'Cheval Mallet of Vendée' & 'Salem Coven': Two Poems by Christina Ciufo


Four deafening pounds

against harden, tan soil

travels downward

from melancholy hillside

across Vendee’s countryside.

Six streaks of lightning pummels

from the darken sky. Each streak

trumpets forth the harbinger

of wandering travelers.

A raven Camargue

ferociously gallops and swerves

on the fogged covered barren road.

Its’ burgundy eyes immersed

with otherworldly fierceness

and scornful entreaty through

the night’s mystic veil, like

a demon emerging

from faded, ash pentagram lines

in a decrypted churchyard.

The Camargue’s muscular back

carries an empty hazelnut saddle

yearning for a naïve soul

to take the fortuitous ride

into the night, like the headless horseman

charting through the slumbering

Sleepy Hollow.

His oval nostrils flare

his viciousness, charring

Rowan’s red blossoms.

Their blacken, delicate petals

twirl downward, quietly landing

in his imposing, engraved hoof prints.

His front torso raises upward

His back legs hold their stance

Earsplitting shrills charted

through the wrinkled fog sheets

of the countryside.

Front torso lowers,

He lowers his head.

Front legs part.

From the distance

at the road’s edge,

his pupils dialed

at a thin black silhouette,

oscillation its’ long arms

side to side, like a grandfather clock’s

golden pendulum slowly

vacillation in the glass confines.

He charges through the dense fog

and towards the figure.

Clip, clop.

Clip, clop.

Clip, clop.

White fog lifts its’ veil, revealing

a young noble man, wearing enriched,

tattered, unhygienic clothes.

His pale, fragile face sunken

into his cheek bones.

Dimmed grey eyes lowered,

reflecting an antecedent ghoul

wearing human clothing.

The raven Camargue’s hooves

lifts scattered pebbles,

reaching closer and closer

to him. The young nobleman

ceases in his place, hearing

four levying pounds behind.

Dimmed eyes widened, hearing

an ungodly shrill accompanied

by scorching flares poignant

his neck.

His long, black nostril,

nuggets on the noble man’s shoulder

to rest and sit on his empty saddle.

He turns his head,

seeing the raven Camargue

anticipating his decision.

The young man’s antecedent

conscious whispers,

“You’ve been weary and wandering

on this forsaken road.

Ride on its’ back. Ride on its’ back.

You are a nobleman of Vendée and deserve

to ride like one.”

He walks over to the Camargue.

His skeletal hand strokes down the Camargue’s

enlarged neck. The young nobleman lifts and rests

his foot onto a footrest. He lifts his bottom

and places in the empty saddle.

The Camargue’s head wildly bobs its’ head,

Lifts its’ torso upward into the air,

and levying onward,

expressing its’ wicked satisfaction.

Riding with the wandering nameless soul

from the haunting landscape of Vendée

and into the orange-beige cracks

of Perdition.



Howling wilderness beckons its’ call

to the Devil’s handmaidens to gather, craft and

and conquer their Master’s monstrosity.

Pumpkins slumber in the fields become coiled by their vines

White willow trees cast their specter shadows

Grey horned owls fly and hoot their dreaded song

Black cats meowed, prowl and frolic through the cemetery

Crickets strum their legs

Golden moon hovers the darken woods

illuminating a disconcerting glow

down at the Devil’s handmaidens.

Women, young and old, dress in black dresses

and white aprons form a circle.

Suppressed thoughts and desires

corrupt their minds and souls.

Humble, fragile, kind eyes become

powerful, seductive, malicious, sadistic

and amoral.

Dark magic and sweltering wickedness

towards the disillusioned and fearful people of Salem

coursing through hemlock blood, unraveling

their mortal coils.

Their master’s scorched touch

caresses their skin and neck.

He whispers in Latin

a forbidden incantation their ears.

Fire's ring and black cauldron boil

Dead man’s arms, black cat’s green eyes,

cow’s tongue, a pair of bat wings,

serpent’s fresh skin, mint moss from

a tombstone, toad’s warts, crow’s feet,

wilted black rose petals, dried mugwort,

teardrops of a little girl, blood

of a young man, a young woman’s beating heart

and Death’s kiss.

Black cauldron boils

Amber-canary flames

turns into emerald-black flames.

Their wildness burns and blackens

the orange and golden leaves. It reaches

towards the mystic moon.

Spell casted

Cauldron erodes and splatters on the ground

Fall winds hollow

Twigs snapping

Grey horned owls hoot

Women grinned their sadistic pleasure

Their Master’s irreligious eyes burned

his seeping, burning desire for madness and discord.

Like the Black Plague across the villages in Europe,

the coven’s dark magic and sweltering wickedness

is unleased upon the disillusioned and fearful people of Salem.


Christina Ciufo is a passionate young woman who writes poetry, short stories, flash fictions, fables, and completing her first novel. At a very young age, she always had a passion for writing stories and poems, specifically in fairytales, folklore, supernatural, and horror. She truly enjoys writing about folklore, the supernatural, and horror in various writing genres because she believes by telling stories about witches, vampires, ghosts, werewolves, demons, and other supernatural forces, they evoke a haunting and terrifying imagination that brings joy and fright. She is currently a Sunday School Teacher. She has appeared in Gravitas and Spillwords. She will appear in Curating Alexandria, Moonchild Magazine and Ovunque Siamo in September 2019 and Bonnie's Crew in December 2019. Her upcoming poem will be published in Twist in Time Magazine's  Thank You For Your Service: An Anthology in November 11th, 2020. Find her on Twitter: @ChristinaCiufo

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