“Ah, I did wait for you”.

And suddenly before me
the angel in his might
Surrounded by an aura
of blinding, humbling light

I stood there as if frozen
Too shocked to fight or flee
For there before me towered a
perfected form of me

Again now spoke the angel
“I’ll grant you what you see
and all the fame you covet if you
pledge yourself to me”.

And shamefully it tempted,
it almost made me slip
But then I felt the crystal burn
like fire in my grip.

I raised my hand and watched as
bright rays of light burst out
to engulf the hubric angel
before he could but shout

And dawn broke on the village,
the townsfolk shocked and dazed
Like all had been a nightmare
now gone without a trace

I left in the confusion
and thusly it begins:
I walked off in the sunrise on
the hunt for six more sins.


This poem was written in response to a hashtag game series by Marc Tizura/@areyouingrenin. The theme was “The Seven Deadly Sins”, and this day’s particular prompt was Pride – Lucifer. The Twitter hashtag is – go find more flash fiction there!

More of my other  texts will be uploaded on this page before long. Here is one: The Mothman Prophecy.

The Mothman Prophecy

This poem was written as a reply to a Twitter-prompt called “The Mothman Prophecy” by my friend, the author and actor Marc Tizura. My contribution was originally published on July 31 as a Twitter thread. Visit the hashtag  for more prompts.


Its eyes more red than any sun
I ever saw before
Its words so chilling, voice so cold
It froze me to the core

The darkness had it shrouded but
Still clearly did I see
That from its back protruded wings
A nightmare fantasy

“I know the future”, thus it spoke
“As clear as then and now”
The raspy voice ground forth the words
“A glimpse I shall allow”

I listened then and listened well
Cause what he had to tell
Could all too clearly be the thing
That’d save us all from hell.

“Horrendous things have passed before
But nothing can compare
To what will soon befall you if
You do not all beware”

“A toxic cloud shall block the sun,
The rivers shall run black
When birds fall dead out of the sky
There is no turning back.”

“All men shall die, all women too,
all children just the same.
And in a century from now
no tongues shall speak your name.”

I stood there staring, couldn’t speak
Could barely breathe at all
The burning gaze of those two eyes
made me a helpless thrall

And when it spoke again I knew
It’d picked me for a cause
“This is a warning for your kind
In spite of all your flaws”

“To save yourselves a future you
will have to change your ways
And cease destruction of this world
Before you end its days.”

“When you do this, and only then
you’ve fled the darkest fate.
But time is short, so do make haste
For soon it is too late.”

Those words it spoke, then turned away
and left me in the gloom,
despairing that we’d never care
enough to thwart this doom.

By Chris Smedbakken, July 31 2017

Gamer Haikus

I found some old haikus of mine lying around in my digital drawer. Can you guess what games they are inspired by?


I
If you eat mushrooms

you will grow and gain powers

Little plumber guy

II
Stop hitting chickens

It will only piss them off;

they have many friends

III
I wonder who is

always putting new rupees

under broken jars

IV
Here’s the infection

Cure it by throwing matching

pills into this jar

V
The worst way to die

is waiting and praying for

a single line piece

VI

Don’t use it too much;

you will shake and break and die,

Mr. FBI

May it Be

May the brightest star that is
shine to light your way
So you can find a safe path through your life
every night and day

That guardian light I send to you
is bound to never fade
‘Cause like the moon with its silver light
of eternity it’s made

May a gentle wind carry you
on your journey, so let it be
May your steps be light, and so your heart
May your road be the one of destiny

And if darkness comes between us
and the end draws near it seems
May we meet again someday, somehow
in a world beyond the dreams.


I vividly remember writing this one. I was sitting at my old desk – I had had it since childhood – at my parents’ house one dark night back in December 2002. I was fifteen years old, my cousin had just died in a snowmobile accident and I felt guilty for still wanting to dedicate this poem to my then-boyfriend. Some memories just stick, don’t they?

Anyway, this poem has switched meanings for me several times over the years – but I think now it has finally found its way home.

Her Golden Gaze

He stood at the brink
No cloud in the sky
Awatching the field of play
As shadows did rise
From actors unknown
His worries drifted away
A mist in his mind
Was lifted, removed
When beauty rose into place
A precious short time
‘Fore he was forced down
He could see the gold of her face
She lowered her gaze
To meet his eye
But smiled as he fell off the ledge
His dying tribute
He sang with the stars
Then he sank and she climbed to the edge
She looked at the world
And started to throw
A red light over it all
For well she perceived
How short was the time
‘Til also she must give in and fall
And the Moon in his grave
Not dead but asleep
Did not mourn over days of yore
For he knew in his dreams
That the hour drew near
When he would glimpse his beloved Sun once more.


This is an older piece that I wrote back in January 2007. By that time I had just become unemployed for the first time in my life and would soon (though I didn’t know it at the time) begin working as a freelance music journalist. That step has lead me to where I am today. Life’s certainly full of surprises.

River Ghost: A Poem

Gazing into the astrology
Wishing for what there could never be
“All of the stars I dedicate to thee,
the spirits of the forest and the songs of the sea”
She, the River Ghost of his long lost dreams,
singing mournful songs among the silent streams
Pale, dark eyes uplit by white moonlight beams
Beware, the fate of her is not what is seems
Frozen flowers, sunset eves
Deathcold breeze in the icy leaves
Autumn goddess surrenders and then she leaves
for Lady Frost to conquer a world that grieves
Her the River gave in to and turned to ice
Restless fay gave up a scream towards the pale blue skies
Fooled by a vision of Winter in disguise,
she lies down to final sleep in the white of her despise
He, the sun, weeps silently at her lonely grave
The lost dreams did not die with the River wave
Missing, longing for the water’s song, the happiness it gave
The sun mourned the frozen River, that its warm light could not save


This is a poem I wrote back in 2004 while I was still in senior high. However, I still like it very much and I hope that you do as well. 🙂